CVS Announces It Will Launch Clinical Trials Division


Here’s something that you don’t see every day….. CVS has announced that it is opening a new division to provide Clinical Trial Services. Yep, the whole magilla, including patient recruitment.

So, are clinical trial services a good fit for CVS? In short, yes.

With the number of new therapies growing exponentially the need for effective clinical trial management partners are top of mind with manufacturers. There are many CRO / Clinical Trial companies, but demand is now exceeding supply. Also, the track record for established companies is less than stellar. Participant recruitment and retention prevent many trials from finishing successfully. Upwards of 80% of studies don’t meet participant enrollment deadlines, and around 30% of participants drop out before a study is completed due to reasons ranging from inconvenient site location, complex participation requirements, and trial duration.

CVS has some limited experience with clinical trials and offers some good results to showcase. One example includes CVS’ infusion subsidiary, Coram. That particular trial achieved a patient retention rate close to 90% – well over the 70% average rate – due to Coram’s integrated position as the home care / infusion & enteral nutrition provider for the trial participants.

CVS can fast-track recruitment by tapping into its massive customer base as pharmacy benefit manager, its national retail pharmacy network, and its insurance business to find eligible patients. The cherry on the top is that 75% of people in the US live within 3 miles of a CVS store, which boosts accessibility….. about 40% of patients say that distance from trial sites and schedule conflicts are top reasons for dropping out.

But….. the there is one huge reason to use clinical trials as a way to get in on the ground level with manufactures….. CVS can increase its chances of being selected as the HUB provider, and/or the exclusive or a select specialty pharmacy if the product launches through limited distribution.
A good example of having one’s cake and eating it too!

CVS Health Introduces Clinical Trial Services

The new business is uniquely positioned to continue delivering research solutions for COVID-19 and beyond with community presence, data capabilities and health care expertise

WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Clinical trials are critical in evaluating the safety and efficacy of investigational new drugs and devices and making them available to those who need them. Despite their importance, less than 4 percent of the U.S. population participates in clinical studies. In addition, 80 percent of studies don’t meet participant enrollment deadlines, and an average of 30 percent of participants drop out before a study is completed.1 CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced its new Clinical Trial Services business that brings together innovation and experience to help solve these challenges, driving greater access to clinical trials across the communities it serves and creating a more efficient, convenient experience to improve participant retention and research effectiveness.

CVS Health
“Traditionally low patient enrollment, diversity and engagement coupled with inconvenient trial sites, challenging study participation requirements, including the length of participation, show the need to improve the current model – particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. “Combining clinical trial expertise from across the CVS Health enterprise with our growing connection to the communities we serve, will help create a new clinical trial experience that works better for participants, health care providers, clinical research organizations and study sponsors.”

CVS Health Clinical Trial Services is working with key stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical industry and across the clinical trial ecosystem to design and deliver innovative approaches to research and real-world evidence generation. The new business will initially focus on scaling three core capabilities:

Precision patient recruitment: Leveraging analytics, national reach, and local community connections to engage individuals by helping them learn about clinical trial opportunities that may be appropriate for them
Clinical trial delivery: Innovative, decentralized options for the delivery of Phase III/IV clinical trials and real-world evidence studies at CVS locations, at home or virtually
Real-world evidence generation and studies: Retrospective and prospective studies that measure the impact of novel devices and therapeutics in real-world settings
CVS Health collaborated with the pharmaceutical industry to help facilitate clinical trials for investigational COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Using a specially designed digital model and screening protocols, CVS Health engaged more than 300,000 volunteers who met the study inclusion criteria for COVID-19 vaccine trial consideration and helped them connect to studies close to where they live.

The Clinical Trial Services business will continue to use CVS Health’s expertise in both health care services and clinical research, including more than 200 in-home clinical trials, real-world evidence studies, and support for publication of peer-reviewed articles.


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