Hispanics in Clinical Trials: Latinos No Represented in Medical Research

Hispanics in clinical trials represent a very low percentage and have virtually no representation when it comes to health research.

Clinical trials are a crucial aspect of medical research, aimed at determining the safety and efficacy of new treatments, drugs or medical devices.

Clinical trials have the potential to offer significant benefits to the general population, including improved health care outcomes.

However, the biggest challenge for scientists and organizations is to engage a wide range of participants.

This has been validated in Hispanic communities, which have historically been underrepresented in clinical trials.

Hispanics represent only 1% of participants in clinical trials

The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States, representing almost 20% of the total population.

However, they represent only a small proportion of clinical trial participants.

Hispanics represent only 1% of participants in clinical trials for drugs and 6% for medical devices.

This is according to a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This low representation has serious consequences for the Hispanic community, as it limits their access to life-saving treatments and therapies.

Hispanics in Clinical Trials - My Health Fair

Why are Hispanics less likely to participate?

There are several reasons why Hispanics are less likely to participate in clinical trials:

Language barrier:

Many Hispanics speak Spanish as their primary language and, as a result, may not fully understand the informed consent process or the details of the study.

This can create a sense of distrust and fear, which may discourage them from participating.

Lack of knowledge about clinical trials:

The Hispanic community is unaware of the opportunities available to them and the potential benefits of participating.

This lack of awareness can be attributed to the fact that clinical trials are generally not advertised in Hispanic communities or are only available in English.

Financial and logistical barriers to participation:

They may not have access to transportation or may need to take time off work to participate in the study.

These barriers may make it difficult for them to participate, even if they are interested.

Reasons why Hispanics should participate in clinical trials:

Clinical trials are investigations into the safety and effectiveness of volunteers who participate in the evaluation of medical products (such as drugs, vaccines, or equipment).

These studies can also show which medical products or therapies are best suited for people with certain diseases.

Ensuring that people from various groups join clinical research is the key to equity because they offer:

Access to new treatments:

They offer the opportunity to access new treatments and therapies that may not be available to the general public.

By participating in a clinical trial, Hispanics gain access to life-saving treatments that could improve their health outcomes.

Improved health care outcomes:

By participating in clinical trials, Hispanics can contribute to the development of new treatments and therapies that can improve health care outcomes for the general population.

This is particularly important given the disproportionate burden of disease faced by many Hispanics.


By participating in clinical trials, Hispanics can play an active role in their health care and contribute to the advancement of medical research.

This can create a sense of empowerment and can help build trust between the Hispanic and medical communities.

Reduced health care disparities:

The underrepresentation of Hispanics in clinical trials deepen disparities in health care, as treatments may not be tailored to their specific needs.

By participating in clinical trials, Hispanics can help reduce these disparities and ensure that treatments are effective for all.

How to increase participation?

To increase participation in clinical trials among Hispanics, it is important to address the barriers that prevent them from participating.

This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies, including:

Language access:

Clinical trials should be available in multiple languages, including Spanish, to ensure that Hispanics can fully understand the informed consent process and trial details.

Community outreach:

Clinical trials should be advertised in Hispanic communities and through Hispanic media to increase awareness of available opportunities.

Culturally competent care:

Health care providers should receive cultural competency training to ensure that they can communicate effectively with Hispanic patients and address their unique health care needs.

Financial support:

Financial incentives, travel reimbursement, and other expenses can help reduce financial barriers that prevent Hispanics from participating in clinical trials.

Participating in a clinical trial may be a good option for you if:

  • You and your health care provider believe that clinical trials may provide another option when standard treatments fail.
  • You want to help evaluate the effects of new medical products or therapies on the various patients for whom they may be used.
  • You want to help researchers find better ways to fight diseases.

Contact your health care provider if you think a clinical trial might be right for you.

You can also search for clinical trials in your area at www.ClinicalTrials.gov. and find resources in your language at www.hhs.gov/ohrp/education-and-outreach/about-scientific-investigations.

Our sources: FDA, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Information on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.

Readers should direct any questions regarding personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health care professionals.