Sandra C. Raymond, President & CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, issued the following statement in response to Eli Lilly and Company’s announcement of the results of two Phase III clinical trials of tabalumab.
New Grant to Increase Minority Participation in Lupus Clinical Trials
Today, we are formally announcing a new year-long grant through the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health (OMH). The grant proposal, entitled Improving Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (IMPACT) for Lupus, aims to create a national model to increase minority participation and retention in lupus clinical trials.
We are thrilled that the OMH has recognized the important work we do, and the influence and impact we have on the lupus community at large. This funding will allow us to encourage clinical trial participation among those who are disproportionately impacted by this devastating disease and often lack access to quality healthcare.
This program addresses an area of great importance to us all. The Lupus Foundation of America will lead the effort in close cooperation with a small group of lupus key opinion leaders, people with lupus, experts in minority clinical research participation as well as the biopharma industry to adapt the best available model for minority clinical trial participation. The project kicked off on July 1, 2016 and goes through June 30, 2017.
Participation in lupus clinical trials is key to advancing research. We are pushing for a smarter approach to research that improves how new drugs are tested and evaluated to get more targeted and safer treatments to people with lupus faster. This effort will help ensure new treatments are discovered that will be effective for all individuals affected by lupus.
One of our key goals is to ensure people with lupus have access to the care and treatments they need. Recently, access to a few vital treatments has been challenging to obtain, specifically access to quinacrine, hydroxychloroquine, and Benlysta®.