Walgreens, VillageMD to open 40 more joint primary care clinics by summer 2021

Walgreens and VillageMD will open their next 40 primary care clinics by the end of next summer, the latest step toward their goal of opening at least 500 such clinics over the next five years.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance invested $1 billion in VillageMD in July and announced plans to open as many as 700 Village Medical at Walgreens primary care clinics across 30 markets in the next several years. 

The clinics were first piloted in five locations in the Houston market. The first expansion markets include other parts of Houston, El Paso, Austin, Phoenix and Orlando, with the first store outside of Houston to open in Phoenix this month, Walgreens announced.

“Walgreens is proud to partner with VillageMD to offer the most comprehensive and large-scale roll-out of physician-led primary care services co-located in a retail pharmacy setting,” said Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, in a statement. “Our role as part of patient care teams has never been more critical, and our partnership with VillageMD enables us to provide more people with convenient access to high-quality, affordable care embedded in their communities.”

RELATED: Walgreens COO says pandemic has been an 'accelerator' for VillageMD plans

The clinics offer a full suite of primary care services within Walgreens pharmacy locations, according to the announcement. The approach also integrates pharmacists into the care team, with VillageMD physicians facilitating communications between patients and pharmacists to ensure medications are taken appropriately.

Walgreens said the clinics will accept a broad array of insurance options and will also offer in-home and telehealth services to meet patients where they are.

The first five Houston clinics were met with "overwhelmingly positive feedback and high satisfaction from both patients and physicians," Walgreens said. The clinics will provide a high-quality care option to people in underserved areas as well, according to the announcement.

“In today’s complex healthcare environment, this integrated model of care is more important than ever. When patients adhere to the appropriate care and medication regime, health outcomes improve,” said Tim Barry, chairman and CEO at VillageMD, in a statement. “At Village Medical at Walgreens, our experienced physicians and providers work closely with Walgreens pharmacists every day to ensure patients get accessible, personalized and coordinated care when they need it.”