NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. will attach 500 to 700 doctors' clinics to hundreds of drugstores as the pharmacy chain seeks to remodel itself as a health-care provider.
It's the first time a national pharmacy will offer full-service doctor offices co-located at its stores.
"This rollout is a major advancement of one of Walgreens Boots Alliance's four key strategic priorities, Creating Neighborhood Health Destinations," said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance. "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."
The clinics will open in more than 30 U.S. markets, including Texas, in the next five years, with the intent to build hundreds more thereafter.
The clinics will accept a wide range of health insurance options, and offer comprehensive primary care across a broad range of physician services. Additionally, 24/7 care will be available via telehealth and at-home visits. More than 50% will be located in Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The rollout follows a trial with five in-store clinics in Houston, which produced strong results after opening last November.
Most of the clinics will be 3,330 square feet each, with some as large as 9,000 square feet. They will optimize existing space in the store, which will also still provide a vast range of retail products to customers.
Under the terms of the new agreement, WBA will invest $1 billion in equity and convertible debt in VillageMD over the next three years, including a $250 million equity investment.
Of WBA's investment, 80% will be used by VillageMD to fund the opening of the clinics and build the partnership, including integration with Walgreens digital assets.
It is anticipated, assuming full conversion of the debt, that WBA will hold an approximately 30% ownership interest in VillageMD at the completion of the investment.
"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."
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