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Walgreens Partners with Boehringer Ingelheim to Expand Clinical Trials

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

May 6, 2024

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The initiative seeks to address a longstanding issue of underrepresentation in clinical trials, particularly among Black and Hispanic adults, who are disproportionately affected by obesity in the United States.

US-based Walgreens has joined hands with pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim to facilitate clinical trials targeting individuals grappling with obesity, overweight, and Type-2 diabetes. 

The alliance aims to harness Walgreens' expansive network of community pharmacies as pivotal sites for these crucial research endeavors.

Moreover, the initiative seeks to address a longstanding issue of underrepresentation in clinical trials, particularly among Black and Hispanic adults, who are disproportionately affected by obesity in the US. 

By leveraging the widespread presence of Walgreens pharmacies, the initiative strives to bridge this gap in representation and improve access to vital healthcare interventions.

Talking about the partnership, Ramita Tandon, chief clinical trials officer. Walgreens, said, "Embracing our pharmacy clinical trial centres in this study underscores our joint commitment to community health and innovation." 

Established in June 2022, Walgreens' clinical trials unit emerged as a pivotal platform for facilitating collaborations with leading pharmaceutical entities. 

The partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim marks a significant advancement in this trajectory, as it aligns with the company's objective to utilize its national presence and community relationships to identify and engage potential study participants. 

Through this concerted effort, Walgreens aims to optimize recruitment processes and foster greater inclusivity in clinical trials.

Advancing Research in Obesity Treatment

Boehringer Ingelheim's pursuit of Phase III studies for survodutide, a glucagon/glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor dual agonist, underscores the pharmaceutical giant's commitment to combating obesity. 

Further, Phase II data has shown promising results, with up to 19% weight loss observed in individuals grappling with overweight or obesity.

"This model not only provides foundational education on clinical research for patients but also empowers individuals, offering them a new pathway to engage in their healthcare through clinical trial participation," Tandon added.

Driving Healthcare Innovation

Over the past two years, Walgreens has established itself as a key player in the healthcare research landscape, signing multiple contracts with pharmaceutical companies to support various clinical trials.

CEO Tim Wentworth highlighted the efficiency of Walgreens' recruitment process, stating, "We're able to recruit diverse patient panels four times faster than pharma can do it themselves." 

Wentworth also noted the value of data-driven approaches in delivering results for pharmaceutical partners.

Wallgreen’s Recent Developments

Recently, Walgreens forayed into gene and cell therapy services by launching a Specialty Pharmacy. This move sought to cater to the burgeoning demand for innovative healthcare solutions.

This initiative is part of the company's broader strategy to consolidate its specialty pharmacy segment assets under the newly integrated business unit, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. 

The unit, which encompasses former entities such as AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy, operates within the Walgreens US retail pharmacy segment.


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