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American College of Rheumatology Educating Dermatologists and Nephrologists on Lupus Clinical Trials Racial Disparities

November 2, 2022 | ACR News


ATLANTA — The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released Continuing Medical Education (CME) for dermatologists and nephrologists to help them learn more about clinical trials for lupus patients in their respective treatment areas and the importance of getting more of their African American/Black patients enrolled.

Lupus is a multisystem disease and is frequently managed by a care team including rheumatologists, nephrologists, dermatologists, and other specialists. African American/Black, Hispanics and Native Americans are also disproportionately affected by the condition. This new CME is part of the ACR’s Materials to Increase Minority Involvement in Clinical Trials (MIMICT) initiative and is aimed at educating these providers on the importance of increasing minority participation in lupus clinical trials.

“In the United States, African American/Black patients represent approximately 43 percent of lupus cases, however, only 14 percent of lupus clinical trial participants are African American/Black,” said Starla H. Blanks, Senior Director of Collaborative Initiatives for the American College of Rheumatology. “African American/Black patients with lupus. They are also four times more likely to get lupus nephritis, a type of kidney disease, which can increase the mortality rate.”

The new CME provides nephrologists and dermatologists with specific information on racial disparities in lupus clinical trials, why it’s important to increase minority participation in lupus clinical trials, and the barriers providers face when encouraging patients to participate in lupus clinical trials.

“Skin and kidney symptoms are common in lupus patients and there are clinical trials specifically targeting these two organ systems. The CME training addresses barriers like patient mistrust, lack of familiarity with trials, and an intimidating consent process,” said Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPH, chair of the ACR’s Collaborative Initiatives Committee. “It also addresses facilitators like culturally sensitive communication and social support by emphasizing skills that provide support for both the provider and the patient.”

The new CME for nephrologists and dermatologists can be found on the ACR’s Lupus Initiative website. The expansion of MIMICT was made possible by a two-year grant for the ACR’s Training to Increase Minority Enrollment in Lupus Clinical Trials with CommunitY Engagement (TIMELY) project from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. More information about the ACR’s work on lupus awareness and educational programs can be found on the ACR’s Lupus Initiative website.


Media Contact
Amanda Head


American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

Collaborative Initiatives (COIN)
The ACR’s COIN department highlights rheumatology’s relevance to the healthcare community and public by using rheumatic diseases as case studies for treating complex disease, advancing health equity, eliminating health disparities, and improving the quality of patient lives. COIN achieves this by collaborating with a network of organizations to develop, test, and disseminate solutions to complex rheumatology care problems.

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