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Tufts University School of Medicine

To Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials, First Increase Staff Diversity

A survey by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development found that clinical trial sites with higher racial and ethnic diversity among staff members saw that reflected in the patients they enrolled. Photo: Shutterstock
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm

White patients are highly overrepresented in clinical trials—the studies that assess the safety and efficacy of vaccines, drugs, and other medical treatments. This means researchers are missing vital information about how members of other racial and ethnic groups may respond to treatments.

To correct that, the FDA has issued guidance on ways to recruit more diverse patients for clinical trials, such as improving outreach efforts and making it easier to participate. But according to recent research from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University School of Medicine, a key factor in enrolling diverse patients is having diverse staff working at the investigative site.

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