Walgreens to reduce number of in-store clinics

Walgreens plans to close its in-store health clinics to cut costs and will look to outside companies to provide medical services in its stores, according to The Wall Street Journal

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company said Oct. 28 that it will close its roughly 160 in-store health clinics it runs itself but keep open the 220 clinics that are run by local health systems. It didn't give an estimate of the financial impact. 

Walgreens has used in-store health clinics to treat chronically ill patients as a way to offset slowing revenue from prescription drugs and competition from online retailers, according to the WSJ. To do so, Walgreens has increasingly pursued partnerships with other companies and health systems.

Walgreens' roughly 400 walk-in clinics have at best barely broken even for the company, so its new goal is to shift away from treating minor illnesses to focusing on chronic care for patients with conditions including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. 

The news of the company's decision to close its clinics came as it posted a 55 percent drop in quarterly profit. 

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