AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, Elligo Health Research announced a new partnership with Peoples Rx in Austin in an effort to get more people signed up for clinical research trials.

“Clinical trials, that’s basically the bedrock of every prescription medication that people are taking, vaccinations that people are taking, also diagnostic devices or modalities that we have,” Elligo’s medical director, Dr. Faith Holmes, said Wednesday.

She said getting people in the door is the most difficult part of getting a trial going.

“It’s getting enrollment in clinical trials, and enough people to be in the trials, in order for them to reach a statistical significance. And then the second part is retaining people in a clinical trial,” Dr. Holmes explained.

“Pharmacy is one of the most accessible and frequented segments of healthcare. And so we think partnering in this way makes great sense when we talk about providing accessibility to clinical research opportunities,” Nicola Trevis, Peoples Rx Pharmacy Director said Wednesday. The pharmacy has been serving Austin for 42 years, with four retail locations.

“I’ve been in clinical practice over 30 years, and for 20 years here in Austin, and during that period of time realized, just what an incredible reputation Peoples Rx has in the area. And so because of that, it was just a very natural first step, as we launched into this new kind of partnership,” Dr. Holmes said.

Coming out of the pandemic, there’s hope more people will be willing to sign up for trials.

“I think it’s well recognized that health care workers have had an extra heavy burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s also left people, those that aren’t associated with health care, wishing they could do more,” Trevis said.

“Folks come in, we know what the trial is that we’re helping to recruit participants for, and have a little bit of an indication from them being in our pharmacy, if they are a good fit for that study. And so then we can let them know about it,” Trevis explained.

“If we have a clinical trial coming, then we have a meeting with the pharmacists, we talk through the entirety of the trial,” Holmes continued.

The first trial is geared toward finding an at-home option for colorectal cancer screening.

“A lot of people want to have an alternative for the colonoscopy as a screening tool. And so to be able to partner with Peoples Rx, to be able to offer participation in this clinical trial, it can lead to a test which will ultimately allow people to be able to do at-home screening for cancer,” Holmes explained.

Those who don’t get their prescriptions filled by Peoples Rx can still go to any one of their retail locations to ask a pharmacist about ongoing clinical trials.