By: Luther T. Clark, MD
Deputy Chief Patient Officer, Merck
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on longstanding health care disparities and amplified the importance of clinical trial diversity, especially participation of those patients and communities disproportionately impacted by the disease being studied. Since clinical trials function as the gatekeeper to bringing new medicines safely to patients and communities, it has become increasingly important that diverse communities be represented in our research efforts.
Clinical trial participation provides access to possible new and innovative treatment options for patients, an especially important benefit for those who have conditions with limited treatment options – such as some forms of advanced cancer. It is important to note that, while not all clinical trial participants will receive the investigational treatment being evaluated in the clinical trial, all patients receive high-quality standard-of-care, which is the standard treatment that is used for the health condition.
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