Walgreens announced that its Village MD subsidiary is acquiring Starling Physicians, described as "a multi-specialty medical group operating over 30 locations in Connecticut" and offering specialty services that include "cardiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology, nephrology and senior care."
This is just the latest acquisition for the company, which also has bought health care practices in places like Kentucky and Texas. Its biggest purchase, for almost $9 billion, was of Summit Health-CityMD, a primary, specialty and urgent care provider.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that California Governor Gavin Newsom has "directed the California Department of Health and Human Services to review all relationships Walgreens has with the state," a reaction to Walgreens' decision not to sell mifepristone, an abortion pill, in 20 states.
“California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk,” Newsom said in a tweet.
Walgreens announced that decision last week after it - along with CVS - was warned by Republican state attorneys general that it could face legal action if it sold mifepristone, which has become the nation’s most popular method for ending a pregnancy, in their states. Several of those states - including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana - are places where abortion remains legal.
Walgreens has said that it is not yet distributing the pills anywhere, though it is seeking certification to do so in some states. But at one point, it also said that it would "dispense Mifepristone in any jurisdiction where it is legally permissible to do so.”
- KC's View:
I think that companies like Walgreens and CVS, not to mention Walmart, that want to become critical factors in the healthcare industry, are being put in an impossible situation.
On the one hand, there are political considerations in a polarized climate.
On the other hand, there are medicines that most US citizens believe are part of a legitimate healthcare functionality, but that some people do not want distributed.
In my opinion, Newsom isn't helping the situation. He's posturing every bit as much as the GOP attorneys general.
It is all going to get messy. And divisive. But I continue to believe that if these companies prioritize their customers/patients, in the end they'll be okay.