Walgreens partners with Verily to cut healthcare costs

Walgreens and Verily, Alphabet's life sciences unit, will team up to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care, particularly for patients with chronic conditions.

Under the partnership, Walgreens will become "the first-choice retail pharmacy development and commercialization partner to Verily." The partnership will expand access to the Alphabet subsidiary's technology by deploying it at Walgreens retail locations.  

The companies will initially work on developing and testing a medication adherence pilot project. This could include using devices and exploring other approaches, according to the news release.

In addition, Walgreens will tap Onduo, Verily's joint venture with Sanofi, to launch a virtual diabetes solution for Walgreens employees and family members with Type 2 diabetes through its employee health plan.

"The continued rise in chronic diseases today can be costly to patients as well as to our healthcare system. Working with Verily, we'll look at how we can best support integrated and value-based care to meet our patients' needs, as well as opportunities to address other chronic conditions over time," said Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina.

Walgreens joins its rival CVS by announcing it is prioritizing lowering the the cost of care for its consumers. CVS worked toward this goal through a partnership with insurer Aetna.

The deal is the latest push by Alphabet into the healthcare industry. In November, Alphabet's subsidiary, Google, hired David Feinberg, MD, CEO and president of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, to run its health unit.

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