US industry association the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has stepped up its efforts to encourage diversity in clinical trials by launching a national awareness campaign with existing partner the National Minority Quality Forum.
In July 2013, PhRMA joined a collaboration between the Forum, a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit that works to improve the quality of healthcare available to all populations in the US, and software giant Microsoft to launch The National Clinical Trial Network.
Now PhRMA and the National Minority Quality Forum have unveiled the ‘I’m In’ campaign.
It seeks further to raise awareness about the importance of clinical research, as well as driving study participation by diverse patient populations, through partnerships with patient-advocacy organisations, provider groups, individual physicians, clinical-trial sponsors and researchers.
Groups such as African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics are significantly underrepresented in clinical research, noted PhRMA.
According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), African Americans make up 12% of the US population but only 5% of clinical trial-participants, while Hispanics account for 16% of the population and just 1% of clinical trial participants.
“According to the FDA, increased diversity in clinical trials could help researchers find better ways to fight diseases that disproportionately impact certain populations, and may be important for the safe and effective use of new therapies,” commented Dr. Gary Puckrein, president and chief executive officer of the National Minority Quality Forum.
Clinical Trial Engagement Network
The ‘I'm In’ campaign will introduce new online resources such as the Clinical Trial Engagement Network to help people learn more about trials and the benefits of participating in clinical research, Puckrein added.
‘I'm In’ will support the build-up of the National Minority Quality Forum’s Clinical Trial Engagement Network, described as a “comprehensive, sustainable solution” aimed at accelerating the inclusion of underrepresented populations in clinical trials.
Authorised users will be able to identify potential clinical-trial participants easily and quickly by using zip code-level mapping of disease clusters.
At the same time, they can locate and connect points of care and community resources that will help with trial-site selection and patient recruitment.
A website for the ‘I'm In’ campaign has been set up at www.JoinImIn.org.