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Walgreens Launches Clinical Trial Business

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By partnering with drug makers to connect customers to clinical trials, the retail pharmacy chain believes this new venture will be the company’s ‘next growth engine’.

Walgreens is building a business that connects customers with investigational drugs. The venture adds a new offering to the growing healthcare service menu of a major retail pharmacy. The new business could also mean additional test orders to local clinical laboratories and pathology groups serving Walgreens customers.

In “By 2027, Walgreens Needs 1,000 Primary Care Clinics,” dark daily sister publication, dark reportreported on Walgreens’ goal of building 1,000 primary care clinics in retail pharmacies by 2027.

Now Walgreens is further redefining the patient experience by partnering with pharmaceutical companies to find participants for clinical trials. This business has the potential to enroll more Americans from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into drug development trials. With 9,021 retail pharmacies in all 50 states, he knows which customers are candidates for various clinical trials.

Walgreens’ Ramita Tandon said: ‘ Chief Clinical Trials Officer in a press release.

Ramita Tandon (above), Walgreens’ Chief Clinical Trial Officer believes Walgreens can play a role in solving the problem of diversity and declining enrollment in clinical trials. “Through our clinical trial service launch, we are helping sponsors advance treatment options for the diverse communities we serve, while treating complex or chronic conditions in the course of treatment. “This is another way we are building the next growth engine in consumer-centric healthcare solutions.” Increased participation in clinical trials could mean that clinical laboratories in communities where Walgreens has primary care clinics may order more tests. (Photo credit: Walgreens)

Service to the socially vulnerable

in an interview with intense health careTandon described the clinical trials business as Walgreens’ “next growth engine” for consumer-centric healthcare solutions.

According to the company’s press release, “Walgreens provides a compliant, validated and secure decentralized clinical trial platform built on a rigorous compliance and regulatory framework to ensure patient privacy and security. This approach leverages owned and partnered digital and physical assets, including some of Walgreens’ Health Corners and Village Medical, to communicate with patients at home, virtually or in person. We will communicate directly.”

Walgreens notes that more than half of its roughly 9,000 U.S.-based stores are located in “socially vulnerable areas.”

according to Washington ExaminerA U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study revealed that 75% of patients in clinical trials are Caucasian, only 11% are Hispanic, and less than 10% are Asian or Black. Additionally, participation in clinical trials is declining, with 80% of trials failing to recruit enough participants on time.

Tandon argues that facilitating the process of enrolling in clinical trials is another key to increasing diversity and trial participation.

“We know that it is a burden for patients to visit our site during the course of a clinical trial. We also know that 78% of US patient consumers live within five miles of a Walgreens. I understand,” she said. Pharma Voice“If patients were able to complete many of the pre-clinical trial requirements at their local Walgreens or have some visits done digitally, the overall clinical trial experience would be much more positive, encouraging patients to participate. A new clinical trial is underway.”

Walgreens also plans to use its storehouse of customer data to find potential patients for its clinical trials business.

“Understanding this customer preference and segmentation detail is very useful, especially in clinical trials, for example, to create better protocols,” Tandon said. Pharma Voice“We are working with so much information, but we can use these insights in a real-world setting to do a better job that can be translated into pharmaceutical R&D and brand management organizations, and It has to be. We are all committed to patient-centered drug development.”

FDA wants diversity in clinical trials

Walgreens is in talks with several pharmaceutical companies as it considers launching this new venture.

“We work very closely with them to understand their business needs and create solutions tailored to their specific testing needs,” Tandon said. intense health care“Our goal is to move that needle and begin to see more US patients enrolled and a much more diverse set of participants entering clinical trials.”

In April, an FDA press release announced new draft guidance aimed at “developing a plan to enroll more participants from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the United States into clinical trials.” Did.

“Racial and ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in biomedical research despite their disproportionate burden for certain diseases,” the FDA said. “Clinical trials provide important evidence for evaluating whether a medical product is safe and effective. is needed.”

Demolition of a retail pharmacy

“Walgreens has created an interconnected healthcare ecosystem that can use Walgreens physical assets to connect with patients and consumers at the local level and better support healthcare and healthcare equity. there is a great opportunity to Pharma Voice.

It’s the latest example of a billion-dollar retail pharmacy chain diversifying beyond just dispensing prescriptions. Two of his competitors are driving the interim dissolution of retail pharmacies as they ultimately result in keeping patients out of pharmacies.

  • acquired PillPack and now mails prescriptions to patients’ homes.
  • A pharmacy benefits management (PBM) company with a business model that encourages patients to mail their prescriptions home for 90 days at a time.

In both cases, retail pharmacies lose access to patients. This has motivated some national pharmacy chains to provide primary care within retail pharmacies (after an office visit with a GP, patients can cross the store to the pharmacy to fill out a prescription). just go). Trial matching business.

As retail pharmacy chains become an increasingly disruptive force in healthcare, clinical laboratory managers and pathologists must prepare new strategies to meet the testing needs of the changing primary care delivery model.

Andrea Downing Peck

Related information:

Walgreens Launches Clinical Trials Business to Address Access and Diversity Challenges Across Industry and Redefine Patient Experience

Pharmacy retail giant Walgreens seeks to disrupt clinical trials business

By 2027, Walgreens aims for 1,000 primary care clinics

FDA takes important steps to increase racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials

Walgreens Launches First Clinical Trials to Enable ‘Equitable’ Health Options

Walgreens seeks to disrupt the field of clinical trials with rich patient data