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First Town Hall Meeting on Inequities in Clinical Trials to Take Place at the Harlem Hospital Center on October 20
Date:10/15/2008

For example, EDICT found that less than 10 percent of the patients who participated in clinical trials to test new cancer drugs from 1995 to 1999 were African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Native Americans.

More than an issue of fairness, EDICT also documented the consequences of not engaging communities in recruiting patients for research studies. According to the EDICT assessment, lack of community participation at the beginning of the process results in mistrust about the purposes of the research study and the sponsoring institution and significantly increases the costs to conduct population-relevant clinical trials and accelerate enrollment into these trials.

"Although investigators and policy makers have debated the reasons for disparities in clinical trials for decades, communities have largely been kept out of this discussion," 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. "Hearing directly from members of the community is needed now if we are going to go beyond simply quantifying the problem to finding practical ways to recruit patients for research studies that reflect all segments of the population."

Providing new insights on one practical solution, participants at the Harlem town hall will focus on increasing the use of clinical trials navigation, a relatively new concept that helps patients navigate within today's complicated healthcare system so they can participate in a clinical trial. Modeled after the "navigator" program created at Harlem Hospital, clinical trials navigation helps patients keep screening and lab appointments and solves their non-medical problems, such as providing child care services. However, according to the EDICT analysis, clinical trials navigation is not currently an accepted standard of practice for institutions conducting human research studies, which is why feedback from
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SOURCE Eliminating Disparities in Clinical Trials
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