For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) announced the launch of the Alliance for Representative Clinical Trials (ARC) to address the need to unite clinical research with clinical care while increasing diversity in clinical trials.
ARC is a multi-sponsor public/private program organized to diversify and bring clinical trials to communities of color and other communities that have been underrepresented in clinical trials. ARC has two distinct but related programs: the PI Institute, which trains community clinicians to be clinical trial principal investigators (PIs); and the Clinical Investigative Site Network (CISN), which conducts sponsored clinical trials through a network of PI Institute graduates.
In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and NMQF (co authors Janet Woodcock, Richardae Araojo, Twyla Thompson, and Gary A. Puckrein) wrote jointly, “The time has come for stakeholders in the clinical research ecosystem — the biomedical industry, policymakers, government agencies, contract research organizations, and patient advocates” — to join together to support “the development and long-term sustainability of
an infrastructure that unites clinical research with clinical care”.
“Many strategies have been developed to increase enrollment of diverse populations in clinical trials, but they have produced mixed results,” said Gary Puckrein, President and CEO, National Minority Quality Forum. “One strategy, however, that has not been scaled up in a sustainable way is engaging community clinicians in research. That is why we have launched ARC – to fulfill that need.”
As a result of NMQF’s experience in this realm, ARC is not just needed, it’s immediately scalable.
“During the past 20 years, NMQF has built strong relations in communities that have been underserved by the clinical research ecosystem,” said Puckrein. “In May of 2020, for example, we launched the Minority and Rural Community Insight Study (MRCIS) – a multi-sponsored, prospective longitudinal investigation of the risk factors, biologics as well as social determinants of health, associated with the disproportionate impact that coronavirus is having on minority and rural communities. MRCIS began enrolling study participants in June 2020.”
ARC began training community clinicians to be PI in October of 2022, and we expect to have community investigative sites accepting studies by the end of the last quarter of 2022.
Community clinicians who wish to join ARC as investigators will need to be resourced so they have the time, training, and financial and logistic support to do so. In places where community clinicians act as a referral network, they will require ongoing training in best practices for discussing clinical trials with patients; up-to-date information about trial opportunities for patients; support for patient education, decision making and navigation translated into the languages spoken by their patients and tailored to their cultures; and assistance with care coordination.
Visit www.nmqf-arc.org to learn more.
About National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research and advocacy
organization based in Washington, DC. The mission of NMQF is to reduce patient risk by assuring
optimal care for all. NMQF’s vision is an American health services research, delivery and financing
system whose operating principle is to reduce patient risk for amenable morbidity and mortality
while improving quality of life. For more information, please visit www.nmqf.org.