Walgreen Co. is launching an initiative to promote a 90-day prescription program at its pharmacies in Minneapolis.

Walgreens, 90-day prescriptions, Minneapolis, 90-Day At Retail, Brad Wasson, pharmacy, drug store, medication adherence, chronic care, mail order, retail pharmacy

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In Minneapolis, Walgreens promotes 90-day prescriptions

August 3rd, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS – Walgreen Co. is launching an initiative to promote a 90-day prescription program at its pharmacies in Minneapolis.

The drug store chain said Tuesday that through the program, dubbed 90-Day At Retail, eligible patients can receive certain medications in 90-day supplies from their local Walgreens as an alternative to delivery from a mail-order pharmacy. The company added that Minneapolis is one of three communities from across the country where it will focus this effort.

The 90-Day at Retail initiative is being promoted in response to increasing demand from patients for more choice when it comes to their pharmacy options, Walgreens reported. According to recent company research, nearly four out of five patients stated that they prefer receiving their 90-day prescription at a retail pharmacy rather than by mail.

Walgreens said that starting Tuesday, its pharmacists also will begin reaching out to doctors and patients in Minneapolis to educate them about the benefits of a 90-day prescription program.

To support the program, Walgreens said its pharmacists in Minneapolis have been trained to assist patients with their medication choices and to work with local physicians and prescribers to ensure any needed changes to prescriptions are completed, and even directly handle the requirements for patients switching to 90-day supplies. The pharmacists also are trained to educate patients about the importance of sticking to their drug regimen in treating their illness or condition and to help them identify potential problems caused from drug interactions, allergies and other issues that may arise.

In addition, Walgreens is promoting the 90-day program in Minneapolis through direct mailings to the medical community, an advertising campaign, phone outreach efforts and letters to executives of major local businesses that highlight the benefits of 90-day prescription refill programs at retail pharmacies.

"We know that patients want choice and access when it comes to their pharmacy options, and that when given the choice some patients prefer the convenience and comfort of receiving their regular, chronic medications at their local pharmacy over mail programs," Brad Wasson, Walgreens' vice president of pharmacy operations, said in a statement. “In a health care environment where patients are increasingly looking for alternatives that make sense for their health, Walgreens is committed to developing programs that reduce overall costs to the system, improve patient outcomes and enhance patient choice. That is why we are launching our promotion of 90-Day At Retail in Minneapolis.”

Studies also show that patients who receive a 90-day supply of prescriptions for chronic conditions have significantly higher medication adherence rates, according to Walgreens. For many chronic care conditions, Walgreens reported that it has seen an approximately 15% increase in adherence to medications for patients receiving a 90-day retail prescription versus those receiving a 30-day supply. 

"Better adherence can lead to better health for patients and ultimately reduces costs," added Wasson. "We have seen time and time again that our trusted pharmacists deliver the counseling and coaching needed to ensure patients properly take their prescriptions. The power of these face-to-face interactions is a key advantage of the 90-Day At Retail initiative."