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Pharmacies: 3 lessons from Walgreens' evolution in 2019

The giant, nationwide pharmacy Walgreens went through many changes in 2019. The year began with a new partnership with Microsoft to help better ensure the pharmacy was up to date on technological innovations for health care delivery as well as retail innovations. The company also made additional investments in digital health throughout the year.

In February, the company remodeled to better ensure the pharmaceutical areas of the store looked like a medical setting. Walgreens also took steps to cut costs by closing stores throughout the year and changing up key leadership positions within c-suite spots. The evolution of this pharmaceutical giant provides important lessons for smaller, more local pharmacies as well.

Three lessons that apply to any pharmacy include:

  • Embrace change. The health care marketplace is changing. As a result, it is important for those running pharmacies to complete due diligence to see what the future of health care looks like and take steps to better ensure their pharmaceutical business can compete in this new marketplace.
  • Invest in technology. Whether looking to improve health care delivery or digital health, investments in technological advances within the health care industry can pay off. In some cases, these investments may even include novel options. Walgreens provides an example when it took a risk and started testing a drone delivery service in September. Keep abreast of this possibility and other innovations to see if such advances can help better ensure timely delivery to clients.
  • Look the part. Pharmacies affiliated with other stores or who operate in unconventional locations can benefit from investing in their space.

It can be wise to seek legal counsel before making changes to a pharmaceutical practice. An attorney experienced in this niche area of health care law can review a proposed change and help to better ensure it is in line with all applicable regulations.

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