Learn About Clinical Research
Why participate in a clinical trial? Finding new and improved medicines is possible only through the help of people like you. Every clinical trial participant provides valuable information that might help improve medical research and knowledge.
People take part in clinical trials for many reasons, including the chance to:
Help in the development of a medicine that may benefit people in the future
Receive study-related monitoring for their health
Help find new cures and treatments for the future
Learn more about what to expect in clinical trials on the Lilly TrialGuide website here.
Diversity in Clinical Trials
Lilly unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We work to find new and improved medicines through rigorous research – including clinical trials.
Diverse representation in clinical trials is critical – it helps our researchers ensure that we’re making medicines that will be as effective as possible for patients who use them. People respond differently to medicines depending on their age, sex, race, ethnicity and many other factors. That’s why it’s important for Lilly to enroll a diverse range of people in our clinical trials.
What we learn in our research informs treatment decisions that doctors make for individual patients. It also contributes to public health initiatives that are designed to improve health equity and create better health outcomes for all patients.
A History of Medical Mistrust in Communities of Color
People of color are often skeptical or even mistrustful of medical research, a result of medicine’s dark history of exploitation and unethical experimentation on minority populations such as the unjust Tuskegee Syphilis studies on Black Americans. People of color also experience barriers to accessing quality health care, driven by socioeconomic challenges as well as bias and discrimination in medicine – and less access to health care means less access to the doctors who typically connect patient volunteers to pharmaceutical companies for clinical trials. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified existing health disparities, with a disproportionate impact on Black Americans and other racial/ethnic minority populations.
All of these factors add up to racial/ethnic minority populations being underrepresented in clinical trials – meaning that specific outreach strategies are needed to ensure equal access and build trust between researchers and racial/ethnic minority groups.
Today and Tomorrow: Lilly’s Goals for Diverse Representation
To ensure the medicines we develop work for our diverse patient base, Lilly continues to engage in efforts to involve a more diverse range of participants in clinical trials. Achieving diverse representation in our clinical trials will require clear, measurable goals.
We’ve developed the following goals to guide our work:
Create a Robust Clinical Trial Strategy and Reach Diverse Populations: To achieve diversity in participants across trials, our U.S. clinical trials teams aim for each trial’s participants to match the composition of the U.S. patient population that might use that trial’s medicine once it’s approved. Across clinical trials globally, we identify and address barriers that keep underrepresented populations from participating in clinical trials.
Intentionally Select a Diverse Range of Trial Sites and Investigators: We aim to recruit more clinical trial investigators and external advisors who represent women and racial/ethnic minority populations, with the ultimate goal of having our investigators and advisors match the composition of the U.S. population in terms of gender and race/ethnicity.
Increase Diverse Representation through Partnerships and Collaboration: We collaborate with patients, patient advocacy groups, regulatory agencies, health care professionals and community organizations to identify and implement solutions that will result in diverse representation, improve health equity and generate evidence to support better patient outcomes.
These goals reflect our commitment to achieving greater diversity in clinical trials – to ensure that communities of color have fair access to and representation in our clinical research, and to help develop innovative medicines that make life better for people around the world.
For more information:
Politico: "Four ways drug companies can ease racial disparities," by Lilly executives Tim Garnett and Joy Fitzgerald
Clinical Trials Transparency
Lilly has a history of commitment to transparency for our clinical studies. In 2004, Lilly became the first company to voluntarily disclose the initiation of our clinical studies and post study results in a publicly available registry. Since the start of 2014, Lilly has enhanced our transparency initiatives in alignment with the PhRMA/EFPIA Principles for Responsible Clinical Trial Data Sharing. Lilly recognizes that responsible sharing of clinical study data has the ability to enhance public health while safeguarding the privacy of patients, respecting the integrity of national regulatory systems and maintaining incentives for investments in biomedical research.
Independent Clinical Research
In addition to sponsoring its own clinical research and research collaborations, Lilly has programs for considering external requests for Lilly provision of study drug and/or financial support for independent clinical research that is initiated, designed and sponsored by external researchers.
Lilly considers such requests for support of independent clinical research projects based on scientific merit and strategic fit with Lilly’s areas of research interest. These reviews are carried out by global committees composed of Lilly medical and scientific staff members from relevant therapeutic areas.
Health care and research professionals may submit a concept online.