health disparities

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Clinical trials help medical professionals find out how effective new treatments are – but as Dr. Kevin Sneed, the dean of the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy points out, they’re not a “one size fits all” proposition.

"Very often, when we think about how are we going to effectively treat somebody, whether it be cancer, cardiovascular disease, or anything neurodegenerative in nature, when we do the clinical research to gather the evidence, if you don’t have enough people from enough varied backgrounds; we can’t automatically transfer knowledge gained in one part of the population onto another part of the population," Sneed said.

But minority populations – specifically the African American and Hispanic and Latino communities – don’t take part in clinical trials at a level that would give researchers the data they need.