Walgreen CEO: Healthcare Reform Presents Opportunity

As the Obama administration pushes for healthcare reform, Walgreen is on target to reduce costs by $1 billion in the next two years, company president and CEO Gregory Wasson said Thursday.

In addition to pushing for generic prescription drugs, Walgreen launched a prescription savings club card directed at people without healthcare coverage.

"As the administration provides healthcare to all Americans, we will still be able to promote generic drugs," Wasson said. "The sands are shifting in healthcare and I think that creates strategic opportunities for a lot of us."

Although Walgreen is continuing to slowdown store growth by 2.5-3 percent through 2011, the company is hiking its dividend by 22 percent, Wasson said.

"We feel confident with our strategy," he said. "We felt the right thing to do was to reward our shareholders at this point."

This marks the 76th year of offering a dividend and 34th year of offering an increase, Wasson said.

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