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Improving Clinical Trial Diversity Is Critical to Health Equity

Clinical trial diversity helps to ensure we have medications that are suited to reflect and treat the intended treatment population. That’s why our entire industry came together to develop and voluntarily adopt principles on closing the diversity gaps.

Understanding the challenges of the past are helping us improve the future. See how we’re taking action.

As we endeavor to push forward to change the future, we must first understand the past. Colonization, slavery, segregation, systemic racism—these experiences continue to disproportionately impact underserved communities and have created a foundation of mistrust rooted in history.

Some of this history can be found here:

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Here is a small sampling of formative events in U.S. history that have shaped the relationship communities of color have with medical research and the health care system. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it helps pave the way for candid dialogue that guides our work on equity.

Slavery (1619 - 1865)

An illustration depicting a pair of manacles, commonly used to restrain enslaved people during slavery in the United States
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

Gynecological Experimentation On Enslaved Women (1845 - 1849)

An illustration depicting a black woman, whose red headband and green dress are colorized amid an otherwise black and white illustration, kneeling on a raised platform, with the profile of a white man in the foreground barely visible on the side of the image
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

Closing Of Medical Schools and Exclusion Of Future Health Providers (1870)

An illustration of a black man depicted from the shoulders down, wearing a three-piece suit, carrying a medical bag
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

Birth Control Experimentation in Puerto Rico (1930s - 1970s)

An illustration depicting a black Puerto Rican woman holding a young child on her lap, with another child nearby.
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study (1932 - 1972)

An illustration depicting a black man in common clothing of a farmer from 1930s America, centered in a group of other similarly dressed figures who are shown in outline only
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

Henrietta Lacks (1951)

An illustration depicting Henrietta Lacks, wearing a suit, smiling, and with her hands on her hips
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

Radioactive iodine (1956 - 1957)

An illustration of a steel barrel with a radioactive waste label, behind a medicine tablet resting on a steel tray
Illustration by Toya Beacham. Click here to learn more about the artist.

What We Do Matters; How We Do It Is Equally Important 

A conversation on why a community-centric approach is needed to build trust, increase awareness, enhance clinical trial diversity and advance health equity.