Our region is extremely important for the development of medical devices, medications, treatments, or vaccines that are as safe and effective as possible. Innovations in health care are typically a result of extensive clinical research and clinical trials. Clinical research and clinical trials provide data to researchers on how respective medical innovation may be used safely and effectively in clinical practice. The innovations must be thoroughly tested in humans in studies called clinical trials to determine how various ages, genders, body types, ethnicities, races, geographic locations, among others respond to the tested innovation. For example, a medication to regulate insulin levels in diabetics may require different dosages depending on the patient’s race or ethnicity.
Historically, many clinical trials were based on predominantly white males, which presented a problem when using medications or treatments for other genders, ages, and ethnic groups. We must note that within race demographics, white includes Hispanics. This does not mean Hispanics or Native Americans have been well represented in clinical trials. In 1993, the National Institutes of Health recognized the importance of diversity in clinical trials and began to mandate federal grants for research must include women and minorities. Since then, the NIH has provided increased transparency in the drug development process and providing demographic information on drug study participants.
The Paso del Norte region boasts a diverse human ecosystem. We have a community representing both American continents that can provide an excellent opportunity to improve medical device, medication, treatment, and vaccination efficacies. Improving the efficacy of these health innovations is critical to ensuring our neighbors in the region are well represented as medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies develop new interventions for our health care system to employ. Therefore, the Medical Center of the Americas with Bristol Myers Squibb is leading an effort to expand access to clinical research and clinical trials in the region. As of today, many innovative treatments are not available in the local area. Patients must travel to other regions to receive clinical trials. Our efforts aim to reduce the burden and disparities in our patients receiving access to clinical trials. Furthermore, these efforts will begin to attract medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies to expand their operations into our region, bringing additional capabilities and high-wage jobs.
You can support these efforts by asking your health care providers to become a part of our clinical research and clinical trial network and be a catalyst for change in our region. You can also learn more about a career in clinical research through our Clinical Trial Academy. More information can be found at the link below. Your decision could be one that saves lives.