Steps Toward Diversity in Clinical Trials: Building Authentic Trust

Author: Faith Holmes, M.D.

While neither the lack of diversity in clinical research nor the need for patient centricity is new, collectively as an industry, we are all more determined than ever to ensure that we take steps now to increase both in the most impactful, efficient way possible. One solution that has been discussed but needs a brighter spotlight is how a diverse patient’s trust – in the physician, in the system, and in the clinical research industry – can “make or break” trial participation.

Building trust not only will help facilitate increased trial diversity, but in working to establish that trust, it will organically create patient-centric trials at the same time in a very authentic, collaborative way.

This story will introduce the work of Dr. Leland Allen, who rapidly enrolled 200 diverse patients in a COVID-19 trial in the summer of 2020. What is important about this? He did this while he was located in Birmingham, Alabama … right in the vicinity of the infamous Tuskegee trials that are implicated in the very research that drove a destructive wedge between the Black community and researchers that has persisted for decades. Dr. Allen will share how he organically and authentically built a community of trust and provide a model for others to follow.

Read the full Applied Clinical Trials volume 30 here.