Why do we need more diversity in Clinical Trials?

Article By Aleena Maryal IN Clinical Trials - 16th March, 2022

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From what we know so far, there’s been a large number of Clinical Trials conducted for US participants and other large developed countries. We have to remember that there are 7.8 billion people in the world with more than 195 countries, with each having its unique people and culture. As clinical trials start to diversify, we can get more insights for different research, compare more information and find ways to solve a variety of problems in the health care system.

Africa has been one of the continents that have been lacking in Clinical Trials. Yes, there has been Clinical Trials done here but not as many as in the western regions. A lot of people’s ideology about Africa is more negative. They think Africa has not much to offer but this can’t be far from true. Africa has advanced so much in terms of technology, economy and etc. In the field of Clinical Trials, there are great opportunities here that can help to advance research. Here are some reasons why Africa, in particular, should be included more in Clinical Trials:

  1. A large and diverse population 
    • With the population having a rich background, different from western regions, it can help to give fruitful results for many research and studies. The researchers can face new challenges and learnings as they come across a group of new participants.
  2. A wide spectrum of diseases 
    • As Africa is the biggest continent in the world, it comes with a wide range of diseases and sicknesses that might be different compared to other regions.
  3. Underrepresented in cancer research 
    • As we have more participants from Africa in clinical trials, it provides more innovation and therapies for cancer research. You never know, we might even figure out the cure for it
  4. More advancement in economic development 
    • As we see more development of economic advances in different parts of Africa, we realize that they have the resources needed for conducting clinical trials. This might not apply to all of the areas, but for the majority, it could be valid.
  5. Give more access to health care options 
    • If there are more clinical trials performed, there will be more treatments available for the people of Africa.

There has been a number of companies that are starting to bring in more clinical trials in Africa. A couple of these include Infiuss, IQVIA, FARMOVS, and Parexel. This will slowly bring in more representation of the African participants.

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