Walgreens to partner with VillageMD for primary care expansion

Walgreens to partner with VillageMD for primary care expansion
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Walgreens is set to expand its primary care business with plans to add clinics in up to 700 locations.

The chain will establish the clinics in partnership with VillageMD, redesigning store interiors to narrow shelves and remove some products, such as tobacco, to create more space for the clinics, The Associated Press reported.

The company will invest up to $1 billion to expand the clinics in dozens of markets over the next five years, according to Forbes.

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“Of [Walgreens] investment, 80% will be used by VillageMD to fund the opening of the clinics and build the partnership, including integration with Walgreens digital assets,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday.

In contrast to the smaller clinics currently in place at some Walgreens locations as well as its rival CVS, the new “Village Medical at Walgreens” clinics will be between 3,300 square feet and 9,000 square feet, according to the companies.

“These clinics at our conveniently located stores are a significant step forward in creating the pharmacy of the future, meeting many essential health needs all under one roof as well as through other channels,” Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO and Executive Vice Chairman Stefano Pessina said, according to Forbes.

CVS Health, meanwhile, plans to establish 1,500 “HealthHub” primary care locations, which will also represent an expansion of services beyond those offered by its existing MinuteClinics.

VillageMD CEO and Chairman Tim Barry told Forbes the Walgreens model will be more focused on “existing long tenured relationships” between doctors and patients, as opposed to their rivals’ emphasis on creating a new health care “access point.”

“This partnership allows us to unleash the power of primary care doctors and pharmacists, enabling them to work in a coordinated way to enhance the patient experience,” he told the publication.