Pressley Accuses Walgreens Of Racism

( – Squad member and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, 49, is accusing Walgreens of “racial discrimination” after the pharmacy chain closed a store in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

On the House floor on January 31, Pressley accused Walgreens of “abandoning low-income communities.” She said the store, which is the fourth closed by Walgreens in a Boston neighborhood in the past two years, is in an area that is “85 percent Black and Latino,” adding that this is “part of a larger trend” by the company.

She described how closing a store can disrupt the community, leaving them without jobs and life-saving medications. She went on to say that the closing of the four stores in minority Boston neighborhoods is “not arbitrary” and “not innocent.” Pressley accused Walgreens of being hypocritical about their commitment to health equity because they are closing stores in minority neighborhoods. She said the multi-billion-dollar company needs to “stop divesting from Black and brown communities,” adding that they should “put their money where their mouth is.”

On Jan. 12, Pressley, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey protested the closure of the Roxbury store along with residents in the neighborhood. Now, the three lawmakers are demanding answers about the store closures from Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth.

A Walgreens spokesperson said “the cost of operating, low prescription volume, and low reimbursement rates” led the company to make the decision to close the location. The spokesperson added that half the Walgreens locations in Boston are in “traditionally underserved” neighborhoods. The company is working on “transportation solutions” for its customers and will offer free same-day delivery for three months.

This is not the first time Walgreens has been accused of racism. Boston officials first accused Walgreens of racism in 2022 when it closed stores in the Mattapan and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston. The company responded to the accusations in 2022 by stating it considers “several factors” when choosing to close a store, such as “changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers.”

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