“Representation Matters” and “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)” are commonly used phrases across healthcare today, but exactly how industry stakeholders should respond to increased calls for diversity and equity is still unclear to many industry leaders. While it may appear obvious that the implications of DEI are especially critical within drug development and clinical trials, many organizations have struggled to mobilize their organizations to take tangible steps to reach their related DEI aims. Ultimately, to recommend a treatment to patients, physicians must have reassurance that the drug has been tested on a representative set of people with successful outcomes.
In this insight, we will cover how to integrate DEI within key steps of the clinical trials process to facilitate better outcomes for both patients and pharmaceutical companies alike. Although meaningful progress will require significant investment from pharmaceutical companies in the areas discussed, there is equally significant upside in prioritizing DEI initiatives.
Specifically, pharmaceutical companies who prioritize DEI in product development can expect:
- To reach more patients and providers overall
- To develop differentiated, innovative therapies
- To promote greater health equity in underrepresented patient communities
- To improve collaboration with key stakeholders interested in improving therapies and their efficacy (e.g., academic medical institutions, Principal Investigators (PIs), technology vendors, regulatory bodies)
- To establish eminence and improved reputation across the industry
The business driver of investing in DEI in clinical research is clear: Pharmaceutical companies who choose not to build DEI into their business strategy are missing out on an opportunity to expand the reach of life-changing therapies while isolating large populations of potential consumers.
Good science, and good business, are inherently inclusive.
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