Projects Seek To Increase Minority Participation in Clinical TrialsHHS officials on Monday at the Baylor College of Medicine announced two projects that will seek to increase participation of minority and other under-represented groups in clinical trials, the Houston Chronicle reports. The projects are part of an ongoing, four-year program called Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials, launched by the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center at Baylor and the Intercultural Cancer Council in Houston.
One project will provide materials to help medical professionals recruit members of under-represented groups for trials, and the second project will develop models and policies to help researchers reduce racial and ethnic disparities in trials. According to ICC, between January 2003 and June 2005, whites, most of whom were men, accounted for 89% of U.S. residents enrolled in trials.
George Strait, communications director for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, said, "The problem is that most researchers don't know how" to recruit members of underrepresented groups for trials. Garth Graham, deputy assistant secretary for minority health at HHS, said, "Without the adequate representation of racial and ethnic minorities, women and the elderly in these studies, researchers cannot learn about the potential differences among these groups" (Rodriguez, Houston Chronicle, 5/7).
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Monday reported on the projects. The segment includes comments from Claudia Baquet, director of the Center for Health Disparities at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Graham (Jones, "All Things Considered," NPR, 5/7). Audio of the segment is available online. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.