Walgreen Co. is buying a stake in drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen, giving the drugstore chain greater clout in negotiating prices with drug makers -- and setting its own prices at the retail level.
Walgreen could end up owning even more of AmerisourceBergen if it exercises an option to buy a related company in 2015.
The wholesaler will supply Walgreen with both brand-name and generic drugs for its more than 8,000 drugstores, as well as its mail order and specialty pharmacy businesses.
Analysts say Walgreen will now have more muscle in haggling prices with generic drug makers. But don't expect this to result in lower prices for consumers. Pharmacies routinely jack up prices for generics to boost profits.