BMS grants $10m in funding to address health disparity

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

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The funding will be split between 17 US non-profit organizations this year, as the company reveals the broader progress it has made towards its long-term inclusion and diversity goals.

Bristol Myers Squibb stated the $10m (€9.4m) would be distributed among organizations that address social determinants of health.

The funding, which will be delivered through ‘health equity grants’, would particularly be applied to those organizations that work across the company’s key therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, hematology, oncology, and immunology.

According to the company, the organizations chosen are developing and implementing approaches and partnerships to address social determinants of health, and integrating social care and healthcare to reduce health disparities. This would include providing funds to organizations that improve healthcare access and literacy.

BMS also provided an update on its broader efforts to meet its inclusion and diversity goals, as well as healthy equity commitments. In 2020, BMS and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, a charitable organization, each committed $150m over the course of five years to address health equity efforts by 2025.

At present, BMS has provided $100m in funding towards addressing health disparities, which it states has reached more than 10 million people through programs and services.

The company was also able to announce that 58% of its clinical trial sites are now located in racially and ethnically diverse areas, which surpassed its original goal of 25%. The company stated that by placing sites in diverse communities, it would help enroll clinical trial populations that are more reflective of broader patient populations.

In line with its goal of diversifying trial participants, the company also announced that it achieved its goal of spending $1bn globally with diverse-owned businesses, and that it plans to ‘sustain and build’ on this.

Finally, BMS outlined that it had made progress towards its workforce representation goals by more than doubling the number of Black/African American executives in the US, at VP level and above, from 3% to 6.1%.

In addition, the company stated that representation of global female executives, at VP level and above, had grown from 38.9% to 48.7%. In terms of Hispanic/Latino executives in the US, representation at the same level rose from 3.7% to 6.1%.

The BMS Foundation also announced that the Winn Award Program is currently training 114 early-stage investigator physicians, while an ‘immersive experience’ in community-based clinical research had been provided to 44 medical students.

The program was recently joined by Amgen​, which added $8m to the effort earlier this year. Gilead had also joined the program, and announced its own $7.6m grant​ to be provided to organizations addressing barriers to care and social determinants of health.

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