IPG Health announced Wednesday afternoon that it is launching a clinical trial diversity offering that takes a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure equitable representation. 

The health marketing network said the offering is an extension of its EDI+You strategy, which includes the Inclusion Intelligence Quotient (inQ) proprietary integrated strategic framework designed to ensure inclusive experiences and solutions across more than 45 agencies.

This offering will emphasize equality among several different aspects of diversity, including race, gender, age and other intersectional groups throughout the clinical trial process.

IPG Health CEO Dana Maiman said in a statement that the network is “relentlessly focused” on prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion for its clients and brands.

“This important offering is just another way that we continue to hold ourselves accountable for advancing health equity and being trusted  partners to our clients,” IPG Health CEO Dana Maiman said in a statement. “This clinical trial diversity offering is a pivotal move in helping clients unlock new opportunities and address significant unmet needs in underserved populations, and ultimately, helping to accelerate equity in healthcare.” 

Underrepresentation in clinical trials has been an ongoing issue plaguing the pharma industry for years and has only been subject to increasing scrutiny in light of the racial health disparities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sommer Bazuro, IPG Health’s chief medical officer, echoed the sentiment and highlighted statistics indicating various communities and patient populations are frequently underrepresented in clinical trials.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes treatments, Bazuro noted that 4% of participants are Black while Black Americans are more likely to experience diabetes complications than their white counterparts.

Similarly, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that Black patients only account for 5% of clinical trial participants.

Additionally, less than 1% of participants are Native American, though Bazuro said that population is far more likely to experience diseases like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease or liver cancer than white patients.

“And that’s just looking at disparities along racial lines for only two groups,” Bazuro stated. “Excluding any population from clinical trials means  sidelining millions of people for new treatments that could improve their health outcomes and  potentially save their lives.” 

In addition to its clinical trial diversity offering and established EDI+You strategy, IPG has supported The Trial for #ClinicalEquality campaign for more than three years to spark change and action among key healthcare stakeholders.