Sep 20, 2018

The importance of diversity in clinical trials

Clinical trials don’t enroll enough black participants, even when they’re testing drugs for treatments that disproportionately affect African-Americans, according to a ProPublica analysis.

Why it matters: It’s not entirely clear why some diseases affect different populations differently, but those differences are an important part of understanding whether a particular treatment is safe and effective — exactly what clinical trials are supposed to test.

By the numbers: In most of the trials ProPublica surveyed, fewer than 5% of participants were black — compared with more than 13% of the U.S. population.

  • The results weren’t much better even for treatments that could disproportionately benefit black people, such as multiple myeloma and prostate cancer. These are more prevalent among African-Americans, yet black enrollment in trials for those drugs still often sat around 2% or 3%.

Go deeper: NIH launches massive program to diversify medical research.

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This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World