Four Ways Drug Companies Can Ease Racial Disparities

July 21, 2020

New Covid therapies need to work for the people most at risk. Here are some ideas for increasing the number of minorities enrolled in clinical trials.

To protect all of us from Covid-19, we need new medicines”but especially new medicines that work for the people suffering most from this disease.

By now we know the harsh truth, that minorities around the U.S. are three times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to become infected with the novel coronavirus”and twice as likely to die from it, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When adjusted for age differences, Hispanics and African Americans have been hospitalized due to Covid at rates four to five times higher than whites.

Part of the solution to these disparities must be targeting medical innovation to communities hit the hardest. Pharmaceutical companies are rapidly developing potential treatments for Covid, studying more than 400 therapies by testing them in people in more than 1,200 clinical trials.

But to make sure these treatments help minority patients, the pharmaceutical industry must do a better job enrolling minorities in those clinical trials. This has been a long-standing problem in our industry and we all need to step up our efforts to change this.

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