New $100M Program Aims to Improve Diversity in Clinical Trials

New $100M Program Aims to Improve Diversity in Clinical Trials
A new $100-million program aims to improve the diversity of participants in U.S. clinical trials with the ultimate goal of achieving better health outcomes and parity in care for underserved patient populations. The initiative seeks to extend the reach of clinical studies to underserved populations in the nation’s urban and rural communities, and promote treatment development for all patient groups, the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and National Medical Fellowships announced in a press release. Funding will come from a recently announced $300-million investment by the foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb to accelerate health equity and diversity inclusion efforts, with a focus on clinical trials. These trials largely seek to determine whether a device, procedure, or pharmaceutical therapy works and is safe in humans. The initiative — called the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program — will train 250 new clinical investigators who are ethnic minorities or have demonstrated a commitment to heightening diversity in clinical trials. In the process, 250 medical students will also gain exposure to clinical research careers. The program is designed to help investigators develop clinical trial sites in U.S. communities with diverse and disproportionately burdened patient populations. Researchers will work alongside these communities to design and conduct clinical studies. “Clinical research is necessary to generate evidence demonstrating the efficacy and safety of new treatments,” said Robert Winn, MD, chair of the program’s national advisory committee. “While the patient response to medical therapies may differ across racial and ethnic subgroups, clinical trials often fail to represent the demog
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