The healthcare gap is still alive and well in the United States, especially when you take a look at the lack of diversity in clinical trials. In fact, according to the FDA, while African-Americans comprise 14% of the U.S. population, but only 5% of clinical trial participants.
“With Americans living much longer, healthier lives due to better preventative care, technology and improved access to healthcare,” says Sheila Thorne, a leading multicultural marketing expert and CEO of Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, “there is renewed urgency to make sure that people of color not only have increased access to care, but also have increased representation in pharmaceutical clinical trials.”
Last year, global healthcare research and communications company Continuum partnered with Sheila Thorne/MHMG to help pharmaceutical companies recruit more diverse patient populations, especially for certain disease states that disproportionately affect people of color. Minority participation in clinical trials in the U.S. has a troubled history, dating back to the Tuskegee Experiments nearly 83 years ago in which the U.S. Public Health Service allowed 399 black men with syphilis go without the benefit of penicillin therapy.
“This chapter in our history only partly explains why African Americans remain reluctant to participate in clinical trials,” states Thorne. “But there are cultural differences beyond this, such as how people of color utilize healthcare services, medications and even talk about health.”
Thorne’s MHMG is a full-service market research and marketing communications company with a team of seasoned, in-culture and in-language professionals with in-depth knowledge and experience in the public and private sectors of the healthcare industry. MHMG is committed to setting the gold standard of “best practices” in marketing health information to communities of color and to the healthcare professionals who treat them – focused on the business case of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.