On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG)
encourages communities to focus on the importance of HIV testing and
early treatment, key priorities and services addressed through its more
than 700 HIV-specialized pharmacies coast to coast. Walgreens
HIV-specialized pharmacies directly support the National HIV/AIDS
Strategy by offering a range of personalized services that can improve
health outcomes, increase access and help fill gaps in care,
particularly in AIDS-endemic communities where stigma and other
disparities may hamper diagnosis and complicate treatment.
The HIV-specialized pharmacies are equipped with systems, processes and
safety checks that operate "behind the scenes" to provide discreet
specialized care in a convenient walk-in setting. Each site is fully
stocked with HIV medications and a wide range of related health care
essentials. Walgreens HIV-specialized locations are staffed by
pharmacists, technicians and other workers who have special HIV training.
With discretion in mind, Walgreens does not use HIV/AIDS-related signs
to call out specialized locations. Customers can visit HIV.Walgreens.com
to find the nearest HIV-specialized location, as well as to review
pharmacists' HIV credentials and profiles.
"While many HIV patients visit their physicians only once or twice a
year, they typically see their pharmacist at least every month," said
Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations.
"Our pharmacists are members of the health care community and are
well-positioned to support HIV patients in addressing the variety of
issues they may face, including help with side effects, emotional
support and motivation to take their medications as prescribed. These
interventions can positively influence HIV medication adherence, which
can be key to improving overall health."
A Walgreens study of more than 15,000 HIV patients showed that those who
received care through an HIV-specialized pharmacy were significantly
more adherent to their medication (74 percent) than those receiving care
through a traditional, non-specialized pharmacy (69 percent)1
Patients who do not take their medication as prescribed run the risk of
treatment failure - meaning the medication no longer works - which can
have serious and even fatal health implications. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention estimates only 25 percent of Americans with HIV
have the virus under control.2
More than 2,000 Walgreens pharmacists across the country have completed
special HIV/AIDS-accredited educational programs, including social and
cultural training, along with annual continuing education. Thousands
more non-pharmacist employees also receive special HIV sensitivity
training. Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies offer a variety of
services and support, including:
Walgreens has long supported communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Its
HIV-specialized pharmacies continue to coordinate with local health
departments or AIDS service organizations to allow them to provide free
HIV testing events, participate in community events and work at a
grassroots level with local health care providers, government leaders
and religious organizations to continually assess and meet the needs of
individuals in select communities throughout the U.S.
In recognition of its community support and service, Walgreens was
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72
billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com)
vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living.
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 8,030 drugstores in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a
Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager
of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care
clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
1. Murphy P, Cocohoba J, Tang M, et al. Impact of HIV-specialized
pharmacies on adherence and persistence with antiretroviral therapy. AIDS
PatientCare and STDs, Volume 26, Number 9, 2012.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012). African
Americans and younger people least likely to be successfully treated for
HIV [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2012/Continuum-of-Care-PressRelease.html
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