ACRO Issues Key Tenets for DE&I in Clinical Research
Members of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) have developed and published four core principles that they believe are critical to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in clinical trials.
The four principles, developed by the group’s diversity and inclusion committee, are:
- Improving health equity through access to trials;
- Empowering research partners (patients, sites and healthcare professionals);
- Partnering with stakeholders and policymakers; and
- Driving workforce diversity, equity and inclusion.
To improve trial access, ACRO believes there should be efforts to increase awareness and opportunities for trial participation among diverse populations, as well as reduced burdens of participation for these diverse groups by way of innovative methodologies, decentralized trial approaches and digital technologies.
To empower patients, sites and healthcare professionals, there should be educational and engagement efforts throughout clinical development, use of data to better characterize patient populations, diversity training and materials for sites, and use of data to identify investigators who have access to diverse populations.
There should also be collaboration with policymakers and regulatory agencies internationally to push for diversity- and inclusion-focused policies for trials, ACRO says, in addition to taking a “patient-centric mindset” toward policy recommendations by working with patient and minority advocacy groups.
Workforce diversity focuses on programs that encourage diverse employee retention, recruitment and development. Additionally, relationships should be built with minority healthcare associations and other groups to get new generations involved in clinical trials, ACRO says.