Walgreen To Expand Number of In-Store Clinics
Walgreen announced at the company's annual meeting on Wednesday that it plans to expand the number of walk-in clinics available at its 5,584 stores nationwide, the Chicago Tribune reports. Walgreen hopes the in-store clinics will boost prescription drug sales and encourage customer loyalty.
Walgreen has opened 50 in-store clinics in five markets since last year and plans to operate 250 nationwide by August. The clinics offer treatment for minor ailments and are operated by nurse practitioners.
Walgreen is moving forward carefully with the expansion in an effort to avoid alienating doctors, according to company officials.
The American Medical Association has pushed for increasing scrutiny of in-store health clinics.
At a press conference following the meeting, CEO Jeffrey Rein said, "The clinics over time will help lower health care costs."
CVS, Wal-Mart and Target in the past three years also have opened in-store clinics (Jones, Chicago Tribune, 1/11).
Walgreen executives declined to rule out the possibility of acquiring a pharmacy benefits management company, the Sun-Times reports.
Rein said, "We don't want to take it off the table. We consider everything" (Guy, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/11).