Walgreens is expected to lay off more than 500 workers — 10 percent of its corporate workforce
Walgreens Boots Alliance will lay off 504 company employees as it piles up financial obligations for opioid litigation and other legal matters.
Most of the cuts will be made at the drugstore giant’s headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, or at its Chicago office.
The layoffs account for about 10 percent of the company’s corporate workforce.
According to the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report, Walgreens Boots Alliance employs over 325,000 people.
“None of these roles reside in our branches, microfulfillment centers, or call centers. “We are grateful for the many contributions from the team members who will be leaving our organization and are committed to supporting them as best we can during this transition,” said spokesman Marty Maloney.
Walgreens announced that the company plans to cut about 10% of its workforce as the company streamlines its operations and focuses on consumer-centric healthcare companies
Walgreens stock is down nearly 20% so far this year
Maloney denied that the layoffs were related to the company’s financial liabilities.
The company announced in its March earnings report that it had paid out $5.4 billion for opioid-related legal claims.
During the settlement agreement, the company denied any liability regarding allegations of its role in the opioid crisis.
Walgreens has recently expanded beyond its drugstores into a direct provider of medical care through Walgreens-backed VillageMD, which Summit Health bought. The company contributed $3.5 billion to the purchase.
The $8.9 billion transaction also included investments from Cignas Evernorth.
Last week, Walgreens challenged a $642 million arbitration award in federal court on behalf of health insurer Humana in a drug pricing dispute. Walgreens called the total “amazing.”
A company spokesman said none of the 504 jobs that will be eliminated will be in the branches, micro-fulfillment branches or call centers
This is what CEO Rosalind Brewer said in a note to laid-off employees Chicago Sun TimesThe layoffs are among a series of steps the company is taking “to drive sustained cost savings, thereby spurring investments for future growth.”
Brewer made no mention of any legal issues the company is facing.
Thanking employees for their input, Brewer stated, “While difficult, these changes are necessary to streamline our business, unlock value and support our long-term growth.” Together we will continue to advance our vision, the leading partner in transformation of local health care and well-being for all.”
Counseling and psychiatric services are available within the company for redundant workers. Employees with at least three years of service receive a severance payment of two weeks per year.
Maloney said all affected employees would receive outplacement assistance.
posts in the blog The dismissal said workers with at least three years of service received two weeks’ severance pay each year.
San Francisco’s reputation as a seaside gem has been shattered by rising crime, drug and homelessness rates, though it remains home to tech billionaires
Addicts openly smoke drugs on the sidewalk in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, where overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent months
San Francisco saw a staggering 41 percent increase in drug-related deaths in the first quarter of 2023
Earlier this month, it also reached an agreement with San Francisco to pay the city $230 million to sell opioids.
The settlement came nine months after US District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said the drugstore chain could be held liable for contributing “significantly” to an opioid epidemic that caused “major damage” in the city and a constitute a public nuisance.
Breyer accused Walgreens of a “15-year failure” to properly screen opioid prescriptions and report possible abuse of the sometimes highly addictive drugs.
San Francisco prosecutor David Chiu called the Walgreens settlement the largest awarded to a local government in years of nationwide opioid litigation.
He said that Walgreens’ actions “would have made San Francisco’s opioid epidemic worse than it otherwise would have been” and that “there is no amount of money that will bring back the lives we have lost.”
In a statement, Walgreens said it “denies liability” but admits no fault, but that the settlement allows it to focus on patients, customers and communities. “Our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic crisis,” it said.
This graph shows the increase in positive urine tests for fentanyl in patients receiving substance abuse treatment in different parts of the United States. Millennium Health’s data is based on approximately 4.5 million samples
What is fentanyl and why is it so dangerous?
Fentanyl was originally developed in Belgium in the 1950s to help cancer patients manage pain.
Due to its extreme potency, it has become popular among recreational drug users.
The number of overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl rose from nearly 10,000 in 2015 to nearly 20,000 in 2016, surpassing the number of common opioid painkillers and heroin for the first time.
And in 2017, more than 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States — a record equaled by fentanyl.
It is commonly added to heroin because it produces the same high as the drug and has biologically identical effects. However, according to US officials, it can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin.
In the US, fentanyl is classified as a Schedule II drug, suggesting that it has some medical use but has a high potential for abuse and can cause psychological and physical dependence.