FLORENCE, Ky., July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Clinical trials are the main way patients may voluntarily participate in the drug development process to possibly find new treatments for cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer's disease. The nation's seconds-in-command are letting people know clinical trial participation is available and needed.
"A key to successful clinical trials is a diverse and robust volunteer participation—it's important that all communities are represented in clinical trials," said Connecticut Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.
"Despite comprising 12% of the U.S. population, African Americans are only 5% of clinical trial participants. Hispanics represent 16% of the U.S. population, but only 1% of clinical trial participants," said South Dakota Lt. Governor Matt Michels. "To bring greater awareness to both clinical trials and underrepresented participants, my peers and I are bringing the "Be the Cure" program to the states."
"Historically, racial and ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in all types of clinical trials and this has serious implications on public health and the medical community's ability to provide effective treatment to different types of patients," said Virginia Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, M.D. "I am so glad the NLGA has launched the "Be the Cure" campaign to raise awareness about this important public health issue. Not only does the research community need more volunteers participating in clinical trials to ensure they are successful, but we need a truly representative sample of America's racial and ethnic diversity participating in those trials. Ultimately, this will help advance the most effective treatments for each and every population."
Participation in a clinical trial may benefit the patient, and may also benefit future patients by furthering medical innovation. Without patients volunteering to participate in clinical trials, the development of these treatments is not possible.
"We must make as many people as possible aware of the opportunity of clinical trials, it's really that simple," said New Mexico Lt. Governor John Sanchez.
The National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) is making information on clinical trials available to as many states and territories as possible, and NLGA is maintaining an educational web site on the topic.
"This is an example of our collegial, bi-partisan NLGA work," said Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. "Together we can increase awareness of and participation in clinical trials and be the cure."
To learn more, visit "Be the Cure" at www.nlga.us.
SOURCE The National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA)