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Attention Family Practice Doctors: Your Competition is on Aisle Three.

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

walgreens take care clinic logoWalgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is turning-up the heat in family practice marketing.

It’s been ages since the corner “drug store” confined it’s offering to only pharmaceuticals. But about 350 Walgreens locations are now part of the changing competitive healthcare landscape and likely to be an increasingly important factor to consider in FP, GP, and internal medicine marketing.

At select locations among the 7,500-plus Walgreens stores, a Take Care Clinic is reaching for market share (and more traffic and sales) by offering many of the professional healthcare services as a family physician, general practitioner, or internist office.

The in-store health and wellness services at Walgreens are right out of the primary care playbook--including low cost school and sports physicals, flu shots and vaccinations, skin conditions, minor injuries, diagnostic testing, blood pressure screenings, and other services that are typically found at a family practice. Of course they also have a pharmacy, OTC health products, and convenient locations.  (This is a formidable competitor.)

If one of the “select locations” isn’t in your service area, keep your radar pulsing. The company appears to be hiring Physician Assistants, Family Nurse Practitioners, RNs, and LPNs, signaling intent to grow the number of Take Care Clinic locations nationwide.

If one of the “select locations” isn’t in your service area, keep your radar pulsing. The company appears to be hiring Physician Assistants, Family Nurse Practitioners, RNs, and LPNs, signaling intent to grow the number of Take Care Clinic locations nationwide. Take Care is no stranger to the industry; they also manage primary care, health and wellness and occupational health centers at nearly 370 employer campuses (worksite-based clinics).

The retail healthcare delivery concept has been around for a few years, but appears to be picking up speed recently. Rival MinuteClinic has 500 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia providing similar healthcare services, and describing itself as "quick, affordable, and convenient." Leading retailer Wal-Mart has been operating in-store clinics for several years. And Southern California grocery chain, Albertsons, has picked-up on the model and is set to open clinics in two Orange County stores this month.    -o-

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