Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Introduces Amendment to Improve Minority Inclusion in Clinical Trials

May 21, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON — According to Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among the 10,000 known diseases, 7,000 of which are considered rare, there are treatments for only 500. Yet, there are many diseases affecting minority communities that often fall by the wayside because minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials. Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Ranking Member on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power introduced five provisions for adoption into H.R. 6, the “21st Century Cures Act”.

“Research professionals tend to work toward solutions to diseases that they have a personal connection with,” said Rush. “That enforces the need for minority participation in order to foster research that gets to the root causes of diseases not only affecting other communities, but cures for underrepresented minority groups. This is why I offered an amendment that will address these disparities by requiring that the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institute of Health include within its Strategic Plan ways to increase representation of underrepresented communities in clinical trials.”

During today’s Markup the committee adopted two of Rush’s provisions. The first provision will require the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to include within its strategic plan for biomedical research ways to increase representation of underrepresented communities in clinical trials. The second provision will ensure that it remains a priority at NIH that the biomedical workforce of the future includes groups from traditionally underrepresented communities. 

The 21st Century Cures Act requires that public, private and research institutions around the country takes bold action to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of promising new treatments and cures for patients and to maintain our nation’s standing as the biomedical innovation capital of the world.

Rush also introduced H.R. 2468 yesterday evening. This bill aims to improve minority inclusion in clinical trials, boost the biomedical workforce in in unrepresented communities and improve outcomes in maternity health. The bill will continue the work of the committee and create legislation toward ending health disparities among minority populations.

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