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Declining Minority Representation in MS Studies Raises Concerns

Jan. 3, 2019, 7:33 PM

Clinical studies of new multiple sclerosis medicines are testing increasingly white populations, leaving doctors in the dark about how well those drugs will work in their minority patients.

Enrollment of black patients in studies supporting FDA MS drug approval decisions dwindled to 2 percent in 2013 from 7.7 percent in 2002, according to an analysis by University of Kentucky neurologist Jagannadha “Jay” Avasarala.

His follow-up research indicates those percentages continue to decline, and he’s calling on the Food and Drug Administration to require drug labels to make clear there’s a lack of efficacy data for non-white patients. His proposal appears ...