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FDA Updates Guidance on Collecting Race and Ethnicity Data

By February 20, 2024REDCap

The FDA recently issued a draft guidance entitled “Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data in Clinical Trials and Clinical Studies for FDA-Regulated Medical Products”. This guidance document would replace the current guidance document from 2016 entitled “Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data in Clinical Trials”. This new guidance document is meant to set FDA expectations and standards for collecting race and ethnicity data in submissions. Standardizing language and setting expectations for race and ethnicity data in this guidance document ensures that this data is consistently collected and reported to the FDA.

The FDA notes in this guidance document that collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data using standardized terminology is critically important in identifying population-specific signals, which while uncommon, have been observed in racially and ethnically diverse populations.

The draft guidance is proposing a two-question system for documenting race and ethnicity data in Clinical Trials and Clinical Studies using first “Are you Hispanic/Latino or not Hispanic/not Latino?” followed by “What is your race?”. They recommend the following options at a minimum for a response to this question regarding race: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White.  They list OMB Policy Directive 15 recommended language regarding ethnicity and race question responses, noting that nonwhite is not demographic data that can be reported to the federal government. The FDA guidance recommends following best practices by having participants self-report their ethnicity and race rather than it being assigned by study team members, as well as instructing the participants to mark one or more race if needed in their self-report.

It is noted in the draft guidance that the FDA does recognize that racial and ethnicity data and recommendations provided in this guidance are focused in United States and may not be applicable to clinical trials that occur outside of the US and if more granularity is needed to follow the 2011 HHS Implementation Guidance on Data Collection Standards for Race, Ethnicity, Sex, Primary Language, and Disability Status.

The FDA also recommends in this guidance document that Investigation New Drug (IND), New Drug Applications (NDA), and Biologics License Applications (BLA) use the race and ethnicity guidelines laid out within this proposed guidance document to tabulate demographic data for new clinical trials and clinical studies.

This guidance document is open to comments from the public until April 29, 2024.

Original News Source: University of Chicago – Office of Clinical Research, February 2024 Newsletter (Volume 13, Issue 8)