|[February 17, 2014]
Walgreens Expands Access to Pharmacist-Led Hepatitis C Care as Treatments Advance
DEERFIELD, Ill. --(Business Wire)--
With new advances in treatment therapy now available for hepatitis C
patients, Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) today announced it is
expanding access to Walgreens Connected Caresm hepatitis C
program through its more than 100 hepatitis C-specialized pharmacies.
Walgreens Connected Care is an education and support plan designed to
help patients achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) and improved
quality of life through medication adherence.
The expansion comes at a critical time, as the once potentially
life-threatening condition affecting more than 3.2 million Americans is
now increasingly curable due to recent advances in therapy.1
Also, a growing number of Americans with hepatitis C infection are
expected to have access to health insurance based on the provisions of
the Affordable Care Act.
Walgreens now offers more than 100 hepatitis C-specialized pharmacies
with new hepatitis C virus (HCV) medications available and pharmacists
specially trained on next generation oral therapies. Walgreens hepatitis
C specially-trained pharmacists are also qualified to identify
HCV-associated health concerns and can provide hepatitis C patient care
for those with a HIV co-infection or other comorbid conditions, such as
diabetes or high blood pressure. The specialized support has been proven
to benefit patients, contributing to 90 percent adherence for patients
who completed past treatments1.
"While recent hepatitis C therapy advances can be more effective and
present fewer side effects, some patients, with high instance of
comorbidity, can experience difficulty in managing care and an increased
cost of therpy," said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens director specialty
products and services, virology. "Walgreens Connected Caresm hepatitis
C program, delivered through our hepatitis C- specialized pharmacies, is
designed to meet the holistic needs of people diagnosed with hepatitis C
- before, during and after HCV treatment. This can help patients achieve
SVR and an improved quality of life through medication adherence, while
continuing to manage other health outcomes."
Patients in Walgreens Connected Caresm hepatitis C program
receive support services including 24-hour access to specially trained
pharmacists, help verifying insurance and identifying financial
assistance options, convenient access to or delivery of medication and
pharmacist-led regimen check points to monitor response to therapy and
encourage medication adherence.
Walgreens hepatitis C specially trained pharmacists work with patients
to determine the best method of delivery. HCV medications can be picked
up at a Walgreens hepatitis C specialized pharmacy or a designated local
Walgreens pharmacy. Delivery is also available through hepatitis C
specialized pharmacies or Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy locations.
"As the most common blood transmitted infection in the U.S. largely
affecting an aging population with high instance of other health
concerns, careful holistic patient pharmaceutical care and supported
comprehensive therapy treatment plans are critical to maintain total
medication adherence," said Pietrandoni.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72
billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com)
vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone
in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million
customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and
services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness
services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of
pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility
and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services
improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers,
managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers
and the public sector. The company operates 8,206 drugstores in all 50
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the
largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness
centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with
more than 750 locations throughout the country.
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