Diversity in clinical trials is vital for good science, and of course it feels good to be included, too.
Here at the Pfizer Clinical Research Unit in New Haven, our goal is for you to feel represented, while also making a difference.
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. When individuals choose to participate in a clinical trial, they will represent people like themselves and from their local communities, reducing health disparities among underrepresented populations and improving the development of medicines and vaccines for everyone.
At the PCRU, we want our volunteers to feel welcome, included, and informed throughout the trial process.
Historically, some communities have been underrepresented as participants in clinical research. There are many reasons for this, including the following barriers to participation:
Lack of trust in the medical community due to discrimination and mistreatment of ethnically diverse groups in clinical research throughout history.
Financial challenges that might come with a lack of, or inadequate, health insurance, study-related travel expenses, or the time commitment a clinical trial might require.
Lack of awareness of clinical trials because the trials are not available in all areas, people may not be given information about trials, and there may be language and cultural barriers.
Reducing participation barriers
As part of the healthcare community, we are working to expand access to clinical trials by lowering barriers that may have stood in the way of more inclusive participation. We are consistently exploring new and innovative ways to make participation easier and more convenient, to reduce the time and travel burden of participating, and to ensure our trials are participant-centric. Some ways we are currently striving to improve inclusivity in our trials:
Building community trust - We work to improve transparency about our studies, making sure our study information and consent documents are understandable and not overly full of jargon or complexities. We also give back to our local communities through donations and volunteerism, and regularly request feedback from our participants to improve their experience.
Reducing financial burdens - At Pfizer, we believe there should be no cost for participating in our studies, so we continually monitor our regional economy and compare with local study sites to ensure our study payments are fair and based in reality for our communities. We recently began offering travel bonuses to reduce the burden of travel to and from our unit as well.
Clinical trial education and awareness - Education is extremely powerful, so we are always working to spread the word about our unit and clinical trials more generally through educational campaigns, in-person events, and collaborating with other businesses and teams to increase health literacy among people of all ages.
Overcoming these barriers won’t happen overnight, but we know the work that must be done. As a clinical research site, we are committed to doing our part to address these and other barriers to promote inclusive participation.
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. If you would like to get involved and see how you can make a difference, please click here to view our current clinical trials or browse the links on this page for more information.
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 and resources about clinical trial diversity and participation can be found at the link below or at ClinicalTrials.gov.Learn more about clinical trial diversity at Pfizer