(FreedomBeacon.com)- Walgreens plans to implement a new clinical trials service targeting underserved communities in an effort to make their drug research more “equitable and diverse.”
Participation rates in clinical trials have reportedly been on the decline, according to Walgreens, where 80% fail to meet enrollment deadlines. This appears to have prompted the need for the company to expand their reach into “diverse populations.”
Through “insights-driven patient recruitment,” a model where “diverse populations” will be matched to related “disease areas based on race, gender, socioeconomic status and location,” the company aims to correct the low participation rates by improving the clinical trial experience and making participation more accessible to a wider population. They will allow patients to participate at home, virtually, or in person.
Through these trials, the company will use “real world insights [to] support sponsors’ drug development strategies, inform clinical trial designs, optimize trial execution and improve diversity in trials,” the company said.
The move reportedly follows a recent study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where it was revealed that three-quarters of trial patients are white, 11% are Hispanic, and just under 10% are Asian or black.
Over half of Walgreens stores are within so-called “socially vulnerable areas.” The company touts its ability to “break down barriers” and give diverse communities the health engagement they need, with it administering around 40 million vaccines to underserved communities.
In other words, it appears that Walgreens is targeting “socially vulnerable areas” in an effort to get more ethnically diverse people to participate, given low participation rates of whites. By making the trials more accessible via virtual services, the company aims to meet its enrollment goals, and they are marketing this as an equitable solution for ethnic populations because they can match them to diseases based on their race and location.
“Through the launch of our clinical trials services, we can provide another offering for patients with complex or chronic conditions in their care journey, while helping sponsors advance treatment options for the diverse communities we serve. This is yet another way we are building our next growth engine of consumer-centric healthcare solutions,” said Walgreens’s chief clinical trials officer, Ramita Tandon.
Does any of this make sense to you?