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Office of Minority Health

Facilitating and promoting minority enrollment in lupus clinical trials

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is a federal agency dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of policies and programs that will help eliminate racial health disparities.  

Studies conducted by the National Lupus Patient Registry and others have repeatedly found that within lupus, significant health disparities do exist. Notably:

  • Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus than white women.
  • Minority women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experience more serious complications, and have higher mortality rates – up to three times the rate of white women.
  • Minority populations are disproportionately affected by lupus yet historically underrepresented in clinical trials.

Recognizing this, the Office of Minority Health in 2009 launched the National Lupus Training, Outreach, and Clinical Trial Education Program (Lupus Program). The Lupus Program aims to eliminate health disparities, improve health outcomes, and encourage participation in clinical trials among minority populations affected by the disease.

To date, our advocacy has secured $16.6 million for the Lupus Program at OMH.

Prior to 2009, the Foundation for years had advocated for a federal agency to look into the impacts of lupus on minority populations. And since 2009, we have annually urged Congress to support funding for OMH and their Lupus Program. We will continue to work closely with the Office of Minority Health to eliminate health disparities and support minority enrollment in clinical trials.

How our advocacy supports the Office of Minority Health

Funding for the Lupus Program at the Office of Minority Health must be appropriated by Congress each year. Budgets are tight, and it’s important that we have advocates willing to reach out to their Members of Congress and tell them about the importance of this program to people living with lupus and their loved ones.

Sign up to become an advocate and we’ll let you know when your outreach can make an impact.

If you’re living with lupus, tell us your story! Your story will allow us to put stories to the data, and continue to build the case among Congress that more must be done to understand the disease and accelerate the search for new treatments.