Walgreens today debuted its clinical trial business. Its goal, chief clinical trials officer Ramita Tandon said in a statement, is to provide “a comprehensive solution that makes health options, including clinical trials, more accessible, convenient and equitable.”
Walgreens hopes to reduce the time it takes to match eligible patients to clinical research by offering trials virtually as well as in person. This, the company believes, will support sponsors’ drug development strategies, inform trial design and improve diversity in clinical research.
To that last point, given that 20% of drugs have a variation in responses across ethnicity, Walgreens will work toward increasing the diversity of trial cohorts. The majority of clinical trial participants are white; only 11% are Hispanic and fewer than 10% are Black and Asian.
“It’s time to accelerate healthcare access for all patients, from all walks of life, and from anywhere in the nation,” said Pluto Health CEO Dr. Joy Bhosai in the statement. Pluto is partnering with Walgreens on a range of projects designed to improve customer and patient experience.