In the News

Walgreens, Duane Reade to pay New York $500G fine after probe found chain overcharged customers

NY Daily News, April 21, 2016

A major pharmacy company in New York will pay the state $500,000 after routinely charging customers different prices at the register than what was listed on shelves and in ads…

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Valeant Taking Titles to Drugs on Walgreens’ Shelves

Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2015

Buried in the details of a new 20-year distribution agreement between Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is a $150 million financial hit to Valeant that underscores the unusual nature of the deal.

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Senators call for scrutiny of Walgreens-Rite Aid deal

USA Today, November 2, 2015

Walgreens says it’s willing to divest up to 1,000 stores to win regulatory approval for its Rite Aid purchase, although it expects it won’t have to sell more than 500.

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Senators call for scrutiny of Walgreens-Rite Aid deal

Reuters, October 28, 2015

Two influential U.S. senators called for close scrutiny of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc’s plan to buy Rite Aid Corp for $9.4 billion, a deal that would unite two of the three biggest U.S. drugstore chains.

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Walgreens Is Buying Rite Aid For $17.2 Billion

Huffington Post, October 27, 2015

Walgreens is buying rival Rite Aid for about $9.41 billion in cash, creating a drugstore giant with nearly 18,000 stores around the world.

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Drug with jacked up price can only be found at some Walgreens. Why?

Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2015

A lifesaving drug that became the center of a national furor this week after its manufacturer raised the price by about 5,000 percent can only be found at select Walgreens pharmacies.

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Walgreens continues deceptive pricing practices, Missouri attorney general says

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 22, 2015

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says Walgreens is violating a 2014 settlement with his office in which the drugstore chain agreed to fix problems over alleged deceptive pricing.

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Beauty leadership changes at Walgreens

Drugstore News, August 19, 2015

Drug Store News has learned that Shannon Curtin, Walgreens group VP and general merchandise manager for beauty and personal care, will leave the company, effective Sept. 1.

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Walgreens Settles Consumer Protection Suit, Pays $502K

The Times of San Diego, August 17, 2015

Prosecutors in San Diego and other counties obtained a $502,200 settlement in a consumer protection lawsuit alleging that Walgreens pharmacists throughout California frequently failed to comply with patient consultation rules.

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Walgreens’ U.S. streamlining begins with 270 local corporate layoffs

Crain’s Chicago, August 17, 2015

Walgreens Boots Alliance is laying off 370 employees, including 270 at its Deerfield headquarters and other suburban offices in Northbrook, Bannockburn and Lincolnshire.

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Another Walgreens executive leaves the company

Chicago Tribune, July 15, 2015

Jeff Berkowitz, an executive vice president at Walgreens Boots Alliance, has left the company, according to an internal memo.

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Walgreens names Stefano Pessina permanent CEO

Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2015

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Thursday named Stefano Pessina chief executive officer, cementing his position at the helm of the international drugstore chain.

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Walgreen settles Medicaid false billing case in New York

Reuters, June 29, 2015

Walgreen Co. will pay $2.55 million to settle charges by New York’s attorney general that a pharmacy unit improperly billed Medicaid for costly drugs to treat hemophilia patients, without proof that it actually delivered the drugs to those patients.

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The plan to save Walgreens

Crain’s Chicago Business, June 12, 2015

When you walk into a Walgreens a year from now, the store won’t look much different. You’ll still work your way through health and beauty products, candy and convenience foods, household miscellany—and cigarettes—to get to the pharmacist in the back. But the company itself will be transformed significantly under its new European management team led by President Alex Gourlay.

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Walgreens Says HQ Won’t Leave U.S., Never Intended ‘Inversion’

Forbes, May 28, 2015

Following a turbulent year that included a merger into a global company, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) took heat from shareholders over a perceived threat to relocate outside the U.S. for a lower tax rate, but the company’s chairman said the pharmacy giant will stay in the northern Chicago suburbs.

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Cost cuts: Walgreens plans to close some stores

CBS, April 9, 2015

Walgreens plans to close about 200 U.S. stores as the nation’s largest drugstore chain expands on a $1 billion cost-reduction plan it announced last August.

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Walgreens Boots CEO expects to do more deals in U.S.

Reuters, March 12, 2015

Stefano Pessina, the billionaire investor who engineered the deal that created pharmacy giant Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., said he could imagine doing more deals in the United States as the healthcare system is shaken up by Obamacare.

