Dedicated Sites, Private Practices Outdoing AMCs on Diversity Front
Dedicated research sites and private practices are doing a significantly better job of enrolling diverse patient populations in industry-sponsored trials compared to academic medical centers (AMC) and community hospitals.
Research sites and private practices reported that less than half of the patients they enrolled (41.8 percent) were White, while AMC and community hospital trials reported 73.9 percent White enrollment, according to a new survey from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).
The most visible difference in diversity between the AMCs/community hospitals and dedicated sites/private practices was found in the percentage of Black patients they enrolled in industry-sponsored clinical trials. Questioning 944 AMCs and community hospitals, CSDD found that their patient populations were just 6.6 percent Black. Remarkably, the 822 private-sector sites surveyed had recruited nearly five times more, enrolling 31.8 percent, according to the report released last week.
A lesser degree of disparity was seen in the percentage of Latinx patients enrolled, with private-sector sites outdoing AMCs/community hospitals 17.3 percent to 10.4 percent. Little difference was seen in the enrollment percentages for other races (e.g., Native Americans and Pacific Islanders), which made up 2.3 percent of AMC/community hospital trials’ enrollment and 2.5 percent of those in trials conducted by dedicated sites and private practices. For Asians, AMCs and community hospitals enrolled 7.7 percent compared to 5.8 percent enrolled at dedicated sites and private practices.
The new CSDD report shows a strong link between diversity of site staff and diversity of patients enrolled. Globally, as the diversity of personnel increases at sites, the corresponding race or ethnicity of patients enrolled also rises, with the exception of Asian patients, who may be enrolled in sites that have a disproportionately higher rate of Asian staff, CSDD found.
Oncology and dermatology in particular lack Black site personnel, with both barely hitting above 5 percent. Whites accounted for more than half of site staff in both therapeutic areas — 62.9 percent for oncology and 59.6 percent for dermatology. In fact, all the fields evaluated, including infectious diseases, central nervous system, vaccines, endocrinology and cardiology, had more than 50 percent White staff, with some nearing 60 percent.
After questioning 1,036 global investigative sites, CSDD concluded that U.S. private-sector sites were more accomplished at hiring diverse staff. The staff of these dedicated sites and private practices were 56 percent White, 22 percent Black, 11 percent Latinx, 8 percent Asian and 5 percent other races/ethnicities. AMC/community hospital site staff, on the other hand, were more than two-thirds (68 percent) White, 11 percent Black, 10 percent Latinx, 7 percent Asian and 6 percent other.
The U.S. is far surpassing Europe when it comes to workforce diversity, the report showed, with European AMCs/community hospitals and private-sector sites comprised of 92 percent and 93 percent White staff, respectively.
Access the Tufts CSDD Impact Report here: https://bit.ly/3F6tTXz.