Walgreens to open hundreds of primary care clinics over next five years

July 8, 2020
Keith A. Reynolds

The company is partnering with VillageMD to open 500 to 700 primary care clinics by 2025 with hundreds more expected later.

Walgreens Boots is planning to open between 500 and 700 primary care clinics co-located with their stores within the next five years with hopes to open hundreds more afterward.

According to a news release, the move comes after a successful pilot program last year in Texas. The clinics will be called Village Medical at Walgreens and will be part of a $1 billion investment the drug store chain is making in VillageMD. They will integrate Walgreens pharmacists into a group of 3,600 physicians to be recruited by VillageMD.

“This rollout is a major advancement of one of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s four key strategic priorities, Creating Neighborhood Health Destinations,” Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, says in the release. “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.”

These clinics will accept a wide array of health insurance providers and will “offer comprehensive primary care across a broad range of physician services.” They will offer 24/7 care through telehealth and in-office visits and more than 50 percent will be located in areas with physician shortages, according to the release.

“In the U.S., we spend $4 trillion per year on healthcare, over 85 percent of that is tied to patients with chronic diseases. To improve our healthcare system and reverse the trajectory of health spending, we must meet the needs of all patients. 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,” said Tim Barry, chairman and CEO, VillageMD. “The results of our initial pilot clinics highlight that these outcomes are infinitely achievable.”