It is well known that patients in clinical trials are healthier, wealthier, and more often white than patients in the real world, which makes it challenging to extrapolate the results of a clinical trial to the broader patient population being treated.

Real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence make it possible to show how treatments are actually working in these underrepresented populations. Through the use of RWD, researchers are able to understand how these therapies are applied in patient care, and evaluate their performance in populations that may not have been represented in the initial trials.

“Where real-world data is very helpful is understanding whether treatments that are approved actually work in the way they’re supposed to, especially in groups of patients underrepresented in clinical trials,” said Dr. C.K. Wang. 

COTA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. C.K. Wang spoke with BioCentury to help further the conversation around the role of RWD in increasing racial diversity in clinical research. Dr. Wang highlighted important points including RWD and its ability to help identify the bias in healthcare through data analysis. 

Additionally, C.K. noted the decentralization of clinical trials would aid in improving participation, and also allow for the inclusion of a broader group of patients. 

“I do believe the decentralized component or approach to clinical trial accrual will help improve clinical trial participation,” said Dr. C.K. Wang. 

However, he did call attention to barriers of adopting decentralized trials, including quality and consistency of data. While there are certainly changes to be made, he stands firm that they must be implemented in a way that does not create any additional disparities. 

Read more about the ways real-world data can combat racial disparities in clinical research and the decentralization of clinical trials in BioCentury.