The investment brings Walgreens' total stake in Shield to 71%, and the company has an option to acquire the remaining equity interests in the future. The Illinois-based company had taken a minority stake in Shields in 2019. Founded in 2012, Shields Health Solutions helps hospitals provide specialty pharmacy services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a nationwide labor shortage, resulting in companies raising wages and providing incentives to employees ahead of the upcoming holiday season. Walgreens, CVS and other drug retailers that plan to offer booster COVID-19 vaccines are also likely to see more traffic between November and January, increasing the need to retain workers to meet this demand. U.S. retailers and restaurant companies, including Walmart and Chipotle Mexican Grill, have also raised hourly wages for employees.
The data also exposed names, dates of birth and gender identities on the open web for potentially anyone to see and for the multiple ad trackers on Walgreens' site to collect, the report said. Active unique patient IDs could be guessed, or a hacker could create a bot that rapidly generated URLs with the IDs in the hope of hitting active pages, security experts told Recode, giving them a source of biographical data about people they could potentially use to hack their accounts on other sites, according to the report. "We routinely evaluate our technology solutions in order to provide safe, secure, and accessible digital services to our customers and patients and we regularly review and incorporate additional security enhancements when necessary," Walgreens said in a statement.