This post was originally published on Defender Network

By  Laura Onyeneho

Black people have historically been underrepresented in clinical trial participation in the United States, and researchers and medical professionals are looking for solutions to the problem.

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISPCRP), hosted its Journey to Better Health-Aware For All event at Houston Community College to address challenges through a panel discussion and exhibits that provided information and resources on clinical trials and research.

Clinical trials for the most part involve the voluntary participation of individuals to evaluate medical products such as vaccines, medication or devices for safety and effectiveness.

The crucial part of the process is to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds participate to advance health equity and reduce health disparities. The event featured local clinical trial participants, healthcare professionals and exhibiting organizations that offered free onsite health screenings.

“The goal of this event is to create awareness and educate people about clinical trials and how the community can be involved,” said Bridget Chapital, founder and director of Hypothesis Haven. “Underrepresented groups like the Black community simply don’t trust these trials due to historical references like the Tuskegee Experiment, and the withholding of treatments, but things are much different now.”

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