'AWARE for All' event July 16 to focus on disparities in clinical trials
Minority communities are under-represented in clinical trials. Engaging a diverse population remains a challenge, but it is necessary to eliminate health disparities and inequities.
The FDA recently showcased the demographic characteristics of study volunteers in clinical trials for drugs that gained approval in 2019.
Of the 46,391 participants, 9% of study volunteers were Black/African American, the same percentage were Asian, and 18% were Hispanic. This lack of representation results in inequities in our health care system and the effectiveness of new therapies.
The mission of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation is to educate and inform the public about clinical research and acknowledge the clinical trial participants who help to advance medical knowledge and make new medical treatments possible.
Public awareness of clinical research activity during the pandemic has increased significantly due to increased media attention.
At the same time, public knowledge about the clinical research process is limited and public willingness to participate in clinical trials has declined due to concerns about exposure to the coronavirus.
CISCRP is hosting a free online educational event, "AWARE for All", from 4 to 6 p.m. (CDT) Thursday, July 16. It is open to the public via a customized, secure online platform.
The interactive online program features memory exercises and mindful meditation, a panel discussion with local Chicago patients and researchers that focuses on clinical research experience, health advocacy and equity, COVID-19 research, oncology, and cardiovascular health.
Plus, there will be an innovative online virtual reality exhibit health fair with over 30 local health and research organizations providing educational resources as attendees virtually navigate through the exhibit hall.
"Clinical research education and awareness is even more critical today -- especially among diverse, underserved communities," says Dr. Karriem S. Watson, DHS, MS, MPH, Associate Executive Director, Mile Square Health Center UI Health, Associate Director, Community Outreach and Engagement UI Cancer Center at UIC and the overview presenter at the online AWARE event.
"Now is the time to ensure that new therapies are developed that reflect our diverse populations here in Chicago. This program is an important way to learn about ways we can all take part -- whether that's through helping to design clinical trials or monitoring the groups that design these studies -- or by participating in clinical research as study volunteers," Dr. Watson said. "These are all ways to help improve public health and eliminate health disparities."