Walgreens Shifting its Primary Care Strategy

VillageMD opened its first of five primary care clinics at Walgreens stores in Houston called Village Medical at Walgreens.

Walgreens is strongly focused on creating neighborhood health destinations around a more modern pharmacy. Walgreens’ model is based on physicians and clinical pharmacists and we’ll have primary care locations in four markets across the U.S., working in partnership with partners in primary care, VillageMD and Southwest Medical an Optum Company.

The Village Medical clinics are located next to Walgreens stores and offer services including annual preventive care, women’s health services, vaccinations, diagnostic testing, smoking cessation, chronic care management and some specialty care. The clinics offer same-day, walk-in appointments, as well as house calls and virtual visits. The clinics are staffed by primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

VillageMD signals a shift in Walgreens primary care strategy as it plans to focus more on chronic care management than treating minor illnesses. As part of this move, the company recently announced plans to close nearly 160 in-store health clinics. The company will look for outside partners to provide medical services in remaining 220 clinics run by local health systems.  

As part of its strategy, Walgreens is opening urgent care centers close to its stores in several markets with United Health Group’s MedExpress, senior clinics in a partnership with Humana, and a collaboration with McLaren Health Care to expand pharmacy and healthcare services in Michigan.


Takeaway: Walgreens new health initiatives are looked to increase foot traffic at its stores and increase both retail and prescriptions.