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LabCorp, Walgreens Forge Lab Testing Deal

NEW YORK (360Dx) – In another move to bring laboratory testing out of dedicated patient service centers and into the retail arena, Laboratory Corporation of America and Walgreens announced after the close of the market on Wednesday a collaboration through which the clinical laboratory firm will develop and operate patient services within select Walgreens stores.

The co-branded LabCorp at Walgreens centers will be located in seven Walgreens locations: five in Denver, one in Morrisville, North Carolina, and one in Deerfield, Illinois. The Denver and Morrisville centers are expected to open later this summer, while the Deerfield center will open by the end of the year, LabCorp and Walgreens said.

Patient check-in for lab testing will be provided in the pharmacy located in the Walgreens stores. Patient samples collected at the stores will tested at LabCorp's network of primary and specialty labs. LabCorp has approximately 1,750 existing patient service centers and offers more than 4,800 tests.

The partners said that they intend to explore additional ways to jointly enhance patient care.

The deal is the second this week bringing laboratory testing to the retail space. On Monday, Quest Diagnostics and Walmart announced a similar deal to provide laboratory testing services to 15 Walmart stores in Florida and Texas. Quest also has set up testing centers in some Safeway stores and is on track to provide diagnostic testing services in 200 Safeway stores by the end of the year, Quest Chairman, President, and CEO Steve Rusckowski has said.

In the past LabCorp has also hinted at its interest in forging deals with retailers. In a statement on Wednesday, LabCorp Chairman and CEO David King said "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."

Walgreens also has a history with laboratory testing, albeit a checkered one. It partnered with Theranos in 2013 to open Theranos' blood-draw sites in about 40 Walgreens stores, mostly in Arizona. But last year, Walgreens terminated the deal amid controversy over Theranos' technology and lab operations. In November, Walgreens sued Theranos for $140 million, alleging the beleaguered firm breached their contract, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Last week the publication reported that Walgreens and Theranos had reached a settlement under which Theranos would pay Walgreens about $30 million.