FTC gives nod to Walgreens/I-trax deal, moving it into workplace health services

DEERFIELD, Ill. Federal antitrust watchdogs have given a green light to Walgreens’ plan to purchase I-trax, a provider of on-site clinical care and wellness services to U.S. employers, for a reported price of $278 million, according to news reports.

The Federal Trade Commission announced its approval of the deal this week, as reported by the Reuters news service Monday.

I-trax is one of two workplace clinic care providers that agreed last month to a merger with Walgreens as the drug store giant grows its specialty pharmacy and health care operations under the Walgreens Health Services division. The company’s move to acquire Chadds Ford, Pa.-based I-trax and Cleveland-based Whole Health Management opens big new opportunities in Walgreens’ drive to build market share in both pharmacy and ambulatory clinical care. Those opportunities lie with the nation’s corporate campuses and workplaces, where both I-trax and Whole Health operate walk-in clinics and fitness centers.

The move will bring Walgreens “that much closer to customers,” said company president Greg Wasson.

I-trax and Whole Health will be folded into a new Walgreens Health and Wellness division under the direction of Take Care Health founder Hal Rosenbluth, whom Walgreens has tapped as president of the new division. Last week, Walgreens also reportedly named Rosenbluth a corporate vice president.

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