In this episode, Sarah talked about attending the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021 virtually this year and discussed increasing diversity in Alzheimer’s clinical trials as an important topic that was part of the conference. Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s compared to Caucasians. Sarah outlined the results of some studies shared at the meeting, including a study that revealed people of minority backgrounds would be more likely to participate in a trial if they were directly invited to participate by someone of their own race, and if a family member had the disease. Exclusion criteria could also inadvertently exclude potential participants based on race, warranting the need for trial designs that foster greater inclusivity, including outreach tools, to broaden recruitment.
Related to the theme of racial inequities in healthcare as well as the health and beauty industry, Ayesha discussed a recent lawsuit launched against Johnson & Johnson over its iconic baby powder by a Black women’s advocacy group. The group claims that the company engaged in targeted marketing of their baby powder to Black and Hispanic women, whilst knowing for decades about asbestos impurities in their product; the company has been facing thousands of individual lawsuits over the years over links to use of the baby powder and ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. As part of the lawsuit, the advocacy group is calling on Johnson & Johnson to rectify its past ad campaigns by creating new adverts that are equitable and have “corrective marketing” that warn Black women of the risks associated with the product.
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