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Michael Poku, MD, MBA: Implements Solutions to Improve Minority Representation in Clinical Trials

About this episode:

For many of the same reasons underrepresented populations lack access to appropriate healthcare services, they are also left out of clinical trials. The problem is widely known, but solutions have been hard to come by. In this episode, Michael Poku, MD, MBA, biopharma medical director at Signify Health, explains why this is the case and then shares some approaches he and his colleagues have successfully used to remove the barriers to clinical trial participation.

An important aspect is understanding the larger picture—that inequality is due to in large measure to longstanding and systemic issues. He discusses how unmet social needs rarely occur in isolation. Addressing those needs together can lead to better representation in clinical trials. 

“Sponsors are incredibly excited about opportunities to make their trials more representative and to have underrepresented minorities participate,” he says.

In addition to his work at Signify Health, Dr. Poku is on clinical faculty at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he cares for patients as an internist and teaches trainees and medical students. Prior to his role at Signify Health, Dr Poku was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

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