Walmart Enters the Clinical Trial Recruitment Fray
Walmart, the top U.S. retailer, has launched an initiative aimed at improving access to clinical trials for underrepresented communities, entering a space already inhabited by competitors Walgreens and CVS Health.
The initiative, named the Walmart Healthcare Research Institute, will help sponsors find and connect with potential trial participants, with a focus on racial/ethnic minorities, women, older adults and patients in rural areas.
The company will also offer patients MyHealthJourney, a digital app that helps find upcoming trials and tracks their healthcare activities. The tool provides access to medical records and insurance information in a single location and sends notifications about trial opportunities that arise.
The company said it’s working with an array of partners, including pharmaceutical companies, CROs and top academic medical centers, to help enable trial access for underserved and underrepresented communities.
“We want to help ensure all our customers have access to high quality, affordable and convenient healthcare resources, including innovative research,” said John Wigneswaran, chief medical officer of Walmart. “We know our customers are interested in participating in healthcare research, but many have not had access until now.”
Pharmacy chain Walgreens announced in June that it had launched a clinical trial business with a goal of helping tackle access and diversity challenges in research. CVS Health launched its clinical trial services wing a month prior (CenterWatch Weekly, June 20).