Walgreens invests $5.2 billion in VillageMD to provide primary care in-store

The investment will boost the number of VillageMD locations to 600 by 2025 and to 1,000 by 2027.

Walgreens is investing more in the retail healthcare space with a multibillion-dollar infusion into VillageMD.

According to a news release, Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to make an additional $5.2 billion investment in the retail primary care company in an effort to accelerate the opening of at least 600 Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices by 2025 and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of these practices will be in medically underserved communities.

The move comes after a previous investment of $1 billion in VillageMD which Walgreens announced last year after a successful pilot program in Texas the year before.

The additional investment brings Walgreens’ ownership stake in VillageMD to 63 percent from 30 percent from the initial investment. Through these investments, Walgreens has become the first national pharmacy chain to offer full-service primary care co-located at its stores on a large scale, according to the release.

“The best healthcare is deeply rooted in local communities, and Walgreens is committed to expanding convenient access to high-quality and affordable healthcare services to our patients and customers in our neighborhood locations,” Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, says in the release. “VillageMD is a leader within the fast-growing, value-based primary care segment with high rates of patient satisfaction and a talented management team who share our strategic vision of the central role that primary care can serve to improve patient outcomes and lower costs.”

VillageMD operates more than 230 practice across 15 markets with plans to expand nationally. It has seen rapid grown with revenues increasing from $217 million in 2017 to an expected $1.3 billion this year, the release says.

“Over the past two and a half years, we have worked side-by-side with Walgreens to create an integrated primary care and pharmacy model that accomplishes one primary goal: better patient care. (Walgreens Boots Alliance’s) investment supports our ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality healthcare to all patients, including many people who don’t currently have convenient access to a primary care provider,” Tim Barry, CEO and chairman of VillageMD, says in the release. “This expanded partnership helps us accelerate our mission to deliver the best healthcare in the world.”

Walgreens and VillageMD have 52 co-located primary care practice location currently open and expects more than 80 to be open by the end of 2021, according to the release.