Walgreens year in review: A timeline of key events

2019 was a year of executive changes, new partnerships and cost-cutting measures for Walgreens as it fought to stay competitive in an ever-changing pharmacy landscape. 

Below is a timeline of key moves Walgreens made in 2019, reported by Becker's Hospital Review:

Editor's Note: The list doesn't include lawsuits, non-healthcare-focused partnerships or state-centric news.

Jan. 15: Walgreens partners with Microsoft to develop new healthcare delivery models
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft signed a seven-year deal "to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of healthcare."

Feb. 19: Walgreens remodels to look like physician offices
Walgreens redesigns some of its stores to feature such health services such as optical, lab, hearing and pharmacy.

April 2: Walgreens plans to cut $1.5B in costs after weaker than expected Q2
After missing analysts' second-quarter sales and earnings expectations, Walgreens Boots Alliance vows to cut more than $1.5 billion in costs by fiscal year 2022.

April 5: Walgreens plans to invest $300M in digital health
After reporting a dip in net earnings for the first quarter, Walgreens announced plans to invest $300 million in digital health to make up for the losses.

April 10: Walgreens, VillageMD team up to offer primary care in Houston
Walgreens partnered with VillageMD to open several primary care clinics in Houston, giving patients access to primary care physicians, pharmacists, nurses and social workers.

April 26: Walgreens shakes up its C-suite
Walgreens hired five executives tasked with improving operations, including a chief digital officer, chief accounting officer, chief marketing officer, chief commercial officer and chief global supply chain officer. 

June 27: Walgreens profit falls in Q3 despite hike in US sales
Despite reporting an increase in U.S. retail and prescription drug sales, Walgreens' profit fell in the third quarter of 2019.

July 1: Walgreens closes more stores in both the UK and US
As part of a worldwide cost management program, Walgreens Boots Alliance closed 200 drugstores in the U.K. and 750 of the Rite Aid stores the company acquired in 2018.

July 10: Walgreens CMO leaves the company 
Walgreens CMO Patrick Carroll, MD, left the retail pharmacy giant to join health and wellness company Hims & Hers as its first CMO.

July 30: Walgreens, Humana plan to open more senior primary care clinics
Walgreens and Humana announced plans to open three more senior-focused primary care centers in Walgreens stores.

Aug. 7: Walgreens closes 200 US stores 
Walgreens announced its plans to close 200 stores in the U.S. to decrease its real estate footprint by about 3 percent.

Sept. 19: Walgreens tests on-demand drone delivery
Walgreens, in partnership with Alphabet's drone service Wing, tested an on-demand drone delivery service.

Oct. 1: Novant Health plans to open health clinics inside Walgreens
Novant Health, a 15-hospital system in Winston-Salem, N.C., announced plans to open retail health clinics inside several Walgreens pharmacies in the state.

Oct. 17: Walgreens, Centene and RxAdvance partner on cloud-based PBM
Walgreens Boots Alliance, insurer Centene and pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance announced plans to partner on a cloud-based pharmacy benefit platform. 

Oct. 28: Walgreens lays off employees at US headquarters
In an effort to cut costs, an undisclosed number of employees were laid off from Walgreens' corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.

Oct. 29: Walgreens announces plans to reduce the number of in-store clinics
Walgreens said it plans to close its in-store health clinics to cut costs and will look to outside companies to provide medical services in its stores.

Oct. 30: Walgreens plans to open smaller locations focused on pharmacy, healthcare
Walgreens Boots Alliance said it plans to develop more than 30 "small store" pharmacies, mostly in big cities, that will focus less on retail and more on health and wellness.

Nov. 5: Walgreens explores going private 
People familiar with the talks told CNBC the company was exploring a deal to go private. 

Nov. 11: KKR makes a formal offer to buy Walgreens
Private equity firm KKR & Co. made a formal offer to buy Walgreens Boots Alliance in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history.

Nov. 20: Walgreens opens first VillageMD site
Chicago-based primary care company VillageMD celebrated the opening of its first primary care clinic at a Walgreens store in Houston.

Nov. 25: UnitedHealth announces plans to open Medicare centers in Walgreens stores
Under a multiyear agreement, UnitedHealthcare said it will open 14 Medicare service centers in Walgreens stores across the U.S.

Dec. 11: Walgreens and Kroger form a GPO
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Kroger announced they are forming a new group purchasing organization called the Retail Procurement Alliance. 

