Of the 46,391 study volunteers who contributed to the clinical trials that resulted in the approval of 48 novel drugs in 2019, only 9% of study volunteers were black/African American, only 9% were Asian, and just 18% were Hispanic. With lack of diversity and inclusion being one of the clinical research industry’s biggest issues failing to be effectively addressed, Demand Diversity is taking action to drive change and calling out for others to take responsibility and get involved.
The simple truth is that different populations are wildly underrepresented in clinical trials that are researching potential treatments for a variety of health conditions worldwide. This includes underrepresented genders, age groups, cultures, and ethnicities. Why is this a problem? Well, if a treatment isn’t tested on all the different people that the condition could affect, there’s absolutely no way of understanding firstly if it works for everyone; secondly if it causes different side effects and outcomes for different people; and if it could potentially be seriously harmful to certain populations.
It seems like common sense. It seems like it’s something that the clinical research industry should have been doing right from the very start. But in reality, it’s one of the industry’s biggest failures and it needs to change, not in the future, but now.
The launch of Demand Diversity
Launched by UK-based patient engagement agency, COUCH Health, on Clinical Trials Day 2020, Demand Diversity is looking to raise awareness of this global issue, demanding that it no longer be ignored and for change to happen.
Offering insight into how Demand Diversity came about, CEO of COUCH Health, Ash Rishi said:
“There’s an unacceptable lack of diversity among clinical trial participants. In 2020, I can’t believe that clinical trials are still being designed without ensuring they’re inclusive of all populations. Raising awareness of this is vital, so we chose to launch Demand Diversity on Clinical Trials Day as that’s one of the core objectives of the day.”
So why are so many still so underrepresented in such an important area of medicine and treatment development worldwide? And what needs to be done to create real change? Demand Diversity has set out to answer these important questions, make people stand up and take responsibility for their failings so far, and offer expert support and guidance on how to improve diversity and inclusivity in all areas of clinical research - from trial design to materials and beyond.
Get up-to-date insight into the industry’s biggest issue
To learn more about Demand Diversity, visit the website at demanddiversity.co. To understand the true extent of the lack of diversity and inclusion in clinical research, why it exists, the issues it causes, and more, the website has a collection of up-to-date and previously unseen resources.
These include an in-depth research report following a series of lengthy interviews with representatives of a variety of cultures and religions; a comprehensive literature review; and a five-part podcast series, inviting you to listen to what real people have to say about this very real issue.
If you want to know more about Demand Diversity, would like to contribute to the Demand Diversity website or get involved in any other way, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.