Princeton-based Bristol Myers Squibb announced the launch of the Disability Diversity in Clinical Trials (DDiCT) initiative July 20.
This new program, launched in collaboration with nonprofit Disability Solutions, aligns with Bristol Myers Squibb’s broader inclusion and diversity health equity commitments.
Its initial aim is to recommend how to effectively improve access, engagement, speed of enrollment and participation of people with disabilities in clinical trials, to ensure all patient groups are reflective of the real-world population.
“Through this work, Bristol Myers Squibb can set the standard and stage for access to life-changing and life-saving medicines for people with disabilities,” said Samit Hirawat, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Global Drug Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “The long-term goal of our DDiCT program is to develop and pilot trials that are accessible to the widest variety of patients.”
The project was initiated by the Bristol Myers Squibb People & Business Resource Group DAWN (Disability Advancement Workplace Network) and will be co-led by DAWN and the Global Drug Development Team.
Current common clinical trial practices exclude up to one-fourth of the U.S. population based on disability status.
“People with disabilities are omitted from conversations about diversity and inclusion, despite being the largest underrepresented group in the world and the only underrepresented group anyone [can] join at any given moment. Therefore, it’s essential that we broaden the scope of medical trials and research,” said Tinamarie Duff, DAWN global people & business resource group lead. “The launch of the DDiCT, especially during Disability Pride Month, supports Bristol Myers Squibb’s overall commitment to address every dimension of diversity, which means making the most effective medicine to include people with disabilities at all stages of access/trials.”