Walgreens Partners With VillageMD to Open Clinics

Walgreens

If 2020 has taught the United States anything about the healthcare system, it is that it fails in many ways. Moreover, in America, affordable healthcare has been a problem for a long time. Largely, Black and brown communities are plagued with a lack of affordable and accessible healthcare. For this reason, Walgreens and VillageMD are joining together to help aid in the fight for affordable healthcare. Over the next five years, they will open about 500 to 700 clinics. Most of which will be placed in low-income neighborhoods.

Advantages of VillageMD Partnership

Undoubtedly, the pharmacy will have a number of competitors including CVS, Walmart, and Target. However, there are advantages to Village Medical at Walgreens clinics. These advantages include close proximity to homes, more aid for patients with chronic medical issues, acceptance of multiple forms of health insurance and cash payments, as well as 24/7 telehealth communication.

The brand believes by offering these opportunities and placing the clinics in underserved communities, more people will feel inclined to regularly visit the doctor. The board-certified physicians at the clinics will fully cooperate with Walgreens pharmacists.

More Space for Healthcare

On the other hand, the partnership with VillageMD will mean the retailer will need to make some floorplan adjustments. According to USAToday, “Walgreens stores have 10,500 square feet of sales space, Walgreens plans to remove some floor space currently devoted to retail items to make way for clinics”. They have not specified which part of the retail section will be removed yet, but whichever space is cleared, it will be used to house more medicine.

VillageMD’s CEO, Tim Barry, stated, “Instead of giving someone a referral slip….he said clinics can see about 100 to 120 patients a day.” It seems like both companies are trying to actively address the health concerns of people who have long been ignored. In addition to the billions of dollars backing the partnership, there is extensive research. In fact, CNBC reports, “6 in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic condition that requires multiple daily medications.” Daily medications are often expensive and sometimes may not address the actual illness. Instead of this approach, VillageMD hopes to give patients effective solutions.

Shift in Branding

Overall, this shift in Walgreens branding seems like it will help immensely. The change was largely sparked in response to the pandemic, in addition to their success in Houston. Walgreens chief, Alex Gourlay, even stated that the brand wants to be everywhere in American where people need healthcare. They hope to open more clinics if the current venture is successful. For those unable to afford healthcare, this is good news.

Whether or not the clinics will be effective is unknown until doors open. However, it is hopeful the clinics will address the patients’ concerns.

Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

CNBC: Walgreens strikes deal with primary-care company to open doctor offices in hundreds of drugstores

FOX BUSINESS: Walgreens opening hundreds of doctor offices alongside pharmacies

USAToday: Walgreens to open 500 to 700 in-store clinics with primary care doctors in deal with VillageMD

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Mike Mozart’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License

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