Coming Soon to a Pharmacy Near You: The “Retailization” of the Nation’s Health Care System
"Walgreens chief executive officer Greg Wasson this morning said the drugstore chain will step up investments in services to help Americans manage chronic diseases, saying the company wants to capitalize on what he called the “retailization” of the nation’s health care system.The Deerfield, IL.-based pharmacy giant, meeting with Wall Street analysts and investors, said it wants to continue to expand its network of medical care providers and the services they provide. Walgreens increasingly has been lobbying to give pharmacists a greater role in medical care such as providing immunizations in its stores as well as establishing retail health clinics staffed by nurse practitioners. Wasson and his team say they see a booming market of aging baby boomers, citing one in three American who will turn 65 in the next decade. He said Walgreens pharmacies are trying to establish their pharmacists and other health professionals as an option to help provide certain primary medical care service amid a national shortage of primary care doctors.Walgreens pharmacists, he said, can help patients “manage” their chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. The health care overhaul law will bring more than 30 million Americans coverage in the next four years and therefore give these uninsured people money to buy Walgreens services."