Race, ethnicity, age, and sex can all impact how different people respond to the same medicine or vaccine. This is why diversity among clinical trial participants is so important. The more diverse a group of clinical trial participants, the more we can learn about the safety and efficacy of a potential medicine or vaccine for people who have characteristics like those of the participants. 

When individuals choose to participate in a clinical trial, they will represent people like themselves and from their local communities — in age, race, ethnicity, and gender. Participation in clinical trials by people of all backgrounds can make a difference by reducing health disparities among underrepresented populations and improving the development of medicines and vaccines for everyone.

 

Ask a Pfizer Expert: Why is diversity in clinical trials important?

 

Protections for clinical trial participants

Historic mistreatment and human rights violations in research throughout the world have inspired changes in the law to ensure that clinical trials are conducted ethically and participants come first. Today, all clinical trials must follow Good Clinical Practice, an international ethical and scientific quality standard for designing and conducting clinical trials. 

As part of Good Clinical Practice, institutional review boards (IRBs) or independent ethics committees (IECs) oversee clinical trials, with a focus on protecting the participants rights, safety, and well-being. An IRB or IEC is an independent group that:

  • includes scientists, doctors, and lay people. 
  • reviews a clinical trials design and any updates to it, as well as any information provided to participants.
  • has the authority to approve, ask for changes, or disapprove clinical research.

IRBs and IECs also review a clinical trials informed consent process. During informed consent, prospective participants are given all details about the study they are considering, including the potential risks and benefits. They can ask any questions they have before deciding whether they would like to participate.

Learn more about protections for clinical trial participants >

 

Our commitment to equity in clinical research

At Pfizer, we are committed to creating change for the better by doing our part to make a more inclusive future for clinical research and by building trust within diverse communities. Ensuring diversity in clinical trials is a matter of equity. We’ve made a commitment to design clinical trials so that enrollment can reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the countries where we conduct clinical trials and the epidemiology of the diseases we intend to treat or prevent. Pfizer is committed to addressing both informational and practical barriers to clinical trial participation. 

Be represented

Ensuring diversity in clinical trials is a matter of equity. Everyone deserves a chance to raise their hand and participate, contribute, and ultimately benefit patients in their communities.

The choice to participate in a clinical trial is a personal one and should be made in consultation with your doctor and your support network, including family and friends. More information about clinical trial participation can be found in the resources below, and all registered clinical trials can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

Looking for a specific condition? Find a Pfizer clinical trial using the search box below.

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Helpful resources to learn more about clinical trials

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people better understand clinical trials. Explore the resources below to learn more about the clinical trial process, including the rights and responsibilities you would have as a participant and what participation might be like.

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