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Issues of fairness and justice echo across the health ecosystem, including drug development. Much of the conversation on improving equity in the development of novel therapeutics centers on increasing diversity in clinical trials. A key step in that direction begins with ensuring more equitable representation among clinical investigators.

Engaging, recruiting, and retaining a diverse set of participants for clinical trials is critically important, as drugs can have different effects on people depending on their race and ethnicity. But trials have historically included mostly relatively affluent white participants, with participants from Black, Hispanic, and other groups largely missing from this research.

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What’s needed is fostering a new generation of investigators who represent the racial, ethnic, geographic, gender, and economic diversity of the United States. The individuals guiding research — and those engaging directly with participants at clinical trial sites — must themselves be diverse in order to attract more diverse participation, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

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