Last year, pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences came under fire for testing its coronavirus vaccine on a sample of people that didn't accurately reflect those largely devastated by it — the elderly, the poor and Latino communities.

The scenario exposed a deeper trouble among drugmakers and is far from uncommon. A study last month from the medical journal JAMA Network found white people were overrepresented in vaccine clinical trials. This has dangerous implications for the outcome of drugs, according to researchers who issued the report from Harvard Medical School, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

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