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It’s time to increase diversity in your clinical trial population

Are you wondering why and how to improve diversity within your study population? Engaging with diverse patients can be challenging. But fear not! We understand that a robust diversity strategy needs to be a priority. In this blog, we explore the relevance and importance of diversity in clinical trials.

Diversity, diversity, diversity… what does it really mean?

We are all hearing more and more about diversity, whether it’s in the film industry or within our own workplaces. And as diversity has gained more attention, there’s more debate and campaign for change. In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s the same story. Yes, people have been talking about the lack of diversity for some time. But it’s not consistently being addressed, and many are just paying lip service to the issue.

So, what exactly do we mean by diversity? Overall, it’s understanding that every individual is unique, recognising individual differences and the positive value this brings. These differences include demographics such as gender, ethnicity and age. Now, the world is starting to think beyond these traditional demographics, with factors like personality, lifestyle and educational background also being considered.

Why are we talking about diversity in clinical trials?

When it comes to clinical research, we’ve talked a lot about the importance and benefits of patient engagement. But this needs to mean truly engaging with everyone. Something that as an industry we are failing to do. There’s currently no guidance or requirements for study sponsors to ensure trial populations are diverse. And clinical trial populations are falling short when it comes to being representative of the intended disease population.

This seems totally illogical when people with certain characteristics are disproportionately affected by a range of health conditions. We know that different people don’t respond to medicines in the same way, whether it’s relating to their age, ethnicity, or gender. So how can we guarantee that drugs are safe, how can we ensure that we find the best dose for everyone, when we are only testing them on one type of person?

So, how can you improve diversity in your study population?

Here at COUCH Health we are pushing for change. We make sure that diversity is made a crucial part of your patient engagement strategy. If your study could benefit from engaging a more diverse group of patients, then get in touch! Our areas of expertise include patient focus groups, diversity and inclusion consulting, and digital strategies and copywriting that really focus on reaching people you currently aren’t. Last but not least, if you want to read more about the importance of diversity in clinical trials, then take a look at our white paper here.

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