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2019 was a year of executive changes, new partnerships and cost-cutting measures for Walgreens as it fought to stay competitive in an ever-changing pharmacy landscape.

Below is a timeline of key moves Walgreens made in 2019, reported by Becker's Hospital Review:

Editor's Note: The list doesn't include lawsuits, non-healthcare-focused partnerships or state-centric news.

Jan. 15: Walgreens partners with Microsoft to develop new healthcare delivery models
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft signed a seven-year deal "to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of healthcare."

Feb. 19: Walgreens remodels to look like physician offices
Walgreens redesigns some of its stores to feature such health services such as optical, lab, hearing and pharmacy.

April 2: Walgreens plans to cut $1.5B in costs after weaker than expected Q2
After missing analysts' second-quarter sales and earnings expectations, Walgreens Boots Alliance vows to cut more than $1.5 billion in costs by fiscal year 2022.

April 5: Walgreens plans to invest $300M in digital health
After reporting a dip in net earnings for the first quarter, Walgreens announced plans to invest $300 million in digital health to make up for the losses.

April 10: Walgreens, VillageMD team up to offer primary care in Houston
Walgreens partnered with VillageMD to open several primary care clinics in Houston, giving patients access to primary care physicians, pharmacists, nurses and social workers.

April 26: Walgreens shakes up its C-suite
Walgreens hired five executives tasked with improving operations, including a chief digital officer, chief accounting officer, chief marketing officer, chief commercial officer and chief global supply chain officer.

June 27: Walgreens profit falls in Q3 despite hike in US sales
Despite reporting an increase in U.S. retail and prescription drug sales, Walgreens' profit fell in the third quarter of 2019.

July 1: Walgreens closes more stores in both the UK and US
As part of a worldwide cost management program, Walgreens Boots Alliance closed 200 drugstores in the U.K. and 750 of the Rite Aid stores the company acquired in 2018.

July 10: Walgreens CMO leaves the company
Walgreens CMO Patrick Carroll, MD, left the retail pharmacy giant to join health and wellness company Hims & Hers as its first CMO.

July 30: Walgreens, Humana plan to open more senior primary care clinics
Walgreens and Humana announced plans to open three more senior-focused primary care centers in Walgreens stores.

Aug. 7: Walgreens closes 200 US stores
Walgreens announced its plans to close 200 stores in the U.S. to decrease its real estate footprint by about 3 percent.

Sept. 19: Walgreens tests on-demand drone delivery
Walgreens, in partnership with Alphabet's drone service Wing, tested an on-demand drone delivery service.

Oct. 1: Novant Health plans to open health clinics inside Walgreens
Novant Health, a 15-hospital system in Winston-Salem, N.C., announced plans to open retail health clinics inside several Walgreens pharmacies in the state.

Oct. 17: Walgreens, Centene and RxAdvance partner on cloud-based PBM
Walgreens Boots Alliance, insurer Centene and pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance announced plans to partner on a cloud-based pharmacy benefit platform.

Oct. 28: Walgreens lays off employees at US headquarters
In an effort to cut costs, an undisclosed number of employees were laid off from Walgreens' corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.

Oct. 29: Walgreens announces plans to reduce the number of in-store clinics
Walgreens said it plans to close its in-store health clinics to cut costs and will look to outside companies to provide medical services in its stores.

Oct. 30: Walgreens plans to open smaller locations focused on pharmacy, healthcare
Walgreens Boots Alliance said it plans to develop more than 30 "small store" pharmacies, mostly in big cities, that will focus less on retail and more on health and wellness.

Nov. 5: Walgreens explores going private
People familiar with the talks told CNBC the company was exploring a deal to go private.

Nov. 11: KKR makes a formal offer to buy Walgreens
Private equity firm KKR & Co. made a formal offer to buy Walgreens Boots Alliance in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history.

Nov. 20: Walgreens opens first VillageMD site
Chicago-based primary care company VillageMD celebrated the opening of its first primary care clinic at a Walgreens store in Houston.

Nov. 25: UnitedHealth announces plans to open Medicare centers in Walgreens stores
Under a multiyear agreement, UnitedHealthcare said it will open 14 Medicare service centers in Walgreens stores across the U.S.

Dec. 11: Walgreens and Kroger form a GPO
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Kroger announced they are forming a new group purchasing organization called the Retail Procurement Alliance.

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