Empowering Women in Clinical Trials: 5 Inspiring Quotes to Drive Change

Clinical Trials Day is globally recognized on May 20, and this year, the Walgreens Clinical Trials team celebrated with a special event dedicated to women’s health. Appropriately, May is National Women’s Health Month.

“Walgreens is taking action to elevate awareness about gender-specific disparities related to health, and the importance and relevance of participation in medical research,” said Kendal Whitlock, head of digital optimization for Walgreens Clinical Trials. Whitlock organized the Walgreens Clinical Trials Day event, held earlier this week in the Boston area—a timely location as Walgreens announced the opening of a new clinical trials center in nearby Malden.

The event brought together doctors, pharmacists, community leaders, advocates, academics, tech companies, and pharmaceutical organizations. The day began with remarks from local Congressman Jake Auchincloss and featured keynote speakers and panels. Many of the women who participated made bold statements about the state of women’s health and how to support women’s inclusion in medical research. Here are five of their inspirational quotes:

  1. “Let’s make some noise.” Walgreens Chief Clinical Trials Officer Ramita Tandon highlighted a milestone demonstrating Walgreens’ commitment to including women in medical research: “As the two-year anniversary of our clinical trials business approaches, we celebrate reaching more than 4 million patients to potentially enroll in trials, and of those, more than 60% have been women. We will continue to make strides to bring trials directly to our communities and continue dialing up the noise on women’s health.”
  2. “Ask and explain.” Dr. Yvette Cozier, an investigator on the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) and the BWHS Sarcoidosis Study at the Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, spoke about recruiting Black women for clinical trials: “In my research, I’ve learned that Black women want to participate in clinical research. You just have to package information so that someone like my grandmother would understand it and do it. If you ask women and explain things to them, they will join clinical trials.”
  3. “Looking back informs how to look forward.” Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, medical director of urgent care clinics at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, emphasized the importance of history in shaping future healthcare: “True diversity in healthcare goes beyond token representation. Acknowledging our history is essential to equip ourselves with insights needed to address trust and prevent delayed care. After all, our past still impacts how we’re bringing healthcare to women. The National Institutes of Health reported it takes up to 17 years for new evidence to translate into standard clinical practice, which means we’re still using practices studied more than 17 years ago.”
  4. “Inclusion in the standard of care.” Epidemiologist Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, wants women to feel confident that they are included in developing the standard of care: “When we say something is evidence-based, I want the women I’m talking to to know that the standard of care was created with them in mind and that they were involved in the research.”
  5. “Healthy women should matter to everyone.” Dr. Beth Garner, Chief Scientific Officer of Ferring Pharmaceuticals US, stressed why women’s health is a universal concern: “We all know that when women are healthy, everyone is healthy. That’s why it’s important to include people in clinical trials who look like the people who will be using your product when it’s approved. That is why it’s so amazing what Walgreens is doing in clinical trials. It’s so exciting to bring clinical trials to the people.”

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