Leading BAME recruitment to research study

RPS English Pharmacy Board member Professor Mahendra Patel has been recruited by Oxford University’s PRINCIPLE trial as National BAME Community and Pharmacy Lead.

The trial is evaluating whether treatment early on in the community can help people aged over 50 recover quickly from COVID-19 illness, without the need for hospital admission. Recruiting people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities has been a particular challenge and Mahendra will help drive participation from these communities to the programme.

Mahendra Patel said: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the PRINCIPLE Trial for this very important work in the crusade against coronavirus. There has to be a more concerted and tailored effort to reach out to Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities more effectively in health research, particularly in the case of COVID-19 where we are seeing members of these communities unfortunately experiencing a greater risk of contracting the virus with higher adverse effects and even deaths.

“South Asian communities have a different outlook to engaging with health research and studies, and this may the case be with Black and other minority ethnic groups as well. How you reach out to the different communities is vital to ensure proper understanding and confidence is attained owing to people’s different cultural and religious beliefs and attitudes. Of course, the more people volunteering to take part in these studies and trials, the greater the likelihood for an effective and safe means of tackling the virus is established.

“In addition, pharmacists play a valuable role in the community and in primary care and there is an opportunity here to use those channels more effectively in recruiting people from all backgrounds into this trial.”

The PRINCIPLE trial is funded from UK Research and Innovation and the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research as part of the UK Government’s rapid research response fund.

Find out more about how to take part at