Walmart's research institute aims to solve the diversity gap in clinical trials

Walmart looks to overhaul healthcare's research system with its new Healthcare Research Institute, Politico reported Dec. 7. 

John Wigneswaran, MD, chief medical officer of Walmart, told Politico it wants to be a part of the solution that gives older adults, rural residents, women and minority populations a chance to be included in clinical research. 

The company announced back in October that its research institute would allow customers the chance to enroll in healthcare research. And with a Walmart within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population, Dr. Wigneswaran said this could help solve the diversity gaps in clinical trials.

According to the report, in 2020, 75 percent of clinical trial participants were white, 11 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Black and 6 percent Asian.

"So one of the things that we're trying to hold ourselves to is to try to think about 'great, you recruited someone, but what is the long-lasting impact in the community after,'" said Dr. Wigneswaran. 

The retailer said almost 5 million people have already expressed interest in participating in its clinical trials.

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