Demographic diversity of participants in Pfizer sponsored clinical trials in the United States

Contemporary Clinical Trials
Volume 106 July 2021


Research article Open access
Demographic diversity of participants in Pfizer sponsored clinical trials in the United States
Melinda Rottas, Peter Thadeio, Rachel Simons, Raven Houck, … Rod MacKenzie
Article 106421

• Limited data have previously been reported regarding clinical trial diversity from drug sponsors.
• Race, ethnicity, gender, and age data for participants in Pfizer US trials initiated between 2011 and 2020 are summarized.
• The results establish a baseline of clinical trial diversity to measure improvement over time.
• Future analyses will allow exploration of factors leading to and arising from disparities in clinical trial participation.
The approval of new medicinal agents requires robust efficacy and safety clinical trial data demonstrated to be applicable to population subgroups. Limited data have previously been reported by drug sponsors on the topic of clinical trial diversity. In order to establish a baseline of diversity in our clinical trials that can be used by us and other sponsors, an analysis of clinical trial diversity was conducted covering race, ethnicity, sex, and age. This analysis includes Pfizer interventional clinical trials that initiated enrollment between 2011 through 2020. The data set comprises 213 trials with 103,103 US participants. The analysis demonstrated that overall trial participation of Black or African American individuals was at the US census level (14.3% vs 13.4%), participation of Hispanic or Latino individuals was below US census (15.9% vs 18.5%), and female participation was at US census (51.1% vs 50.8%). The analysis also examined the percentage of trials that achieved racial and ethnic distribution levels at or above census levels. Participant levels above census were achieved in 56.1% of Pfizer trials for Black or African American participants, 51.4% of trials for White participants, 16.0% of trials for Asian participants, 14.2% of trials for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander participants, 8.5% of trials for American Indian and Alaska Native participants, and 52.3% of trials for Hispanic or Latino participants. The results presented here provide a baseline upon which we can quantify the impact of our ongoing efforts to improve racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials.