Addressing equity in clinical trials: development of a rural clinical trials research program

Clinical trials are essential for the development and optimization of medical therapies. However, clinical trial access is limited in rural and small communities in Canada. This is an important health equity issue as rural populations often to not have the opportunity to access investigational therapies and clinical trial results often do not reflect the health of rural populations. This project, which is funded by the CANTRAIN Clinical Trials Training Program, Michael Smith Health Research BC, the Accelerating Clinical Trials Consortium and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. This project aims to build a rural clinical trials program in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. It will build develop partnerships among educational institutions, Interior Health and community organizations. A community advisory board will be developed to seek community input into the program development and clinical trial selection. The principal investigator is Dr. Denise Jaworsky who is a rural general internal medicine specialist, but this project is a collaboration among a team of researchers from Interior Health, UBC and College of the Rockies. This project aims to improve clinical trial access for populations in the East Kootenay region and develop models and best practices to support rural clinical trial access in other rural communities in Canada.