Building upon its commitment to provide convenient, compassionate and confidential support and resources to HIV patients needing to manage their disease and live well, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) announced plans to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop an innovative medication therapy management (MTM) program to help improve outcomes for HIV patients. The multi-year program will examine the impact of MTM intervention in the community pharmacy setting, with Walgreens anticipating to provide nearly $1 million in in-kind services. The initiative was announced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week.
“Investing in public-private initiatives is key in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This collaboration will offer insight into how pharmacists and other providers can help patients living with HIV/AIDS stay on their medication and in care, and ultimately improve health outcomes,” said Secretary Sebelius.
In a number of markets across the country, Walgreens pharmacists at select HIV Centers of Excellence (COE) would work with a total of 1,000 patients as part of this pilot. These locations are staffed with specially-trained pharmacists who work closely with patients to offer guidance and support with their medication therapy. Under the plan, the innovative public-private initiative would include an initial comprehensive medication review and quarterly MTM. Other COE services including refill reminders, help with managing side effects and navigating insurance benefits will also be provided on a monthly basis. Pilot data will be used to measure the benefits and costs associated with a pharmacy-based program. Patient participation is voluntary and once select locations are identified, the program is expected to launch January 1, 2013.
“Walgreens community pharmacists are a valued part of the health care team for thousands of HIV patients coast to coast, and this new program can help elevate the importance and effectiveness of the meaningful patient-pharmacist relationship,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “By developing these relationships and closely studying how they impact outcomes for HIV patients, this collaboration will put community pharmacy in a great position to be even more effective and relevant when it comes to retention in care for those with chronic conditions.”
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