Abbott launches new initiative to foster diversity in medical research and improve care among under-represented populations

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Proposed by Abbott

  • Abbott tackles major health equity challenge with increased focus on removing barriers to participation in clinical trials for under-represented groups
  • The company has committed $ 5 million to nearly 300 new scholarships over the next five years at historically black college and university (HBCU) medical schools and minority nursing associations to support future generations of various researchers. clinics.
  • The company also formed a new medical advisory board on diversity in research and dedicated funding to increase the enrollment of diversity in Abbott’s trials.
  • Latest initiative is another step in supporting the work the company and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, are doing to reduce health disparities around the world

Abbott

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Nov. 3, 2021 / CSRwire / – Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced the launch of a new initiative designed to help create a more inclusive clinical trials ecosystem through new approaches to training, education and improvement of clinical research infrastructure in the United States This effort builds on Abbott’s commitment to engage populations that have historically been under-represented in medical research and will improve the health by increasing access to innovative treatment options available in the trial process and increasing knowledge about how different groups respond to new therapies.

People of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds make up nearly 40% of the US population and are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Yet, due to historical and societal barriers, these groups are still severely under-represented in clinical trials – sometimes accounting for only 5% of trial registrations. This gap exacerbates existing health equity challenges and limits options for patients with complex health issues.

Abbott’s new initiative is focused on reducing barriers to access and the company’s focus over the past few years on improving diversity within its own clinical trials. The initiative also supports Abbott’s 2030 Sustainability Plan focused on innovating for access and affordability, addressing health disparities and removing barriers to support its goal of helping people. to live a fuller and healthier life.

Abbott’s new initiative includes:

  1. Funding and scholarships for future trial leaders
    Through new partnerships with the four HBCU medical schools, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine, alongside the National Black Nurses Association and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Abbott has committed $ 5 million to fund nearly 300 scholarships over the next five years to support the next generation of nurses, physicians and researchers from diverse ethnic backgrounds who will lead and will support future clinical trials. Increasing the diversity of physicians and nurses in the clinical trials landscape will also help build confidence in clinical research in various communities across the United States.
  2. Medical Advisory Council on Diversity in Research
    Comprised of leading physicians, experimenters and health advocates, Abbott’s new Medical Advisory Board (MAB) on Diversity in Research will advise on methods to reduce barriers to access within under-represented populations and communities of color and will provide feedback on how Abbott can continue to foster diversity recruiting in selected corporate clinical trials.
  3. Dedicated internal funding to improve access to Abbott trials
    Abbott will dedicate internal funding to improve access for women and under-represented communities in Abbott’s trials. This funding will support additional trial sites for certain Abbott trials, new investigator training opportunities, and trial components to remove barriers to participation such as travel vouchers and interpreters where applicable.
  4. Mobilize industry for change
    Abbott will bring together patient advocates, industry experts, investigators and a diverse set of thought-leader physicians to develop and publish an open source perspective to highlight key lessons regarding increasing diversity in clinical trials in the health technology sector.

“The best health care product is one that helps the most people, delivers the greatest benefit. As an industry, we need to set new standards to ensure that our clinical trials remain representative of the people our products are designed to help. Said Robert B. Ford, President and CEO, Abbott. “We want to continue to remove existing and emerging barriers to participation in clinical trials so that we can help more people have better access to therapies that have the potential to change lives. “

Clinical research: the foundation for future innovations

Clinical trials are the most effective way to understand the impact of new medical devices, diagnostic tests, drugs and therapies on the health of human patients. They also represent opportunities to potentially treat patients with complex conditions that have not responded to traditional therapies.

Improving the representation of diverse populations in clinical trials is key to reducing health disparities and better understanding the impact of the next generation of healthcare therapies on all populations. Yet, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as well as women, remain under-represented in clinical trials.

In many communities, several barriers to access have historically disrupted recruitment into clinical trials, including lack of access to trial sites, lack of clarity around the trial process, lack of confidence and language barriers between patients and their doctor. Additionally, a shortage of diverse investigators leading trial sites – along with too few research nurses and research coordinators representing diverse communities – compounds the challenge of increasing enrollment in clinical studies. .

“It cannot be overstated how important it is for people who are considering participating in a clinical trial to have a doctor or nurse who looks like them, who speaks their language and who understands their needs and those of their community,” he said. stated Melvin Echols, MD, FACC. , cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine and member of Abbott’s new Diversity in Research Medical Advisory Board. “Abbott’s ability to build on his experience supporting trials in communities of color and develop a platform to expand access to cutting-edge therapies can truly change the continuum of care for a greater number of patients. “

Innovate for better access and better health equity

Abbott’s work to foster diversity in medical research is an example of the company’s innovation for better access and affordability in health, the key priority of Abbott’s 2030 Sustainability Plan. An important part of this work is advancing health equity, working side-by-side with the communities the company serves to address health disparities and remove barriers that prevent people from leading healthy lives. .

To achieve results, Abbott has set long-term goals for the company and made expanding access to care a key tenet of community partnerships. This includes the pioneering Future Well Communities program to remove social barriers to better diabetes care, anchor sponsorships from the Health Equity Now initiative of the American Diabetes Association and the Black Child Fund of Easterseas, as well as local initiatives in Chicago and Austin to fight hypertension with the American Heart Association; and new community partnerships in Minneapolis and Chicago. The company also recently announced a three-year partnership as a global partner of the Real Madrid Foundation to provide health and nutrition education as well as the identification and prevention of malnutrition for the world’s at-risk children. whole.

To learn more about Abbott’s new initiative on diversity in clinical trials, visit inclusiveresearch.abbott

About Abbott:

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the healthcare spectrum, with leading companies and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritional products and branded generics. Our 109,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

Connect with us at www.abbott.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/abbott-/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Abbott and on Twitter @AbbottNews.

For further information: Abbott Media: Justin Paquette, (651) 756-6293; Alicia Swanson (408) 845-342

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About Abbott and the Abbott Fund

The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott in 1951. The mission of the Abbott Fund is to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to health care and strengthen communities in the whole world. For more information, visit www.abbottfund.org.

Abbott is a global healthcare company dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of pharmaceutical and medical products, including nutritional products, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott press releases and other information are available on the company’s website at www.abbott.com.

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