(Image courtesy BlackHealthMatters.com)

By BlackHealthMatters.com

African Americans are significantly underrepresented in clinical research in the United States. Because of this underrepresentation, we don’t know if many of today’s medicines are equally safe and effective for us.

African Americans represent 13.4 percent of the population, yet the FDA reports that only 5 percent have participated in a clinical trial. There are many factors for this, which include limited access to health care and cultural suspicions of the medical establishment. A major reason African Americans don’t take part in clinical trials is because they don’t know about them or understand about the possibility of clinical trial participation.

Increasing diversity in clinical research will ultimately improve relevance of discoveries and health equity. This is where Bristol Myers Squibb, an international biopharmaceutical company, excels. BMS has initiated breast cancer clinical trials. What’s more, through 

BMSStudyConnect.com, an online resource that allows patients to familiarize themselves with the clinical trial process in the privacy of their own home, the company has established an ideal way for patients to learn more about clinical research.

For more information about clinical trials, visit BMSstudyConnect.com