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.
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.
These Goals Guide Our Work:
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: