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Diversity in clinical trials

We’re committed to helping people of all dimensions of diversity address their health needs. To do so, we need people from different communities in our clinical trials.

Why is diversity in clinical trials so important?

Different people may have different reactions to the same treatment, based on their age, gender, weight, race, ethnicity, and other factors. Clinical trials rely on volunteers to take part, and it’s vital that these people come from diverse backgrounds. By including people from diverse backgrounds, clinical trials can show if the treatments are safe and work well for people from all different communities.

Your voice is important to us

That’s why we meet with and listen to patients just like you. We take your opinions and perspectives into account when making business and research decisions.

Importance of diversity in clinical trials

Leaders across our company explain how we’re addressing diversity in clinical trials and across our clinical research program.

Working to achieve appropriate representation

We weave diversity into our clinical trials process in many different ways, including selecting trials sites with inclusion in mind, outreach and education tailored to communities, and ongoing learning from subject matter experts. All in an effort to achieve appropriate representation in clinical trials from trusted voices.

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Commitment to diversity

We are committed to enrolling diverse people in our clinical trials around the world. People of color. Women, children, men. Varying ages. LGBTQI+. Different socioeconomic backgrounds. Different ethnicities. And other characteristics.

Our recruitment process continues to evolve so that our clinical trials achieve the appropriate participant representation to help us safely bring new medicines to all people.

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Worldwide clinical trials

We strive to enroll diverse individuals in our clinical trials across the globe. Currently we conduct our clinical trials in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Gift for human health

In a survey of over 12,000 people, most people considered taking part in a clinical trial to be the greatest gift they could make for human health. Here are some thoughts from people who have been involved in clinical trials, in their own words...

“We need to get more Black Americans in clinical trials so we are better represented and can advocate for others in our community. ”

Kieta D. Mutepfa

Merck employee

“It’s really important that impacted communities and individuals be part of the solution, and one of the entry points to that is in clinical research.”

Luther Clark

deputy chief patient officer

“Diversity in our trials is not just an initiative – it’s our way of working. It’s woven into all steps of the trial process.”

Adrelia Allen

director, clinical operations

“We need to put our trust in science — and follow practices that scientists recommend — to help save lives — especially Black lives.”

Denarra Simmons

senior scientist


We address the world's most difficult health challenges, following world-class science

Clinical trials

Our progress is due in large part to the important and tough scientific questions we set to answer with our trials and collaborations. We are grateful to the thousands of volunteers who participate in our clinical trials -- making this all possible.

How to bridge diversity gaps in cancer clinical trials

Luther Clark talks with Lazarex Cancer Foundation's Dana Dornsife and Marya Shegog about increasing access among historically underrepresented communities.

Find a trial

Our clinical studies are conducted globally in many different countries and in diverse populations, including people of varying age, race, ethnicity, gender and accounting for other potential disease related factors.

Stories that inspire our progress

We strive to create clinical trials as diverse as the patients we serve. See the stories behind our work.


Clinical trials & the power of diversity

Advancing science powered by greater diversity in our clinical research

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Our people

I’m a Black woman and stroke survivor – here’s why I joined a COVID-19 vaccine trial

Kieta D. Mutepfa is a participant in the phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trials. She also uses her voice to create an impact on the world

Meet Kieta

Next: I’m a Black woman and stroke survivor – here’s why I joined a COVID-19 vaccine trial


Clinical trials bring our medicines and vaccines to life

We appreciate all who have contributed to our clinical research

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Next: Clinical trials bring our medicines and vaccines to life