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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.


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Walgreen Co. (also Walgreens) is the largest drug store chain in the United States. It has fewer stores than number two CVS but is ahead in sales. It has 5,700 stores in 48 states and Puerto Rico. Most sales are for prescription drugs. The stores also sell general merchandise, over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and groceries. More than two-thirds of the stores have drive-through pharmacies. [1]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Walgreen was a "Trustee" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $5,000.[2] Walgreen was also a sponsor of the Louisiana Welcome Reception at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting.[3]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.

Ad boycott against Air America Radio

Walgreens refused to advertise on the progressive Air America Radio. In October 2006, around 90 companies, including Walgreens, told ABC Radio Networks that they did not want their ads to play on radio stations that carried Air America Radio. [4] [5] [6]

Political contributions

Walgreen gave $95,500 to federal candidates in the 2005/2006 election period through its political action committee - 37% to Democrats, 62% to Republicans. [7]


The company spent $720,000 for lobbying in 2006. $160,000 went to three outside lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists. [8]

Tobacco industry involvement

A confidential 1977 Tobacco Institute memo to William Kloepfer (Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Tobacco Institute) from Horace R. Kornegay (TI Executive Director) discusses the possibility that the Walgreens Drugstore chain may help them promote disinformation about the link cigarettes and health: "We may have an opportunity to engage another project similar to the one with Mr. Munford of the Majik Markets....Curtis Judge...told me about [a] meeting with David C. Carlson, manager of News and Information Services for Walgreen Drugs. ...Carlson expressed in interest in being of assistance to the tobacco industry in getting the true word put about....Curt suggested that I call Mr. Carlson which I have done. He indicated a real interest in being of every possible assistance to us...I further told him that I would call him in about two weeks and that we would agree upon a mutually convenient time and place to meet and discuss what and how he and his company could be of help." [9] Tobacco Institute pursued their plan, sending a letter to Walgreens describing how Majik Markets had helped them, and proposing Walgreens do the same, at TI expense:[10] Walgreens was extremely eager to help, even volunteering to the Tobacco Institute that their position as a "health center" could be of great benefit to industry in such a campaign:

As you know, we at Walgreens are exploring the possibilities

of an information program which will help both the tobacco industry and ourselves . We don't want to step into the middle of a raging controversy, but as an established "health center" there are many, many things we can do to gain and maintain

the understanding and support of the public.[11]


Executives along with pay for 2006:[12]

  • Jeffrey A. Rein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, $1,380,000 (plus exercised $408,000 in options)
  • Gregory D. Wasson, President and Chief Operating Officer, $674,000 (plus exercised $133,000 in options)
  • Charles R. Walgreen III, Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Director and Member of Fin. Committee, $61,000
  • Trent E. Taylor, Executive VP and Pres of Walgreens Health Services, $719,000 (plus exercised $197,000 in options)
  • William A. Shiel, Senior VP of Facilities Development, $636,000


Accessed May 2014: [13]

Contact details

200 Wilmot Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone: 847-914-2500
Fax: 847-914-2804
Web: http://www.walgreens.com


  1. Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2007.
  2. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  3. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Receptions, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  4. Marc Fisher, "Air America, in the Throes of Victory?", The Washington Post, December 10, 2006.
  5. "Air America on Ad Blacklist?", FAIR, October 31, 2006.
  6. "Air America Blackout", FAIR.org/ABC memo, October 25, 2006.
  7. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
  8. Walgreen lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed November 2007.
  9. H.R. Kornegay, Tobacco Institute Walgreen Drugs Memorandum. March 17, 1977. Bates No.TIMN0083434
  10. W. Kloepfer Tobacco Institute No title Letter. March 18, 1977. Bates No. TIMN0083433
  11. David C. Carlson, Walgreens Untitled letter to H.R. Kornegay of the Tobacco Institute March 16, 1977. Bates No. TIMN0083435
  12. Walgreen profile, Yahoo Finance, accessed November 2007.
  13. Walgreen Board, organizational web page, accessed May 13, 2014.

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