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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

African Americans in Clinical Trials
Recruitment of African Americans into clinical tråials is going through another evolution. With global patient outreach far from peaking, the unchartered growth of outsourcing overseas for patient recruitment is beginning to raise genetic issues at home.1 As American pharmaceutical and biotech companies rapidly expand to other parts of the world, recession and acquisitions compromise efforts to recruit hard-to-reach American minority patients for clinical trials.
African Americans make up the second largest minority group in the United States—increased by 13 percent between 2005 and 2006. More than 45 percent of America's population is non-white or classified non-Caucasian. In some states, African Americans can make up as much as 30 percent to 60 percent of the residents.2 Yet, too many clinical study results, related to diseases critical to African Americans, show as few as 2 percent recruitment of African Americans, or vaguely stated as 9 percent "other" or "non Caucasian."
Illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, HIV-AIDS, and certain kinds of cancer affect African Americans more than other people. Little is known about the ways African Americans respond to treatment for these and other conditions. Despite government regulations that require minorities to be included in federally funded research projects, African Americans remain underrepresented in these critical projects.3
Patricia R. Sanders
Applied Clinical Trials, Jan 1, 2011


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