Pharmacy & Healthcare

'Together We Can': Walgreens celebrates Clinical Trials Day

The Walgreens Clinical Trials team brought together industry professionals and community members to talk about the advances and challenges in the clinical trials space.

Elyse Russo, Walgreens Stories

From left (top): Kendal Whitlock, head of digital optimization, real world evidence clinical trials at Walgreens; Ramita Tandon, Walgreens chief clinical trials officer; Tracey Brown, executive vice president and president, Walgreens retail and chief customer officer; and Donovan Pepper, Walgreens senior director of government relations. Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-2) holds up the Walgreens Clinical Trials Day binder for a photo at the event.

Together we can.” That was the theme for this year’s Clinical Trials Day, organized and celebrated globally on May 20 by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), with Walgreens as a supporting partner this year.

The theme was fitting for the Clinical Trials Day gathering coordinated by the Walgreens Clinical Trials team in Chicago. By harnessing the power of its people, presence and purpose, Walgreens brought together all the necessary players to discuss how the ecosystem around clinical trials needs to change to reach historically marginalized patient populations. In fact, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has recently taken additional steps to address these issues by advancing decentralized clinical trials and increasing racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials, but the work is just getting started to put the patient at the center of the drug development process.

Doctors, pharmacists, researchers, community leaders, advocates, academics, tech companies and pharmaceutical sponsor organizations were all represented at the event. Even Congresspersons Robin Kelly and Jonathan Jackson provided opening and closing remarks at the event.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall
Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall received the inaugural Clinical Trials Day Award from the Walgreens Clinical Trials team.

Attendees heard from keynote speakers and listened in to panel discussions that highlighted the advances in clinical trials while also shedding light on the challenges that have contributed to a lack of awareness, access and representation. Additional topics speakers featured during the day included elucidating and mitigating biases, guidance on decentralized clinical trials and health technologies and what’s worked in terms of expanding access to clinical trials. 


The Walgreens Clinical Trials team also had the privilege of giving keynote speaker Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall the inaugural Clinical Trials Day Award. The former executive vice president and chief medical officer at Pfizer, Lewis-Hall received the award due to her continued leadership in the clinical trials space. Her body of work reflects smart risk-taking and confidence during periods of uncertainty and elevates the understanding of how digital health technologies may break down complexities, like access and convenience, within the research ecosystem.

“Moving the needle on access and equity will take an ecosystem of partners,” says Walgreens Chief Clinical Trials Officer Ramita Tandon. “Together, we must commit to raising industry standards in health equity and access to clinical trials. We must begin rethinking the system, not reactively adjusting. The time is now to talk less and do more. Because together we can.”



For more information about Walgreens Clinical Trials, visit or check out Tandon’s recent blog post for ACRP.


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