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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Medical Society Publishes Paper Calling for Greater Minority Participation in Clinical Research

A new white paper published by The Endocrine Society recommends that Congress, federal agencies, and academia undertake major new initiatives to ensure effective,
broad-based minority participation in clinical research. The white paper
outlines a series of recommendations to ensure that data from clinical
trials represent and serve the broadest possible patient base.

"Recruiting of minority and economically disadvantaged research volunteers has been a perennial challenge," says Dr. Maria Alexander-Bridges, head of the society's task force on increasing minority participation in clinical research. "Addressing this problem will require significant changes in the way clinical trials are organized, and interventions at multiple levels that no agency or institution could
undertake alone."

Alexander-Bridges, currently clinical research director at Amgen Inc., secured a grant for The Endocrine Society from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2006--while an associate professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and member of the society's Government Relations Committee--to develop the white paper and to communicate this issue to the public.

The under-representation of minorities continues to be a problem in all types of clinical and medical research, and it limits the applicability of trial results to diverse subpopulations. This is even true for those diseases that predominantly affect ethnic and racial minorities.

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