Kroger Health Moves Into Clinical Trial Space

Grocer will utilize its pharmacies and Little Clinic sites to conduct studies
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
Kroger pharmacy
Kroger Health is partnering with several health care businesses to bring clinical trials to its pharmacies.

As part of an effort undertaken by Kroger Health, pharmaceutical industry sponsors, contract research organizations and health systems, the grocer’s health care division is establishing a clinical trial site network. Kroger Health is aiming to increase reach and access to research studies, and its first trial is currently in active recruitment for colorectal cancer gut and immune health observation.

The ARGONAUT clinical study, undertaken in collaboration with Persephone Biosciences, will begin in the Toledo, Ohio, area with select Kroger pharmacies and The Little Clinic locations enrolling an initial cohort of 55 people with a variety of colorectal cancer risk levels. The goal is to advance the understanding of gut and immune health, and Kroger Health will enroll additional participants and increase its locations over the next year.

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"With our team of more than 24,000 health care professionals, under the umbrella of America's grocer, we are positioned at the nexus of food and health care, which provides us with the unique opportunity to increase accessibility to clinical trial opportunities," said Colleen Lindholz, Kroger Health president. "As a trusted community health care destination, we envision a future where our work transforms the clinical trial landscape and provides expanded trial access to the people we serve."

Kroger Health says its goal is to engage a wider range of the population in clinical trials by using select Kroger pharmacies and Little Clinics as trial sites. The company will use digital tools, virtual care visits and personalized communication to facilitate patient retention throughout the study's lifecycle, and will utilize its clinics, dietitians, pharmacy services and relationships with other health care organizations to offer end-to-end clinical trial management.

"Through our collaborations with health systems across the country, we can nimbly work to optimize the patient experience to improve health care delivery and maintain continuity of care while expanding the frontiers of care and treatment," said Jim Kirby, PharmD, chief commercial officer of Kroger Health. "This is the first of many clinical trial opportunities that will utilize us as an alternative to the traditional clinical trial and research organization model."

Kroger Health, the health care division of The Kroger Co., has more than 2,200 pharmacies and 226 clinics in 35 states serving more than 17 million customers with a team of 24,000 health care practitioners. Cincinnati-based Kroger has almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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