Accelerating Access to Medicine Through Research, Collaboration, and Innovation

October 25, 2023
Brian Urban


Accelerating access to medicine for underserved communities, with a goal of diversity and inclusion, is possible. The healthcare community can turn vision into reality through research, collaboration, and innovation.

As the healthcare landscape continuously morphs, the spotlight is now on how systemic inequities impact the journey from medical research to accessible patient care. The global health crisis has exacerbated the urgency for a more inclusive approach, revealing stark representation gaps, particularly in clinical trials. A startling statistic from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development unveils that a mere 5% of the U.S. populace partakes in clinical trials, with Caucasians making up 75% of this demographic. This glaring lack of diversity not only underscores a failure in representation but also threatens the universal applicability of trial outcomes, leaving the needs of many unaddressed.

As healthcare stakeholders grapple with these challenges, a critical question surfaces: How can the melding of research collaboration and innovation fast-track the availability of medical interventions while concurrently ensuring a diverse and representative participation in clinical trials?

In Healthcare Rethink, a FinThrive Podcast, host Brian Urban orchestrates a deep-dive discussion with industry frontrunners – Ramita Tandon, the Chief Clinical Trials Officer from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Dr. Mitesh Rao, the CEO and Founder of OMNY Health, and Jaime Smith, Ph.D., the Global Head of Scientific Data at Parexel. Together, they traverse the intricate avenues of accelerating medication accessibility through synergistic research endeavors and innovation, with a unique lens on amplifying diversity in clinical trials to reflect the kaleidoscope of the populace it aims to serve.

Urban, Tandon, Rao, and Smith discuss the following topics:

  • Unveiling the systemic barriers in clinical trial diversity and the collaborative ventures to navigate these challenges
  • The cardinal role of community pharmacies like Walgreens in local healthcare delivery and clinical trial education
  • The potential of real-world data and strategic alliances in democratizing access to clinical trials and healthcare resources

Ramita Tandon is a medical research trailblazer focusing on disrupting the conventional clinical development life cycle. Dr. Mitesh Rao brings a robust background as an emergency medicine physician turned health system executive, with an enduring passion for leveraging data to bridge organizational silos and enhance patient inclusion in research opportunities. Jaime Smith’s journey from a budding economist to a leader in the healthcare sector’s statistical research and predictive modeling embodies a relentless pursuit of impactful research and a vision for global healthcare innovation.

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