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Walgreens partners with LabCorp on in-store lab testing services

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and LabCorp on Wednesday announced a collaboration through which LabCorp will develop and operate patient service centers within select Walgreens stores. The centers, which will be co-branded “LabCorp at Walgreens,” will offer LabCorp patient services in a secure, comfortable environment for specimen collection, located near the pharmacy area inside the store.

Seven LabCorp at Walgreens locations will begin seeing patients in 2017, with five patient service centers in Denver and one in Morrisville, N.C. expected to open later this summer. A Deerfield, Ill., location is planned to open by the end of the year.

“I cannot imagine a better partner than Walgreens to bring LabCorp closer to consumers in locations where they are already accessing high-quality health care services,” stated David King, LabCorp’s chairman and CEO. “The customer-centric culture and nationwide footprint of Walgreens are a perfect match for LabCorp and the patients we serve. This significant collaboration will enhance LabCorp’s patient engagement in key markets across the country and offer increased access to LabCorp’s broad range of laboratory services as we execute our mission to improve health and lives.”

For Walgreens, making lab testing available at its retail locations complements the expanded services offered through its pharmacy and Healthcare Clinics, as part of the company’s efforts to help meet patients’ needs for greater access to affordable health care. The LabCorp relationship further demonstrates the value of deeper collaborations with health care service providers in improving care coordination and providing greater benefit, care and service for patients and payers.

“This agreement brings together Walgreens trusted pharmacy and community health care services with LabCorp’s long-standing reputation for innovation and quality in diagnostic laboratory testing,” said Alex Gourlay, Walgreens president and co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “We look forward to bringing affordable and accessible health care to the communities we serve.”

The LabCorp at Walgreens initiative represents another step in LabCorp’s enhancement of the customer experience and delivery of high-quality, cost-effective laboratory testing. LabCorp’s patient-centric initiatives include being the first national laboratory to offer laboratory access through retail outlets; online appointment scheduling for all of its patient service centers; giving patients the opportunity to receive notifications about potential participation in clinical trials; introducing innovative tools and technology such as self-service patient check-in and AccuDraw to improve specimen collection accuracy; providing a no-cost, easy-to-use online patient portal for patients to receive test results directly and offering an out-of-pocket cost estimator service for patients who have their specimen collected by LabCorp (available for most commercial insurance plans during 2017).

The initial Walgreens sites will be in addition to LabCorp’s approximately 1,750 existing patient service centers, providing even more options for patients to access LabCorp’s menu of over 4,800 tests, including leading offerings in important areas such as women’s health, genomics, oncology and companion diagnostics. Tests on specimens collected at the Walgreens locations will be performed through LabCorp’s nationwide network of primary and specialty laboratories.

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Fred’s adopts poison pill as merger deadline looms

BY David Salazar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the July 7 deadline for the Federal Trade Commission’s decision on the Walgreens-Rite Aid merger gets closer, Fred’s Pharmacy is taking action to protect itself as the deadline for the Federal Trade Commission’s decision on Walgreens Boot Alliance’s proposed acquisition of Rite Aid merger draws closer.

The retailer has adopted a short-term shareholders rights plan, or “poison pill,“ that will expire on September 25. Fred’s noted that the plan was not undertaken in response to a specific takeover bid or any other proposal to acquire control of the retail chain. Rather, it was made as a result of the "increased trading volatility” in the company’s shares and in anticipation of "substantial trading activity” related to the Walgreens-Rite Aid decision deadline.
 
As part of the proposed Walgreens-Rite Aid deal, Rite Aid is expected to divest up to 1,200 stores to Fred's Pharmacy. The acquisition, if approved, would make Fred’s the third-largest drug store chain in the United States.
 
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Target launches next-day delivery in Twin Cities

BY Marianne Wilson
MINNEAPOLIS — Target has entered the fast-growing next-day grocery delivery market. 
 
The discounter on Tuesday launched a pilot for Target Restock, a next-day delivery service for household essentials and dry grocery items ordered online, in its hometown market of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The service, available only to Target REDcard holders, comes with a flat fee of $4.99 per box. 
 
Target Restock comes as such rivals as Walmart and Amazon have been expanding similar services. Notably, it is faster and cheaper than Amazon's Prime Pantry, which has a flat 5.99 delivery fee per box (shipping is free, however, if the order includes five qualifying items). Prime Pantry orders arrive within four business days.  Some grocers offer same-day grocery delivery through third-parties, including Instacart and Shipt.  
 
To use the new Target service, shoppers go to the dedicated Target Restock online storefront where they can shop — either by specific item, category or brand — more than 10,000 products, ranging from laundry detergent and paper towels to granola bars and coffee.  
 
As shoppers fill up a box, a grey bar at the top of their screen will show the percentage of space each item in the box has taken up and the percentage of space that's left. (The box is limited to 45 pounds.)
 
The items will be packaged at a nearby store. If the order is placed by 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, it will arrive at the customer’s home the next business day.
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