When done well, clinical trials can help answer research questions and provide access to cutting edge treatments. They establish standards of care and inform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug approval process. Once a treatment is FDA approved, it becomes eligible for insurance reimbursement and therefore is more accessible. Yet many new treatments are approved without sufficient numbers of women and people of color having taken part in clinical trials.
I’m pleased to be taking part in a webinar organized by Breast Cancer Action on this important topic.
- How important are clinical trials in understanding the harms and benefits of new treatments and devices for health conditions?
- Are clinical trials currently set up to ensure that women of color and the elderly are adequately represented?
- How is the FDA taking steps to ensure diversity in clinical trial participants for FDA approved drugs and biologics?
These are important questions that we’ll be talking about in the upcoming webinar, The Trials of Clinical Trials: The Importance of Including Everyone.
The panel will be moderated by Sahru Keiser, BCA’s Program Manager and will include Galen Joseph, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco.
All too often, clinical trial participants are overwhelmingly white and male. If not enough women and people of color are included in clinical trials, determining how diverse populations of people are affected by a new drug or device is impossible. Without all the information, women, particularly women of color, can’t make informed decisions about available treatments, devices and products.
During the webinar, I will talk about the FDA’s Action Plan to address this glaring shortcoming in clinical trials, as well as where the Action Plan is working and where there are still places for improvement. The webinar will provide opportunities for how and where you can add your voice to make a difference at the FDA.
Can’t make it at this time? No worries; register anyway, and Breast Cancer Action will send you a recording of the complete webinar so you can tune in whenever is convenient for you.
I hope you can join me on this webinar.
Cindy Pearson was the NWHN’s Executive Director from 1996 to 2021. One of the nation’s leading advocates for women’s health, Cindy often testified before Congress, NIH and the FDA and was frequently featured in the news as a consumer expert on women’s health issues. When she retired, Cindy received a Congressional Resolution in honor of her outstanding contributions to the health of women and girls.