Liaison(s): Tiffany Epps
Pfizer, Inc. is one of the largest global pharmaceutical
companies in the world. The company was founded
in 1849 in New York City, New York, and it is still
headquartered there. Pfizer employs 78,300 people
around the world, and it currently earns revenues of
$48.85 billion in 2015 and $11.05 billion in operating
income from recurring activities. Pfizer’s therapeutics
cover a wide range of areas, including immunology,
oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, and neurology.
Racial diversity in clinical trials has been an industry-
wide problem for many years. On average, 37,000
clinical trials are started in the US and abroad. Of
these, less than 5% of trial participants are non-white.
Clinical diversity ensures that the safety and efficacy
of potential new drugs takes into account the entire
population of patients that will use them. Accordingly,
one of Pfizer’s goals is to address racial diversity in
clinical trials directly and aggressively. Pfizer’s Clinical
Diversity Work stream has partnered with Keck
Graduate Institute to assist them in this endeavor. The
goal is to educate medical centers on how to increase
the representation of underrepresented minorities in the
clinical trials they are conducting.
Pfizer TMP Team 2 identified over 1,000 minority-
serving organizations. These organizations received
literature to educate them on clinical research and
the importance of their participation in trial diversity.
Next, the team assisted three Pfizer clinical study
teams in their efforts to increase the recruitment of
racially diverse patients into their studies. The team
engaged with specific clinical sites to assess their
enrollment barriers. Based on that information,
research was conducted on the major minority
groups within each site’s geographic location. This
enabled the identification of organizations that cater
to each specific group. Lastly, the work culminated
in the creation of an electronic Toolkit that can be
used by clinical sites to assist in increasing ethnically
diverse patients in clinical studies. The Toolkit
includes: general information on clinical research;
the importance of racial diversity in clinical research;
information on effective recruitment and retention
tactics; and an extensive database of minority-serving
organizations. The toolkit also highlights strategies that
are most effective, as well as ones that are less effective.
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