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Why It’s Vital That All People — Including People of Color — Take Part in Clinical Research Studies

Written by: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Published on: Jul 1, 2024

Clinical Trial Diversity

Photo Credit: Алексей Доненко

Participation Promotes Medical Equity

Research participants are key to making medical progress. So is diversity among those participants.

To advance equity in health care, it is critical that all people, including people of color, participate in clinical research. The reasons include: 

  • Race, disability and socioeconomic status, and other demographic factors can affect people’s risk of developing certain conditions. It also can impact their responses to medical interventions and their overall health outcomes. The more that participants who take part in clinical research make up a diverse group, the more likely that the research results — and any decisions to start or stop clinical treatments — will apply to a diverse group of patients. 
  • It is important that research participants represent the people who are most impacted by the disease or condition being studied. For example, certain cancers and sickle cell disease are much more common among people of color, making it crucial that people of color take part in clinical studies of these serious illnesses. 

“We are all more similar than we are different, but there can be differences in how people process medicines,” says Namandje N. Bumpus, Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences. “We want therapies to work for as many people as possible. The best way for that to happen is for all people to have access to participate in clinical research.” 

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