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Walgreens and CVS Declare War on Property Taxes

Bloomberg, March 6, 2015

Walgreens boasts convenient locations, a wide array of products, and a killer tax strategy. When it works, local tax officials warn, kids and homeowners suffer.

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Walgreens pharmacist allegedly provided wrong prescription, suit claims

Louisiana Record, March 2, 2015

A Walgreens pharmacy patron claims she was given the wrong prescription leading to severe personal injuries.

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Woman says pharmacy pill mixup nearly killed her

WFTV, February 18, 2015

An Orlando woman said a trip to Walgreens pharmacy for a prescription put her in a hospital and nearly killed her.

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Walgreens property-value lawsuit could cost Kentucky schools hundreds of millions of dollars

Lexington-Herald Leader, February 14, 2015

The Walgreens at 2290 Nicholasville Road looks like most of the national drugstore chain’s other 8,228 stores, carrying the same 18,000 or so items on its shelves. The nondescript store, however, sits at the crux of a lawsuit that could cost Kentucky school districts “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator David O’Neill.

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GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens accused of selling adulterated ‘herbals’

Washington Post, February 3, 2015

A warning to herbal supplement users: Those store-brand ginkgo biloba tablets you bought may contain mustard, wheat, radish and other substances decidedly non-herbal in nature, but they’re not likely to contain any actual ginkgo biloba.

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Walgreens to lay off 250+ workers in Orlando

Orlando Business Journal, February 2, 2015

Walgreens plans to lay off 252 employees at its Central Pharmacy Operations facility in Orlando this spring.

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Walgreen Slapped With Investor Lawsuit

Courthouse News Service, January 2, 2015

Walgreen’s board and other top officials have been sued for allegedly failing to tell shareholders of an alleged multi-billion dollar profit shortfall.

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Shareholders OK Walgreens-Alliance Boots deal

USA Today, December 29, 2014

Shareholders of Walgreens on Monday overwhelmingly approved the final phase of the pharmacy giant’s acquisition of European drugstore and health products counterpart Alliance Boots.

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How Greg Wasson lost control of Walgreen

Crain’s Chicago, December 11, 2014

The departure of Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson, announced yesterday, is an abrupt reversal of the plan circulated in August to put Wasson at the helm of the new company to be formed when Walgreen completes its acquisition of European heavyweight Alliance Boots.

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Walgreen CEO to retire

Chicago Tribune, December 10, 2014

Greg Wasson, Walgreen Co.’s president and CEO, will retire after the company finishes its acquisition of European counterpart Alliance Boots. Chairman James Skinner will become executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Stefano Pessina, the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, will serve as acting CEO, pending a board search for a successor.

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CtW Urges Vote Against Walgreen’s $14.7 Billion Deal For Alliance Boots

Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2014

A small shareholder has launched a fight against a Walgreen Co. takeover backed by the company and activist investor Jana Partners LLC. CtW Investment Group, an arm of labor federation Change to Win, wants stockholders of the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain to vote against Walgreen’s roughly $14.7 billion plan to buy the 55% of European drugstore chain Alliance Boots GmbH it doesn’t already own.

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U.S. judge blocks Walgreens’ move to seal all material in ex-CFO suit

Reuters, November 6, 2014

A Chicago court on Thursday rejected Walgreens’ move to block all disclosures of what the drugstore chain deems confidential information in a defamation lawsuit filed by its former chief financial officer.

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Walgreen Faces Investor Pressure Over Claims in Ex-CFO’s Suit

Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2014

An activist adviser for union pension funds is pressing Walgreen Co. to postpone seeking shareholder approval of a major takeover until directors investigate allegations raised by former Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon in a defamation lawsuit.

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Ex-CFOs Defamation Suit Shows Walgreen in Tumult

Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2014

A lawsuit against Walgreen Co. paints a picture of the rough and tumble maneuverings inside a company grappling with disappointing earnings, activist hedge funds and a major deal.

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Walgreen Profit Remains Pressured by Drug Price Miscalculation

Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2014

Walgreen Co. WAG -0.30% continues to pay the price for a miscalculation in the pricing of generic prescription drugs. The pharmacy chain shocked investors in August when it slashed its long-term profit forecast because it had failed to account for a rapid rise in the price of generics as it negotiated contracts to provide prescription drugs under Medicare’s Part D program.

