Walgreens and Cardiovascular Research Foundation join forces to 'tackle critical health challenge'

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Collaboration Patient centricity Research diversity Age-related diseases

A collaboration has been formed between the US pharmacy chain Walgreens and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) to measure how prevalent valvular heart disease (VHD) is among older Americans.

This is with a view of paving the way for developing new therapies and tools for detection and diagnosis of the disease.

Walgreens says it intends to use its national presence, strong community relationships and data-driven clinical trials solutions to help identify and reach potential new study participants.

“The aging population has led to a surge in the incidence and prevalence of valvular heart disease in the United States. Unfortunately, many patients with valvular heart disease remain untreated or receive treatment later than recommended due to various barriers.

“CRF believes efficient clinical trials are essential for arming us with insights to effectively tackle this critical health challenge,” said David Cohen, director of clinical and outcomes research at CRF.

“Partnering with Walgreens will help us engage a broader and more representative patient population for enrollment in the PREVUE-VALVE study so that we can improve our ability to diagnose valvular heart disease before the onset of irreversible cardiac damage, which will allow for more timely treatment and ultimately, better health outcomes, for our patients.”

Walgreens says it will provide patient recruitment services to support this study, the aim of which is to define the prevalence of VHD in older Americans and to ensure representative access and enrollment. To enhance patient convenience and engagement, participants will have all study procedures performed in the comfort of their homes.

The company says that by using longitudinal pharmacy, social determinants of health insights and automated recruitment selection software, it will be able to reach eligible patients for enrollment to help orchestrate their participation seamlessly.

Historically, estimates of the prevalence of VHD in the United States have been derived from homogeneous populations with minimal diversity—particularly with respect to race and ethnicity.

Furthermore, the older population, where VHD is more prevalent, has been disproportionately excluded from clinical trials. By enrolling a population representative of the whole of the US, the PREVUE-VALVE study is a crucial step toward developing testing and treatments that address the needs of the most affected patients.

“We know that older adults are vastly underrepresented in clinical trials and research despite being disproportionately impacted by many diseases,” said Ramita Tandon, chief clinical trials officer, Walgreens.

“We are proud to leverage our expertise and capabilities in inclusive clinical trial recruitment in partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation and other high-caliber collaborators to improve cardiovascular research for a population with significant unmet needs.”

In a similar phase 3 cardiovascular study, Walgreens exceeded its recruitment within weeks. Real-world insights enabled Walgreens to tap into historically underrepresented populations, resulting in a significant increase in Black/African American (17%) and Hispanic/Latino (19%) participation in the clinical trial, compared to nationwide 2020 averages of clinical trial participation of 8% and 11% respectively.

The PREVUE-VALVE study is currently underway, with topline results expected in 2025, making a significant step forward in the fight against valvular heart disease.

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