In recent years, a consensus has grown around the concern that clinical trials in the United States are neither adequately inclusive nor diverse. For example, the latest data shows that nearly 75% of patients who are enrolled in industry-sponsored clinical trials in academic medical centres and community hospitals are white – as compared to 58% of the general U.S. population. These realities are reflected in trial performance and outcomes of approved medicines in the general population – a population only partially represented in the research. That means that medicines are not being created for everybody. While this isn’t new, Mary Costello at Medablethe discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding race for vaccines and treatments have shone a spotlight on the problem so bright that it can no longer be ignored.