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Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, who stepped in as CEO in March 2021, had plenty to celebrate after her first year in the job. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s profits increased by a whopping 457.5% over the prior year, to $2.5 billion, as the drugstore chain became a major point of sale for at-home rapid COVID tests and COVID vaccines. In October 2021, Walgreens intensified its involvement in the primary care business, investing $5.2 billion to acquire a majority stake in VillageMD. With pharmacists experiencing increased burnout, the company has begun to embrace A.I.; it is on track to open 22 robot-powered prescription-refill hubs. Like other major drugstore chains, the company faces ongoing litigation alleging that its pharmacies helped worsen the opioid crisis; Walgreens’ attorneys have said the company’s pharmacists acted in good faith in filling opioid prescriptions.
Nancy Stone—Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service/Getty Images
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