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Diversity in Clinical Trials: Insights from the International PPI Network Webinar

In healthcare research, randomised trials are a cornerstone for advancing medical knowledge and treatment. However, a critical issue that often goes unnoticed is the lack of diversity in these trials. Many people, particularly from varied ethnic groups who might benefit the most from improved treatments, find themselves underrepresented. Addressing this gap, the International Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Network recently held a webinar focusing on this vital topic. The webinar, held in November 2023, brought to light the NIHR INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework and initiatives by Pfizer to foster equitable representation in clinical trials.

Exploring the NIHR INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework

The NIHR INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework was one of the key focuses of the webinar. This innovative tool is designed to assist trial teams in considering the ethnic groups necessary for their trials. It’s not just about inclusivity for the sake of representation but about how trials can be adapted to facilitate participation from diverse groups. This approach is crucial for enhancing the relevance and applicability of trial outcomes across society’s spectrum, rather than benefiting only a fraction.

Systematic Reviewers: Assessing Trial Evidence

Another significant aspect discussed was the role of systematic reviewers in assessing trial evidence. With more diverse clinical trials, reviewers can better evaluate the applicability of research findings for various groups within society. This shift is essential for developing a more inclusive healthcare system where treatments are effective across different ethnic and demographic groups.

The Presenters

The webinar was led by the International PPI Network, with notable presenters contributing their expertise. Professor Shaun Treweek from the University of Aberdeen and Trial Forge shared his knowledge and experience, alongside Makeida Stubbs from Pfizer. Their combined perspectives offered a comprehensive overview of current challenges and potential solutions in the field.

Accessing the Webinar

For those interested in exploring these topics further, the webinar videos and accompanying slides are available for download. This resource is an invaluable tool for anyone involved in clinical research, healthcare policy, or patient advocacy. To access the materials, visit the International PPI Network’s website at


The diversity in clinical trials is not just a matter of fairness or representation; it is a crucial component in ensuring that medical research is truly beneficial for everyone. The insights from the International PPI Network webinar shed light on the current landscape and the steps being taken towards more inclusive research. It’s a call to action for all stakeholders in the healthcare sector to prioritize diversity in clinical trials, ultimately leading to better health outcomes for all segments of society.


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