U.S. retail giant Walmart says it will now work to recruit clinical trial research subjects for drug companies, medical centers, and research labs to make medicine "Safer, higher quality, and more equitable," the company said.
Walmart will now be competing with large pharmacy brands in the U.S., like CVS and Walgreens, who have already been finding clinical research participants.
Chief medical officer Dr. John Wigneswaran said Walmart wants to work to recruit more ethnic minorities to join research trials, as the industry says these groups are historically under-represented in studies.
An institute to be set up will focus on recruiting study participants for clinical trials researching treatments for heart disease, COVID-19, asthma, and diabetes.
As Digital Health reported, Walmart says it will recruit participants, at least in part, through a new digital health app as it launches its Walmart Research Institute.
Wigneswaran said, “We know our customers are interested in participating in healthcare research, but many have not had access until now. We are already making an impact for our customers and for medical research by raising patient trust and engagement in their care.”
Walmart said the company has partnered with the clinical research organization CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting Services and the virtual clinical trial company Laina Enterprises.