Novartis chief touts new effort to offer streamlined, consumer-friendly trials

If there's one thing that Novartis ($NVS) CEO Joe Jimenez likes to talk about, it's efficiency. And currently he's talking up a new clinical trial project that could save the pharma giant a few bucks, accelerate studies and keep patients involved.

Jimenez took to his company blog recently to tout the potential of a deal with Walgreens. Ed Silverman at Pharmalot, who specializes in picking up on industry memes, notes the "Clinical Trials of the Future" program offers a way for Novartis to amp up its drug studies while offering the giant pharmacy chain a chance to get closer to consumers.    

"This approach would enable clinical trial patients to visit their local Walgreens for routine checks of some vital signs like blood pressure, reducing the need to travel to testing centers that may be far away, potentially speeding clinical timelines and reducing costs," Jimenez explains. It also doesn't hurt Novartis to embrace a big drug retail group like Walgreens.

Walgreens, in turn, might find itself providing more prescriptions for the trial participants, making it a three-way win for all involved. And that's the kind of consumer-oriented project that everyone in the clinical trial business is likely to pay close attention to--especially if they hope to cater to the likes of the Novartis's of the world.

- here's the story from Pharmalot

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