Walmart Healthcare: 5 updates from the last 60 days

From employee pay raises to new back-end operations software, here are five Walmart Healthcare updates Becker's has covered since May 28:

1. Walmart recalled all lots of its joint supplement, Artri Ajo King, that contained diclofenac May 28. The chemical can increase risk for heart attacks, strokes and gastrointestinal damage, and wasn't listed on Walmart's product labels.

2. Walmart announced a pay raise for more than 36,000 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacy technicians. The technicians' pay jumped to more than $20 per hour the week of June 16. Walmart said the "significant investment" allows new hires to get raises every six months in their first two years of employment, with raises potentially amounting to a $4 hike in hourly pay over four years.

3. In June, Walmart installed custom software that allows it to run its back-end operations across any cloud system, saving the company thousands of dollars. The company's hybrid cloud system is based on third-party platforms from Microsoft and Google, as well as an internal server network Walmart has built. The new technology reduced Walmart's cloud costs by 10 percent to 18 percent and boosted performance. Having company-made software allows the company to invest in its own technology and its hybrid cloud.

4. At the end of June, Walmart heir Alice Walton released more details about the development of her four-year, medical degree-granting program that integrates conventional medicine with holistic principles and self-care practices, including a name change from the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences, now dubbed the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine. The school, set in northwestern Arkansas, is planned for completion by spring 2023, aiming to host its first class of medical students in fall 2025.

5. According to Drug Channels Institute's list of the top 15 specialty pharmacies by revenue of 2021, released in June, Walmart ranked 13, with a yearly revenue of about $1.1 billion.

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