Country: UNITED STATES | Region: NORTH AMERICA | Type: Policy | Keywords: #diversity #equity #phrma
- Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton, Vice-President, Global Clinical Development, Nephrology, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, said it is well documented that companies with greater representation in gender and racial diversity perform better than those with lower representation
- Jones-Burton said the pharmaceutical industry must understand how to meet the needs of underserved patients by engaging with them through a diverse workforce of advisors, investigators and vendors that can “educate, drive trust and listen” to the concerns of Black, Latinx and other diverse communities
- The executive also called for more equitable clinical trials in order to help address inequities in health and understand the impact of medication on diverse populations
WASHINGTON D.C., The United States — A guest post from Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton, Vice-President, Global Clinical Development, Nephrology, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization on The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) website describes a three-prong approach to create equity in the pharmaceutical industry.
Jones-Burton stressed that racial disparities “are well documented for both clinical trials and access to treatments” and said drugmakers should “take bold action to rectify these inequities.”
She went on to present a three-pronged approach to taking action:
Ensure that there is the appropriate representation.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of many dealing with a lack of representation within their companies, particularly in higher levels where decisions are made. It is well documented that companies with greater representation in gender and racial diversity perform better than those with lower representation. Importantly, external scientific and strategic advisors, investigators and vendors should also be diverse and included throughout the medicine development pipeline. By developing products with the lens of diversity, we are better suited to welcome all populations to benefit from the medicines and treatments that the industry provides.
Understand how to meet the needs of underserved patients.
Having a diverse workforce can also offer insights on how to engage with communities that are diverse. Pharmaceutical companies, through diverse workforce, advisors, investigators and vendors, can bring those insights and support for communities to educate, drive trust and listen to the concerns of Black, Latinx and other diverse communities.
Make clinical trials more equitable.
Having diverse populations in clinical trials is critical as it provides the ability to help address inequities in health and understand the impact of medication on diverse populations. Within the U.S., there are centuries of abuse, inappropriate medical care and other blatantly racist acts that have impacted the relationship between medical researchers and communities of color. Terrible historical events, such as Tuskegee, have created aversions for people of color to enroll into modern clinical trials. A foundation of trust must be built through relationships with physician groups and patient advocacy organizations.
The executive concluded, “Now is the time where we, as representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, must hold a mirror up to ourselves and answer the difficult question: Are we living out our mission and ensuring better health for ALL?”
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