Kaiser Health News, July 19, 2017
Paula Andalo


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[...] Cabrera is one of a relatively small number of Hispanics who participate in clinical trials. “Only less than 8 percent of enrollees are Hispanic, even though Hispanics comprise 17 percent of the population,” said Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, director of NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

That means not only do Hispanics have less access to experimental cutting-edge treatments but researchers have less data on how a drug works in that population. Studies have shown that different ethnic groups might respond differently to treatments. The lack of patients from minority groups is an endemic problem in clinical trials; minorities typically are represented at a very low rate.

“Studies should represent the demographics of the country,” said Dr. Jonca Bull, an assistant commissioner on minority health at the Food and Drug Administration. “We need to close that gap so we can better understand how a particular drug or therapy works in different communities.” [...]

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