Walgreens Case

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.: Retail Trade in Unregulated Dietary Supplements

Ludwig, C., Wallace, K., O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
December 31, 2019
North America
Marketing & Sales, Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
14 pages
supplements, Walgreens, regulation, FDA
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

Dietary supplements are a billion-dollar unregulated industry. Walgreens Boots Alliance earns millions in revenue each year in its retail pharmacies from the sale of such supplements. Consumers who take dietary supplements often do so with the intention of protecting and improving their health. Most consider these products to be safe and free of side effects. Dietary supplements, however, can have adverse or toxic effects due to the lack of regulation surrounding ingredient labeling, level of contaminants, and consistency of ingredients across products. What obligations does Walgreens have to supervise or reveal any of this to its trusting customers? 14 pp. Case #19-21. (2019)

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight the conflict that may arise as a retail pharmacy sells unregulated dietary supplements;
  2. To provide an example, based on the context of an unregulated industry, how retail pharmacies respond to communication crises;
  3. To encourage discussion regarding the level of regulation surrounding dietary supplements sold to consumers;
  4. To demonstrate the dangers and risks that accompany an unregulated industry;
  5. To consider the direction and context Walgreens may require in the event of a communications crisis.