Last week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted the White House Clinical Trials Forum to highlight progress and galvanize action to equitably accelerate biomedical innovation, with a focus on increasing clinical trial access and reducing barriers to participation. As part of this event, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Robert Califf announced draft guidance on the Diversity Action Plans to improve enrollment of participants from underrepresented groups in clinical trials.

The forum convened leaders from government, advocates, physicians, researchers, and the private sector to discuss the challenges and opportunities to expand clinical trial availability nationwide and increase diversity among participants. Arati Prabhakar, President Biden’s chief science advisor delivered a call to action for clinical trials to reach more communities to improve health outcomes. “The inequities within our society are simply unacceptable, so we’re at a moment where we have to stare this in the face,” she said. “It takes everyone if we are really going to change these outcomes, and the work on clinical trials is a fundamental piece of this.”

Two fireside chats featuring senior Biden-Harris administration leaders and advocates highlighted ongoing efforts to make clinical trials more accessible and equitable. The Director of the National Institutes of Health, Monica Bertagnolli, highlighted a new initiative, Communities Advancing Research Equity for Health, which aims to improve health outcomes by integrating research in primary care settings.

The forum concluded with working sessions aimed at generating new ideas, actions, and collaborations to improve health outcomes by building stronger and more diverse clinical trials in the United States. Topics included:

  • Strengthening the community engagement infrastructure to reach underrepresented populations
  • Accelerating clinical trial recruitment and evidence generation
  • Centering people in clinical trial design
  • Innovating new strategies for national clinical trials readiness


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