Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Patient Centered Drug Development

Chad Downey, BS
Associate Director, Project and Proposal Office
RTI Health Solutions

Advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in patient centered drug development with patient preference research
Poulos C, Mansfield C, Bussberg CJ, Hicks JC, Downey C.


Regulators and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers acknowledge the role patient-preference research can play in patient-focused drug development. The growing recognition of the value of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (or EDIB) initiatives has challenged stakeholders to identify opportunities to promote diverse healthcare perspectives from underserved populations. Applying EDIB principles to the collection, interpretation, and use of patient preference information can support more inclusive and equitable health outcomes. 

Our case study identifies three ways to apply principles of EDIB to the collection, interpretation, and use of patient preference information in patient-focused drug and medtech development.

First, at the study design phase, promote diversity among study teams to ensure the study design, execution, and interpretation of preference research considers diverse perspectives and underrepresented stakeholders. 

Second, recruit more inclusive study samples to ensure that the information characterizes the perspectives of a diverse group.

And third, use inclusive language in data collection tools and medical writing to help make data more accurate and robust and validate respondents and decision-makers.

In addition to identifying these three research components, we also discuss the challenges of diversifying research teams and samples.