• Walgreens is one of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States.
  • The retailer's holding company, the Walgreens Boots Alliance, also operates thousands of stores around the world.
  • To better picture the company's scale, Business Insider spoke to a Walgreens spokesperson and reviewed the company's most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Walgreens is one of the biggest players in the pharmaceutical field.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance, the official name of the chain's holding company, operates thousands of stores. People around the world rely on these stores for their pharmaceutical needs, from prescription drugs to flu shots.

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A Walgreens spokesperson shared a statement with Business Insider regarding the the retailer's sheer scale. We also picked out a few remarkable statistics from the company's most recent Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing.

Here are a few facts that capture Walgreens' immense size:

Walgreens was first founded in 1909, although it had a predecessor that launched eight years prior.

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Source: Walgreens

A spokesperson told Business Insider that Walgreens became "the first major chain to put prescriptions into child-resistant containers" in 1968.

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The spokesperson added that the company has a number of other innovations under its belt, including the malted milkshake. This treat was concocted at a Walgreens counter in 1922, according to the spokesperson.

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The chain also introduced the electronic prescription in 1992, also known as Walgreens' "Pre-Scribe software," according to the spokesperson.

John Minchillo/AP Images for MasterCard

These days, a Walgreens spokesperson told Business Insider that the pharmacy chain "fills more than one prescription from a mobile device" every second.

M. Spencer Green/AP Images

In fiscal year 2018, Walgreens filled 823.1 million prescriptions, according to the company's most recent SEC filing.

Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

Source: Walgreens

Six million customers visit Walgreens every day, while two million people check out the company's various "digital properties," according to a spokesperson.

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The company boasts a total of 18,500 stores in 11 countries, as well as 390 distribution centers that cater to 20 countries.

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Source: Walgreens

Walgreens operates a total of 9,560 stores in the US ...

Mohammad Khursheed/Reuters

Source: Walgreens

... and 4,767 stores outside the US, including the chain stores Boots, Benavides, and Ahumada.

Alastair Grant/AP Images

Source: Walgreens

If you live in the US, you're probably right near a Walgreens. A spokesperson told Business Insider that 78% of the population "lives within five miles" of a Walgreens, a Duane Reade, or a Walgreens-owned Rite Aid store.

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The Walgreens Boots Alliance employed over 354,000 people as of August 31, 2018.

Yanina Manolova/AP Images

Source: Walgreens

The company's 400 in-store specialized clinics employ "85,000 healthcare service providers, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners" and other healthcare providers. These workers are a mix of employees and third-party partners.

Ron Heflin/AP Images

Source: Walgreens

A Walgreens spokesperson told Business Insider that the company "has collected and safely disposed more than 1.2 million pounds of unused or unwanted medications to date."

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

A Walgreens spokesperson told Business Insider that, by partnering up with the UN Foundation, the company "has provided more than 34 million life-saving vaccines for children around the world through its 'Get A Shot. Give A Shot.' campaign."

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This article was written by Áine Cain from Business Insider and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.