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Mapping the Journey: Building a Mutual Understanding for Health Equity in Clinical Research

If the objective of biomedical research is to spur innovation to create healthier communities, extend life, and more effectively treat or cure disease, then persistent inequities run counter to that goal and create unnecessary barriers to health and wellness. The clinical research system must engage diverse populations to make medical advances available and relevant across populations. Many of these inequities stem from a history of abuse in biomedical and clinical research, particularly against minority underrepresented or vulnerable groups such as people of color, children, and LGBTQIA+ populations. 

Important safeguards have been implemented to protect research participants such as the National Research Act and the Belmont Report, but there remains a need for equitable participation and benefit for diverse populations in clinical research. This report provides a tool for stakeholders involved in clinical research to establish a common language and basis for exchange and understand the differences among different types of trial sites. It also details practical recommendations for achieving health equity at different types of trial sites and a visual illustration of how a patient might experience a typical clinical trial. FasterCures’ aim with this tool and our ongoing work to achieve health equity is to promote a more accessible, equitable research enterprise and drive meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement.