Walmart steps into clinical trials claiming ability to improve diversity

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Fly View Productions / Getty Images
© Fly View Productions / Getty Images

Related tags: Walmart, Clinical trial recruitment

Walmart joins rival retailers by launching its service for clinical trial recruitment, stating that it will focus on older, rural, women and minority populations.

The business project was announced through the Walmart Healthcare Research Institute, which will work alongside clinical research organizations (CROs), pharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers to help recruit patients to clinical trials.

The initial stages of the project will concentrate on recruitment for the studies on chronic conditions and ‘innovative treatments,’ where it would aim to improve access to such trials for underserved communities.

As part of the move into clinical trial recruitment space, Walmart launched the ‘MyHealthJourney’ digital tool, which is delivered to patients through a digital health application.

According to the company, patients can use the app to access nearby research studies and it will also hold a log of patients’ medical records, insurance information, and reminders for preventative care services. Further than this, it will provide patients with reminders for care services and research opportunities.

Of the partners established to orchestrate its efforts for clinical trial recruitment, Walmart announced that it would be working with CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting Services, and Laina Enterprises.

CTI is a global CRO, which stated that it becomes the only CRO provider of real world evidence (RWE) services for clinical trials for Walmart’s initiative. Both companies will work together on clinical trial design and patient enrollment, with Walmart being able to provide support for recruitment into both site-based and decentralized trials.

Laina Enterprises is a virtual clinical trial management system, which provides recruitment services that include patient identification and engagement.

Denise Hopkins, VP of Global RWE at CTI, explained that the two companies had been working together for some time to implement solutions that would allow for the recruitment of patients, particularly underrepresented populations.

According to Walmart, the new venture has already demonstrated a referral rate three times higher than the average industry benchmark.

Walmart’s efforts in the area arrives later than its rivals, such as CVS​ and Walgreens​, which already began working on clinical trial recruitment in the last few years.

CVS launched its Clinical Trial Services division in May 2021 and stated, at the time, that it had three core capabilities of precision patient recruitment, clinical trial delivery and real-world evidence generation and studies.

Walgreens launched its own effort in June of this year, when it too outlined that it was making its move into the area to improve diversity in clinical trials.

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