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Sickle Cell Groups, Pfizer Work to Bring African-Americans into Clinical Trials

It’s been nearly half a century since the end of Alabama’s Tuskegee experiment, the infamous 40-year study in which the U.S. government intentionally gave 399 syphilis-infected black men useless placebos — like aspirin and mineral supplements — instead of penicillin, which could have cured them.

Yet suspicions still linger, complicating today’s efforts to recruit African-Americans into clinical trials for sickle cell disease (SCD), which disproportionately affects black people.

Pfizer, with the help of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, is trying to change that.

The New York-based pharma giant, which is now recruiting for its own clinical trials in sickle cell disease, recently launched oneSCDvoice, a collaborative digital platform aimed at educating and lending emotional support to people with SCD.