Clinical trial diversity group launches portal, reaps new members

The Association of Diversity in Clinical Trials (AOD) brought in more than 130 new members after launching its membership portal aimed at increasing diversity in trials.

The group praised the Black Women in Clinical Research for its efforts to launch the portal, which offers exclusive benefits and provides access to a professional network, information resources and opportunities for collaboration, according to a December 22 press release.

U.S. clinical trial diversity fell to its lowest level of the decade, according to an IQVIA report released in March 2023. On average, Black and Hispanic patient inclusion in mid- and late-stage clinical trials dropped over the past decade without ever meeting levels proportional with national demographics. Black participant inclusion plummeted 46% in four years, with 81% of the U.S. Census demographic levels represented in clinical trials in 2018 compared to 43% in 2022.

"This reflects the urgent need and shared commitment to addressing diversity gaps in clinical trials,” Diana Foster, AOD’s president and chief diversity officer, said in the release. “Together, the community aims to make a significant impact on ensuring diverse representation in clinical research.”

In May of last year, the FDA released new guidance that emphasized that companies wanting to conduct decentralized clinical trials should watch out for data variability and precision as information comes in from patients’ homes or local healthcare facilities as part of an effort to boost diversity in clinical research.

The regulatory agency said in its DCT guidance that such trials can include obtaining lab tests at local facilities instead of a research medical center or conducting follow-up visits at a trial participant’s home using telemedicine. These measures allow patients to participate in trials with less burden, opening up studies to a more diverse population.