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  • Writer's pictureFutureMeds

FutureMeds Birmingham: Pioneering Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Trials in the UK

Updated: May 31, 2023

FutureMeds Birmingham has launched the Breaking Barriers, Increasing Inclusion initiative, aimed at reducing barriers to clinical research and increasing inclusion and participation, particularly for ethnic minority patients.

A recent analysis by Phesi revealed that between 2007 and 2022, only 26% of clinical trials with UK participation reported on racial and/or ethnic data. Of the 26% of UK-recruiting trials that did report on ethnicity, 49% of these reported no Asian participation, and 43% reported no black participation.

To address this disparity, increase the representation of ethnic minorities in clinical trials, and support Sponsors reaching diverse patient populations, FutureMeds Birmingham has implemented a long-term relationship and trust-building Breaking Barriers, Increasing Inclusion initiative in Handsworth, an area with an ethnic minority population of approximately 80%.

​​"At FutureMeds, we are committed to the pursuit of better healthcare outcomes for all, and my vision for the Birmingham clinic is to be a catalyst for change and a beacon of hope for patients and clients alike."

- Dr Khaled Ahmed, Site Director FutureMeds Birmingham

Through our various strategies, the Breaking Barriers, Increasing Inclusion initiative aims to reduce the barriers to clinical research and thereby increase the inclusion and participation of ethnic minority patients in clinical trials.

At FutureMeds Birmingham, our team aims to reduce the barriers to clinical research and thereby increase inclusion.

The crux of overcoming recruitment and retention challenges of ethnic minority patients

Recruitment and retention of ethnic minority patients in clinical trials have been historically difficult due to a lack of awareness and trust. Certain unethical past practices have further fueled mistrust and misconceptions about clinical research and created a chasm between available therapies and diverse patient populations. If the industry wants to overcome these deep-seated problems, we need to look at and address patient experience and patient beliefs first.

“At FutureMeds, we recognise that establishing trust within the community is an integral part of achieving diversity in patient recruitment and retention within clinical research trials. Through our multiple and repeated engagements, we aim to establish this trust and start to reverse the longstanding common misconceptions held by patients regarding clinical research.”

- Dr Tehmina Ahmed, Sub-Investigator at FutureMeds Birmingham

FutureMeds Birmingham aims to overcome these diversity-related challenges through a series of community events that build trust, address patients' concerns, and raise awareness of clinical research. In this sense, these community events serve as platforms for developing long-term relationships with patient populations.

By repeatedly engaging with patients, our team can ultimately

  • Dispel common misconceptions about clinical research

  • Reduce barriers to clinical research, and

  • Promote health equity by ensuring access to the latest therapies for all patients.

“While clinical research may not be suitable for everyone, the events provide valuable opportunities for patients and volunteers to receive general counsel and guidance to appropriate services, resulting in improved patient outcomes.”

- Dr Tehmina Ahmed, Sub-Investigator at FutureMeds Birmingham

Community Collaboration Plan

By fostering trust, raising awareness, and engaging with patients, healthcare professionals, and the broader community at FutureMeds Birmingham, we aim to pave the way for more equitable and representative clinical research that benefits all patients.

The internationally renowned Diabetes Ambassador Tony Kelly collaborating with the team at FutureMeds Birmingham.

The community collaboration plan of Breaking Barriers, Increasing Inclusion includes increasing FutureMeds' presence within the community by utilising various platforms, such as social media, and collaborating with patient groups and ambassadors to plan and run events.

Our team is also focusing on engaging with more NHS clinicians to create an efficient and robust pathway for patients and professionals to connect with FutureMeds. Whilst easing the burden on the NHS, this closer collaboration effort can lead to improved patient engagement with their own healthcare provider and result in improved patient outcomes overall.

About FutureMeds

FutureMeds is a fast-growing independent Dedicated Research Site Network supporting pharmaceutical companies, Sponsors and CROs and contributing to research to find effective treatments and medications for all patients who need them.

FutureMeds’ Dedicated Research Site teams strive to accelerate study timelines, streamline processes, lower costs and improve data quality to help accelerate patient access to new treatments.

Through acquisitions and a strategic focus on patient experience, FutureMeds has developed qualified patient pools across Europe that enables faster patient enrollment and strong retention and help generate more accurate results.

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