Abbott has revealed a set of new programmes to boost diversity in clinical trials and enhance care among under-represented communities.

Part of Abbott’s Diversity in Clinical Trials initiative, the new programmes build on collaborations, scholarships and participation of diversified individuals in its own clinical trials over the first year of the initiative.

The new programmes feature the introduction of a new initiative with Norton Healthcare Foundation to develop and execute new sustainable clinical research models along with Institute for Health Equity, a Part of Norton Healthcare, in Louisville, Kentucky, US.

They also include a new training programme for clinical research coordinators in alliance with Barnett International, as well as a new Diversity in Research Office at Abbott to ensure the representation of diverse individuals in clinical trials.

Under the new five-year commitment, Abbott and Institute for Health Equity at Norton Healthcare will jointly create research programmes that can be used by historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and clinics which cater to under-represented communities.

In addition, the Diversity in Clinical Trials initiative will offer grants for the recruitment and training of research coordinators and data managers, as well as support the launch of research programmes.

The first pilot project to be facilitated by the grant will work to bring additional people from underrepresented groups into clinical trials.

In the first year of the initiative, Abbott founded a Diversity in Clinical Trials Medical Advisory Board, an internal steering committee, among others.

The firm has also provided $5m in grants to sponsor more than 300 scholarships at the four HBCU medical schools, the National Black Nurses Association and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Abbott Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics executive vice-president and Diversity in Clinical Trials steering committee co-executive sponsor Andrea Wainer said: “Clinical trials drive new, innovative tools to fight diseases, and overcoming barriers to access to clinical trials for under-represented communities is critical to improving health equity.

“Abbott has been focused on breaking down barriers and implementing new, sustainable partnerships and programmes to drive even more diversity in our clinical trials and to ensure trials are offered in more places to reach underserved areas.”