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Parr Center Presents: Jill Fisher

February 3 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

“Your Health is Your Wealth”: The Role of Race and Social Inequality in Healthy Individuals’ Participation in Phase I Trials

Abstract: Phase I clinical trials test the safety and tolerability of new pharmaceuticals and typically pay healthy people to enroll as research participants. In addition to the risks of taking investigational drugs, healthy volunteers are confined—and often literally locked in—to residential research facilities for some portion of the clinical trial. Although participants are often assumed to be young, white college students, Phase I clinics actually tend to recruit men of color in their late 20s to early 40s. Motivated by larger social contexts of economic insecurity and racial discrimination, healthy volunteers often enroll serially in Phase I trials to stay afloat or try to get ahead. Drawing on two years of fieldwork in clinics across the US and 268 interviews with research participants and staff, this talk illustrates how decisions to take part in such studies are often influenced by poverty and lack of employment opportunities, and it focuses on ethical issues that arise when individuals are paid to enroll in drug trials.


Jill A. Fisher, Ph.D. is Professor of Social Medicine in the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Medical Research for Hire: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials (Rutgers University Press, 2009) and Adverse Events: Race, Inequality, and the Testing of New Pharmaceuticals (New York University Press, 2020). More information about Dr. Fisher as well as many of her publications can be found at her website: www.jillfisher.net.


This event will be held via Zoom. Please go to this page to register for the event and receive the Zoom link: https://tinyurl.com/y4yhejpk.


February 3
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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