Walgreens Boots Alliance and LabCorp are opening 600 more diagnostic testing locations in U.S. Walgreens stores over the next four years, an expansion of their existing collaboration launched in June 2017.
The pact builds on the 17 LabCorp at Walgreens locations currently open in Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Deerfield, Illinois, where Walgreens is headquartered. The “specimen collection” clinics are located near the pharmacy area in the stores and constitute a small part of LabCorp’s network of roughly 2,000 centers nationwide.
In addition to the blood draw facilities, the two companies are “pursuing other collaboration activities" that aim at enabling the ongoing transition to value-based care and expanding healthcare services for Walgreens customers, according to a press release. Representatives from both companies declined to provide more specific details.
LabCorp, which processes tests for over 2.5 million patient specimens per week, is coming off a strong Q2 where it posted profits of $233.8 million, a federal judge just dismissed a lawsuit from a rival business alleging illegal anticompetitive activity and now the lab testing company is expanding its partnership with a multibillion dollar drugstore chain giant.
Walgreens has played around with adding blood drawing facilities in its pharmacies for years, including sinking $140 million into the doomed Silicon Valley startup Theranos before they imploded.
The expanded partnership is likely to be lucrative for both companies. Walgreens’ breadth of locations and consumer base will cast a much wider geographic net for LabCorp’s testing services, and the addition of a specimen collection service to its stores may help bolster Walgreens as a one-stop shop for Americans’ everyday healthcare needs, potentially offseting margin pressures on its prescription drug business.
“This reflects our commitment to transform our stores into neighborhood health destinations” that focus on the consumer and provide a broad range of services, said Stefano Pessina, CEO of Walgreens in a statement.
The announcement comes a day after the CVS-Aetna megamerger received a nod from the Department of Justice, essentially clearing the path towards its completion in an era of increased consolidation and collaboration between different healthcare businesses.