Walgreens announced that the company is expanding access to its Connected Care hepatitis C program to more than 100 specialized pharmacies, designed to give patients greater access to new therapies and improve medication adherence and treatment outcome.
“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 therapy,” Glen Pietrandoni, RPh, Walgreens director of specialty products and services, virology, said in a press release. “Walgreens Connected Care 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 [sustained virological response] and improved quality of life through medication adherence, while continuing to manage other health outcomes.”
The program provides 24-hour access to pharmacists who are specially trained on next-generation oral therapies for HCV infection. Benefits of the program include helping patients verify their insurance, identifying opportunities for financial assistance, improving access to medication and close monitoring of patients’ response and adherence to treatments.
According to the company, the pharmacists also are trained to identify HCV-associated health problems and to provide care for patients with HIV coinfection and other comorbid conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
“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,” Pietrandoni said.