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Lori Abrams, BMS on Diversity in Clinical Trials

  • November 18, 2015

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    Lori Abrams speaking at Dpharm: Disrupting Clinical Trials 2015

    The purpose of medicines is to improve patients’ lives. Despite the increasing number and scope of patient involvement initiatives there are still challenges, such as diversity in clinical trials, that need to be addressed.

    Lori Abrams, Director of Patient Advocacy for Bristol Myers-Squibb shares her thoughts on the challenges with diversity in clinical trials and how to address those issues. Abrams will also be leading an in depth panel discussion on the topic at the 2nd Annual Patients as Partners program where she will be joined by the FDA, Novartis, Sanofi and the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

    Q: Why is diversity in clinical trials still a challenge today?
    A: Clinical trial populations are often not reflective of the target population who will use the medicine. Other challenges include:

    • Drug safety and efficacy can vary across demographic sub-groups
    • Minorities have historically been under represented in clinical trial populations
    • Addressing the lack of diversity in clinical trial populations is an on-going challenge for sponsors
    • Access to novel treatments through involvement in clinical trials not available to many

    Q: What will you be sharing at the 3rd Annual Patients as Partners conference regarding diversity and clinical trials?
    A: I will be talking about relationships, collaboration, creative thinking and empathy as the key in developing and executing a strategic plan along with what is working well and what is not.

    Q: What do you hope attendees will walk away with after participating in your session?
    A: I hope they will continue the dialogue, have an increased awareness of the need for representative clinical trials, and identify and adopt practices known to improve the recruitment and retention of racially and ethnically diverse populations.

    For more information about the 3rd Annual Patients as Partners conference visit:

    *Patients as Partners is a accredited event.