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Walgreen Bulls Bet Investor Activism Will Cure Tax Pain

Chicago Tribune, September 16, 2014

The entry of an activist shareholder into the board of Walgreen Co. (WAG) may be just what the doctor ordered for options traders betting on the largest U.S. pharmacy chain after a 17 percent plunge.

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New Walgreen holding company to be incorporated in Delaware

Chicago Tribune, September 16, 2014

Walgreens is not headed to Europe. But it is going to Delaware. The nation’s largest drugstore chain, following in the footsteps of more than half of the nation’s publicly traded companies, plans to incorporate in The First State following the completion of its acquisition of its European counterpart.

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Activist Investor Scores a Win at Walgreen

Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2014

Walgreen Co., facing mounting pressure from analysts and shareholders, said it is giving activist investor Jana Partners LLC two board seats, a relatively large say for a shareholder with a little more than 1% of the company’s stock.

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Why Walgreen Won’t Stop Selling Tobacco Like CVS Health

Forbes, September 4, 2014

CVS Health (CVS) rival Walgreen WAG -1.35% (WAG) isn’t going to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products anytime soon. Walgreen certainly has myriad financial reasons to keep selling cigarettes. It is faced with cutting costs as it consolidates various functions in its merger with European drugstore giant Alliance Boots.

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Walgreen Shakeup Followed Bad Projection

Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2014

A billion-dollar forecasting error in Walgreen Co. WAG -1.35% ‘s Medicare-related business has cost the jobs of two top executives and alarmed big investors. At an April board meeting, Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon forecast $8.5 billion in fiscal 2016 pharmacy-unit earnings, based partly on contracts to sell drugs under Medicare. Last month, directors got a shock. Mr. Miquelon suddenly cut that forecast by $1.1 billion.

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Golden exits: Big payday for departing Walgreen execs

Crain’s Chicago Business, August 19, 2014

Two exiting Walgreen Co. executives were awarded millions of dollars in parting payments, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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How Americans Scared Walgreens Out Of A $4 Billion Tax Dodge

Huffington Post, August 7, 2014

Walgreen Co., the drugstore chain’s parent company, announced Wednesday that it would not move its headquarters to Switzerland to take advantage of its relatively low corporate tax rates after the company completes a purchase of European rival Alliance Boots. Such a move might have cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion over five years, according to a report by the nonprofit group Americans For Tax Fairness and the labor group Change To Win.

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Walgreens stock smacked after tax inversion out

USA Today, August 6, 2014

Wall Street investors delivered a thumbs down Wednesday to Walgreens’ announcement of a $15.3 billion plan to complete its acquisition of Europe-based Alliance Boots and decision not to pursue potential tax savings by shifting its headquarters overseas.

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Walgreen Decides Not to Pursue Overseas Tax Inversion

Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2014

Walgreen Co. has decided not to relocate its corporate headquarters, people familiar with the matter said, amid complications in pulling off the transaction and a backdrop of heavy political pressure from Washington to end the controversial tax-avoidance move.

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New Legislation Targets Inversions From Different Angle

New York Times, July 29, 2014

Lawmakers in Washington ratcheted up the pressure on Tuesday on companies seeking tax relief by moving overseas, introducing a bill that would withhold government contracts from companies that undertake so-called inversion deals.

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Former Official: Treasury Doesn’t Need Congress on Inversions

Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2014

Would Washington politicians rather have a campaign fight than take action to fix the problem of corporations moving overseas for tax reasons? That’s one possibility being raised by a tax-press article that’s getting some attention on Monday.

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Walgreens eyes loophole end run around taxes

USA Today, July 26, 2014

The Walgreens drugstore chain proudly touts itself as “the pharmacy America trusts.” But many here in this small river town where the founder of the company got his start complain that the drugstore chain is on the precipice of turning its back on the USA.

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Walgreens Headquarters Relocation Plan Meets Opposition

ABC Chicago, July 24, 2014

Protesters from two citizen groups delivered 70,000 online signatures to Walgreens’ flagship store at the Wrigley Building after they called on the Deerfield-based corporation to keep its headquarters in America.

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Obama presses to close corporate tax loophole ‘inversions’

Reuters, July 24, 2014

President Barack Obama will call on Thursday for an end to a corporate loophole that allows companies to avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as “inversions,” White House officials said.

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