“Our full acquisition of Shields will complete another major milestone as part of our consumer-centric healthcare strategy to drive sustainable long-term growth, and we are very pleased with our partnership and integration with Shields,” Roz Brewer, Walgreens’ CEO, said in a news release Tuesday (Sept. 20).
Walgreens invested $970 million in Shields — a specialty pharmacy chain — last year, gaining a 70% stake in the company. Shields works with nearly 80 health systems representing 1,000 hospitals, and has served more than 1 million patients, per the release.
Following the acquisitions, Shields will continue “as a distinct business and brand within Walgreens,” the release said. Shields’ co-founder and President John Lucey will become the CEO of Shields, while current Shields CEO Lee Cooper will take on a new executive role at Walgreens.
“This transaction validates our tremendous impact to health systems and specialty patients, as well as the consistent growth and innovation the Shields team has achieved over the last decade,” Cooper said. “As an important business within Walgreens, and under John Lucey’s leadership, Shields will be well-positioned to continue to scale its unique integrated care model for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
PYMNTS noted earlier this month that Walgreens’ moves are part of a broader trend of retailers delving deeper into healthcare. For example, Walmart announced Sept. 7 that it was teaming with UnitedHealth Group to offer virtual healthcare services through a 10-year partnership.
The collaboration will initially focus on value-based care for seniors via Medicare Advantage, where fees are paid according to the actual outcomes of the treatment and providers’ efforts. The data component will use Optum’s analytics, as the provider is owned by UNH.
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