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Over the past few years, the biopharmaceutical industry has revved up efforts to diversify clinical trials. But clinical trials for rare diseases are still too often homogeneous. Rare disease experts at the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit on Tuesday had words of warning for biopharma: Don’t let equity efforts peter out.

Pharmaceutical companies can’t keep developing trials for rare disease treatments without solving for equity, said Tamar Thompson, head of corporate affairs at Alexion, AstraZeneca’s rare disease division. “We need to put this as a challenge to the CEOs and think about the environmental, social, and governance aspects of this as well.”


When asked by STAT’s Nicholas St. Fleur how to ensure the momentum around equity doesn’t fizzle out, panelists agreed that CEOs had to back up their talk with actions inside and outside the company.

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