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EDICT Opens Public Comment Period for Clinical Trials Policy Recommendations

Online feedback platform will remain open until March 21, 2008

HOUSTON, March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using the same process as government agencies when implementing new policies, a national alliance of scientists, public health leaders, and community representatives today called for public comment on a series of proposals designed to eliminate continued disparities in U.S. clinical trials.

As part of the four year initiative, Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials (EDICT), a project jointly conducted by Baylor College of Medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center and the Intercultural Cancer Council, the alliance created a new Web-based portal so policy makers, patient advocates, research scientists and industry members can review the proposals developed to improve clinical trials patient recruitment and retention in medical research studies. The public comment period closes on March 21, 2008.

On April 1, EDICT will issue its final policy recommendations in Washington, DC.

"A variety of systemic, cultural and psychosocial barriers prevent participation by underrepresented populations, including women, adolescents, older adults, racial and ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, in rural areas and others," said Armin D. Weinberg, Ph.D., Director of Baylor College of Medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center and EDICT's Principal Investigator.

More than 300 representatives of public, private and non-profit stakeholders catalogued the most significant barriers to participation, examined current policies related to clinical trials, identified opportunities for policy change that would address those barriers, and developed practical and realizable policy solutions to clinical trial disparities at the federal, state and institutional levels in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

"Our policy research has demonstrated the importance of involving the broadest possible set of stakeholders as part of this process. To date, we had input from across all stakeholder groups involved in clinical trials. We are now seeking input from the public at large. We hope that interested individuals and those representing concerned populations will review the policy change recommendations and provide feedback," Weinberg said.

To review the policy recommendations and provide feedback, go to

EDICT Credo:

-- Everyone should have the opportunity and necessary support to participate voluntarily in clinical trials for which they are eligible.

-- Participants and researchers should understand the benefits of diversity in clinical trials.

-- Results from clinical research should benefit the participants' communities and society at large.

The EDICT (Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials) Project was created by Baylor College of Medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center with the Intercultural Cancer Council and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech, Inc.

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