November 26, 2020
Maori input can improve clinical trials
Health researchers are looking for ways to get more New Zealanders to take part in clinical trials, especially Māori and Pasifika people.
Associate Professor Matire Harwood from the University of Auckland, who chairs the study's Māori advisory team, says a shortfall in Māori participation in trials is compounding existing health inequities.
Clinical trials play a vital role in answering questions about how to manage a particular disease, with trials of new drugs or vaccines only a small component of this.
She says trials she has been involved in have led to better treatments for Māori for strokes, diabetes and asthma.
"We've been able to show it was as if not more effective for Māori and as a result funding has changed so Pharmac has come on board and ensured this new treatment is now freely available to all people in Aotearoa and that was based on research showing we needed to get it right for tangata whenua before making it available to everybody else," Dr Harwood says.
Dr Harwood says international research shows people who participate in trials do better in terms of their overall health and wellbeing.
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