Walgreens opening hundreds of doctor offices alongside pharmacies

The pharmacy is partnering with VillageMD to open 700 physician-led primary care clinics

More retailers ramping up health care efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Walgreens announced Wednesday it would add doctor offices through a partnership with VillageMD at its stores after a successful test run last year to bring more health care access under one roof, the pharmacy chain announced.

Walgreens will open up to 700 physician-led primary care clinics in more than 30 U.S. markets within the next five years and is aiming to build hundreds more to follow, the company said.

A Walgreens pharmacy with social distancing at check out counter. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Clinics will feature more than 3,600 primary care providers accepting a number of health insurance options. Walgreens' VillageMD clinics will also be available for consumers to access via telehealth for at-home visits.

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"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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Walgreens will invest $1 billion in equity and convertible debt in VillageMD over the next three years, including a $250 million equity investment to be completed Wednesday. Eighty percent of the Walgreens investment will be used by VillageMD to fund the opening of the clinics and build the partnership, including integration with Walgreens digital assets.

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A number of retailers are bolstering their health care services. Walmart confirmed this week it was starting its own insurance company, allowing consumers to access health insurance services like Medicare in the same store locations where they shop for groceries and clothing.

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