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Town Hall Meeting on Inequities in Clinical Trials Documents Ongoing 'Tuskegee Effect' When Recruiting Minorities for Research Studies
Date:10/28/2008

Health Officials/Patient Advocates Link Underrepresentation of Minorities in Clinical Trials with Higher Death Rates

HOUSTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What is keeping so many Americans and especially racial and ethnic minorities from taking part in medical studies for diseases from asthma to cancer? According to more than 100 political leaders, public health officials and patient advocates meeting in Harlem to address the under-representation of women, older adults, and minorities in clinical research studies, one of the most difficult stumbling blocks is overcoming the "Tuskegee Effect" -- the more than 30 years of lingering fear among a large number of African Americans and Latinos that taking part in treatment trials results in inferior care.

Taking place on October 20 at the Harlem Hospital Center, the meeting was the first of eight Regional Dialogues to be held across the country as part of the EDICT (Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials) Initiative, a four-year national program to assess of the state of clinical trials in the U.S. and offer solutions so more qualified Americans can take part in important medical studies. EDICT is spearheaded by the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center (CDPCRC) at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC), an organization working to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations.

Coming at a time when less than one percent of the entire U.S. population -- or an estimated 2.3 million Americans -- are enrolled in the 80,000 medical research studies conducted every year in the U.S., the Harlem town hall documented the true extent of the "Tuskegee Effect" as a pervasive barrier to recruiting minority patients into clinical trials. Whereas half of those taking part in a 2005 Harris Interactive survey agreed that participants in clinical studies are taking a gamble with
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SOURCE Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials
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