Walmart will help pharmaceutical companies and research firms identify and recruit people for clinical trials.
The big box retailer has rolled out a healthcare research service.
Walmart Healthcare Research Institute will find participants to fill their clinical trials.
This could position the firm against competitors Walgreens and CVS Health Group.
The company will host MyHealthJourney, a patient site that lets patients identify forthcoming research trials and track their care.
Its foray into clinical trial recruiting might result in new income streams from pharmaceutical companies.
Walmart’s chief medical officer, John Wigneswaran, stated that the retailer’s clinics and pharmacies will serve as a “funnel” for healthcare groups.
This is for those who want to gain access to its diverse customer populations for potential trials and research.
Patient recruitment in clinical studies is challenging.
When companies are unable to recruit enough participants in a study, or when patients drop out, the study may be postponed or discontinued.
Senior citizens, rural communities, women, and people of color are frequently excluded from clinical research in the US.
It is mostly due to a lack of awareness about trials and access to facilities.
Walmart is collaborating with Laina Enterprises, a virtual clinical trial management platform.
Walgreens said in June that it has launched clinical trial services in order to improve the variety of test subjects.
A company spokeswoman said Walgreens is in discussions with “many leading pharmaceutical companies.”
Its purpose is to aid in patient recruitment, virtual or hybrid clinical trials, and diversity programs.
In 2021, CVS Health began offering clinical trials.
The pharmacy has done research to monitor the emergence of COVID-19 variants.
Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career
It is also doing a flu study and working with Pfizer to recruit 600 people for a trial to investigate the long-term impact of COVID-19.
Walmart has previously stated that it wishes to concentrate its efforts on high-margin areas such as healthcare, financial services, and advertising.
Walmart Health launched in Dallas, Georgia in 2019 and now has 24 sites in Arkansas, Florida, and Illinois.
Last month, the retailer said it will work with UnitedHealth Group to deliver preventative healthcare to senior populations as well as telehealth services to people of all ages.