How Diversity in Clinical Trials Can Help You
Having more racial, ethnic and gender diversity in clinical trials can can impact generations of your family’s – and community’s – health.
Who’s Participating in Clinical Trials
You and your family’s health depends on knowing how a medical test or therapy affects them, based on their race, ethnicity, age and gender. But minorities and women are underrepresented in clinical trials – including trials studying some of the diseases that affect them most. Right now, clinical trials don’t enroll enough women and people of color.1 In fact, 83.3% of clinical trial participants are white.2
of the U.S. population are Black but represent but only 5% of clinical trial participants.3
of the population are Hispanic but they make up only 1% of clinical trial participants.4
Why Is Diversity Important?
In order for results of clinical trials to apply to everyone, there must be more non-white and non-male volunteers
- There are differences in how diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, affect racial or ethnic groups and women
- Differences in how these groups respond to treatment might not become known until after a device or drug is approved and in widespread use
- If treatments are developed without showing how they affect everyone, minority and female patients may miss out on potentially lifesaving new screenings and treatments
Benefits for Your Family & Community
Women and minority clinical trial volunteers are needed in order to have diversity in clinical trials and create meaningful medical research. Having this research leads to products, drugs and procedures that are safe and effective for people with diverse backgrounds.
It also speeds up the approval of effective treatments for patients like you in the future.
Some therapies are only available to patients in clinical trials.
Your family could be among the first to benefit from information about a new treatment.
You get special care and close oversight by clinical trial doctors.
Some clinical trials offer free health screenings and exams, saving your family money.
You have the opportunity to contribute to medical and scientific knowledge that could help future generations, like your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
5 Things to Know About Clinical Trials
Find fast facts below about this kind of clinical research.
1. Clinical trials follow very strict processes to study new medical screenings, diagnostic tests and therapies.
3 Ways to Improve Diversity In Clinical Trials
Get Fully InformedIf you and your doctor decide that the benefits of a clinical trial outweigh the risks, you should learn all you can. Ask your doctor questions all about clinical trials.
Get Funding to Increase Diversity
If you’re part of a nonprofit working to identify and recruit diverse clinical trial participants or to raise awareness about the importance of inclusion, we invite you to apply for a Boston Scientific grant.
Educate Your Community
Unfortunately, many underserved groups aren’t informed about their treatment options or the possibility for participating in clinical trials. Help spread the word in your community. Share what you’ve learned on this page and direct them to our health conditions resource page so they can make informed decisions about their care.
2: U.S. Census Bureau; National Institutes of Health; Tufts CSDD, 2010.
3, 4: https://www.fda.gov/media/84982/download