Bring the health equity fight to drug trials

Bring the health equity fight to drug trials

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Black and Latino patients have far less access to potentially life-saving experimental drugs than white Americans. As the Biden administration and research industry address the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the next one, they must make health equity a priority in our nation’s drug development process.

Communities of color are profoundly underrepresented across medical research. A study in JAMA Oncology looked at the racial composition of participants in 230 cancer drug trials between 2008 and 2018, and out of a total of more than 112,000 people, Latinos made up just 6 percent of participants, and Blacks just 3 percent.

Similar disparities exist with regard to other diseases that disproportionately impact people of color, including Alzheimer’s, the third-leading cause of death for older Latino Americans and fourth-leading for older Black Americans.

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Jenny Oslen