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Aug 11
Rhonda Peebles (Head of U.S. Dermatology) and Kim Doggett (Head of Clinical Trial Diversity and Program Delivery Leads)
Setting New Standards in Diversity for Dermatology Clinical Trials

August is Psoriasis Action Month – a time to raise awareness and reflect on how psoriasis affects all people living with the chronic condition. Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disorder affecting more than eight million Americans.1 In the U.S., psoriasis is found more often in white people (3.6% of the population) as compared to Black people (1.9%) and Hispanic people (1.6%).However, the prevalence of psoriasis may actually be higher in people of color because of how the disease presents itself in people with darker skin tones. Not only does this impact diagnosis, but it also affects the types of treatments offered, access to those treatments and most importantly, the patient’s quality of life.

One place where we can learn more about psoriasis in people of color is in clinical trials. However, people with skin of color are drastically underrepresented in clinical trials for dermatology.The lack of diversity in clinical trials means that medications developed for conditions like psoriasis may not work as effectively for people with skin of color, and ultimately, the health equity gap continues to widen.

How do we increase diversity in clinical trials?

As a company committed to putting patients at the heart of everything we do, UCB is taking action to improve diversity in clinical trials.

We Are Listening

We are continuously listening to patients – both individually and collectively. As long-time champions of the dermatology community, we believe that it is imperative to connect authentically by developing one-on-one relationships with patients. We take every opportunity, whether at a medical congress or a local community event, to meet patients to better understand their needs.

We Are Educating

Many people don’t know about clinical trials or how to find them. We have Site Engagement Managers in local communities that help to raise awareness and encourage participation in clinical trials. The Site Engagement Managers work with physicians and staff at clinical trials sites and conduct research to improve awareness of the importance of diversity.

We are also educating our UCB clinical operations teams to include diversity considerations into every clinical trial. In order to attract diverse populations, we know that early planning is key to creating an inclusive trial for patients.

We Are Collaborating

Beyond community level engagement, we collaborate with patient and professional advocacy groups like the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) to raise awareness about the importance of clinical trial participation and diversity. We work closely with the foundation to gain real-world insights from people living with psoriasis so we can improve their clinical journey. For example, we recently produced a podcast episode with NPF, where a person living with psoriasis shared her perspective on the need for better education around psoriasis and psoriatic disease as a whole. We also participated in the Skin of Color Society’s June summit to advance the conversation and solutions to diversity in dermatology clinical trials.

We’re constantly thinking about new ways, tools, and technologies to make our trials easier to participate in. Together, by improving diversity and inclusion, we will help build a stronger community with better outcomes for current and future patients.


Rachakonda TD, Schupp CW, Armstrong AW. Psoriasis prevalence among adults in the United States. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70(3):512-516

WebMD. How Psoriasis Affects People of Color. Available at https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-people-of-color. Accessed July 14, 2022.

3 Cavazzoni P, Anagnostiadis E, Lolic M. 2020 drug trials snapshots summary report. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Available at https://www.fda.gov/media/145718/download. Accessed July 15, 2022