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Walgreens to expand in-store health services across 600 stores

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens and LabCorp announced a collaboration Oct. 12 to open LabCorp patient service centers at at least 600 Walgreens stores across the nation during the next four years.

The 600 brick-and-mortar locations will include the 17 that have already opened in Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Deerfield, Ill., since the organizations revealed plans to collaborate last June. The in-store LabCorp facilities will offer consumers the opportunity to provide specimens for a broad range of laboratory testing.

Walgreens and LabCorp are also exploring novel approaches to clinical research, the industrywide transition to value-based care, and initiatives to help consumers take on a greater role in their own health and well-being.

During an Oct. 11 earnings call, Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina said partnerships, like the one with LabCorp, are a key factor driving more customers into its stores because they "enable us to quickly align our products, services and people to the needs of the rapidly changing and integrated omnichannel marketplace," according to Bloomberg.

Walgreens' rivals have instead turned to large-scale acquisitions in a bid for market control. The Justice Department recently approved CVS Health's $69 billion takeover of Aetna, as long as Aetna divests its Medicare Part D business to WellCare Health Plans. Cigna's bid to acquire pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts for roughly $52 million also received approval from the Justice Department.

While Mr. Pessina said a similar large-scale acquisition is not necessarily in Walgreens' playbook at the moment, he noted Walgreens "[has] never excluded any M&A activity," adding that any potential deal would have to be "really value-creating for our shareholders," Bloomberg reports.

More articles on transactions and valuations:
Saint Peter's HealthCare seeks strategic partner
Breaking through planning and execution paralysis: Executing strategic initiatives during healthcare mergers and acquisitions
CVS Health-Aetna deal OK'd by Justice Department

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