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FDA Addressing Racial Disparity In Patients Enrolled In Clinical Trials

Earlier this year, some were outraged when there were no women and few minorities among the 13 senators working on the Senate’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

It turns out, equal representation in health care issues also extends to the health care trials and studies that determine what treatments are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

What does this disparity look like exactly?

Minorities account for less than 10 percent of patients enrolled in clinical trials, according to the National Institutes of Health. And Hispanics account for just 8 percent of enrollees in health studies, even though they comprise 17 percent of the population.

So the FDA is trying to do something about this. I spoke with Dr. Martin Mendoza, director of Extramural Research in the Office of Minority Health at the FDA more about this and why this disparity exists.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.