CVS Health, which recently closed its $69 billion purchase of Aetna, isn’t the only pharmacy chain making aggressive moves in the healthcare space. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) announced Dec. 19 that it would work with Verily, an Alphabet company, to develop a medication adherence pilot project.
Walgreens and Verily will deploy devices and other approaches designed to improve medication adherence. Walgreens, together with Onduo, Verily’s joint venture with Sanofi, will also launch a virtual diabetes solution to Walgreens employees and family members with Type 2 diabetes through the Walgreens employee health plan. Onduo provides tools, coaching and remote access to specialty doctors to help people with diabetes to manage their condition anytime, anywhere.
Walgreens said it would become a retail pharmacy development and commercialization partner to Verily, and the organizations have agreed to work on and explore ways to improve access to advanced healthcare technologies and solutions – which may include sensors and software to help prevent, manage, screen and diagnose disease – with a shared goal of scaling deployment at Walgreens retail locations.
These initiatives are part of a broader strategic alliance designed to combine Verily’s healthcare technology innovation with Walgreens corner store presence and pharmacy services.
“The continued rise in chronic diseases today can be costly to patients as well as to our healthcare system. Working with Verily, we’ll look at how we can best support integrated and value-based care to meet our patients’ needs, as well as opportunities to address other chronic conditions over time,” said Stefano Pessina, chief executive officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
Walgreens Boots Alliance and the companies in which it has equity investments together have a presence in more than 25 countries and employ more than 415,000 people. The company has more than 18,500* stores in 11 countries as well as one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks.
Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and healthcare. In Juy 2018 it announced a joint venture with ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD), to study the health and financial impacts of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea, and develop software solutions that enable healthcare providers to more efficiently identify, diagnose, treat and manage individuals with sleep apnea and other breathing related sleep disorders.