Walmart to compete with CVS and Walgreens for clinical trial participants

Walmart said Tuesday it will begin helping pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and academic medical centers recruit people for clinical trials.

The Walmart Healthcare Research Institute will focus on recruiting seniors, rural residents, and minorities for clinical trials and chronic disease treatment research.

The move puts Walmart in direct competition with Walgreens and CVS Health Group, which have recently launched clinical trials divisions and are looking to partner with other companies. diverse population.

For months, the Food and Drug Administration has focused on helping organizations recruit more clinical trial participants from underrepresented ethnic and racial populations to improve drug research and patient outcomes.

According to the FDA, in 2020, 75% of U.S. drug trial participants were white, 11% were Hispanic, 8% were black, and 6% were Asian.

“We know that our customers are interested in participating in health research, but many of them have not yet had access,” Dr. John Wigneswaran, chief medical officer of Walmart, said in a press release.

With 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of Walmart and nearly 4,000 stores located in underserved areas, Wigneswaran said the retailer hopes to connect with shoppers and patients closer to where they live and work.

While Walmart has been in the healthcare industry for over a decade, in 2019 the company created Walmart Health, a division that offers primary and emergency care, labs, diagnostics, mental health, dental, optometry, and hearing services. There are 32 Walmart Health centers in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas, with six more opening in Florida.

The company also launched its own brand of insulin last year.

In 2021, Walmart Health generated $42.84 billion in sales, nearly 11% of Walmart’s total revenue.

Walmart has also entered the insurance market, partnering with healthcare startup Transcarent in 2021 to provide access to healthcare for groups of employers, and announced in September that it would offer preventive services to UnitedHealth Group Medicare Advantage customers under a 10-year agreement.

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