Officials Focus On Inequalities In Medical Research

Houston Chronicle:  "After years of individual cancer centers exploring ways to recruit more people from minority populations for cancer studies, $3.8 million in federal stimulus money has been awarded to five institutions — including M.D. Anderson (Cancer Center at the University of Texas) — to work on the issue together for the next two years. The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the project." The program will look at ways of increasing cancer trial participation among African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other minority groups. "People of color are one-third of the U.S. population and will become a majority by 2030, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Less than 5 percent of those diagnosed with cancer participate in clinical trials and about 10 percent of them are people of color. Though federal law requires the inclusion of women and minorities in government-funded clinical trials, those groups remain vastly underrepresented, the report said" (George, 4/3).

MedPage Today/ABC News: Female researchers continued to be paid less than males when working in life sciences research. "After accounting for professional characteristics and publication volume, female researchers earned an average of $13,228 less per year than men, according to Catherine DesRoches of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and colleagues. The differences ranged from $6,028 among researchers with PhDs to $14,868 for those housed in departments of medicine, they reported in the April issue of Academic Medicine. … To update the literature, she and her colleagues surveyed life sciences researchers at the 50 universities whose medical schools received the greatest amount of research funding from the (National Institutes of Health) in 2004" (Neale, 4/4).

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