January 23, 2018

WOMEN’S BRAIN HEALTH SERIES: Diverse Women in Clinical Trials—We Can Make a Difference

Marsha Henderson photoToday we wrap up our Disruptive Women WOMEN’S BRAIN HEALTH SERIES with a post by FDA’s Marsha Henderson. 

Clinical research will play an important role in helping to advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in women. During my 20+ year career at the FDA Office of Women’s Health, I have seen improvements in women’s overall participation in clinical trials and advancements in clinical research design and recruitment. However, I know that despite this progress our work is not done. Many women are still uninformed about clinical trials or they simply haven’t been asked to participate.

My office launched the Diverse Women in Clinical Trials Initiative to help change this reality.

Our initiative strives to promote the participation of diverse populations of women in clinical research by conducting outreach and awareness activities across the country and by supporting workshops to share best practices with researchers and health professionals. We are bringing together a community of everyday women, health professionals, caregivers, researchers and advocates who are raising their voices to encourage women to participate in clinical trials.

Deciding to participate in a clinical trial is a decision that women must make after talking it over with their health care provider and family. As with all medical treatments, you have to consider the risks and benefits of participating. I know firsthand. I made the decision to participate in a clinical trial following surgery for glaucoma. I decided to participate because it might help other people who may need the same surgery in the future. In fact, many women participate in trials because they want to help others.

I hope that you will help play a part in encouraging women of all ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds to participate in clinical research. You can help by considering a trial or registry for yourself or educating the women in your community about clinical trials. The slogan for the FDA Diverse Women in Clinical Trials Initiative is “Make a Difference… for yourself and for women like you”. I believe that you can make a difference in helping to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and achieving greater diversity in clinical research.

Visit www.fda.gov/womeninclinicaltrials to learn more about joining a clinical trial and to get resources to help spread the word.

(c) Disruptive Women in Health Care – Read entire story here.