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Walgreens, HHS develop MTM for HIV patients
July 24th, 2012
WASHINGTON – Walgreen Co. and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have joined forces to develop a medication therapy management (MTM) program to help improve outcomes for HIV patients.
The initiative, which will see Walgreens provide $1 million worth of in-kind services, is expected to help shed light on how the patient-pharmacist relationship can help improve retention in care, adherence and viral suppression outcomes.
"Investing in public-private initiatives is key in the fight against HIV/AIDS," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said when she announced the partnership at the International AIDS Conference here on Monday.
"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," she said.
The partnership, which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, calls for Walgreens pharmacists in HIV Centers of Excellence (COE) across the country to work with a total of 1,000 patients.
The Walgreens locations are staffed with specially trained pharmacists who work closely with patients to offer guidance and support with their medication therapy.
Patients utilizing the HHS-Walgreens services would receive an initial comprehensive medication review and quarterly MTM.
The Walgreens centers would also provide patients with refill reminders and assistance managing side effects and navigating insurance benefits.
The data derived from the effort will be used to measure the benefits and costs associated with a pharmacy-based program.
"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 the drug chain’s 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."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV.