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Press release from Business Wire

Walgreens Discusses Success of Community Pharmacy Programs in Improving Patient Medication Adherence

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Company presents research findings at World Congress Summit</i> </p>

Monday, March 18, 2013

Walgreens Discusses Success of Community Pharmacy Programs in Improving Patient Medication Adherence10:34 EDT Monday, March 18, 2013 DEERFIELD, Ill. (Business Wire) -- Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) recently presented the latest research on how community pharmacy programs, as well as new adherence models and metrics, can help drive better medication adherence. The research, presented at the World Congress Summit in Philadelphia last Friday, demonstrates the company's success in improving patient medication adherence by developing an infrastructure that tracks patient level adherence and uses predictive modeling along with risk stratification to identify patient patterns. Kristi Rudkin, PharmD, senior director of product development for Walgreens, and Michael S. Taitel, PhD, Walgreens senior director of clinical outcomes and analytic services, discussed the research findings along with product-specific interventions focused on empowering patients to better self-manage their condition. The discussion also examined the latest research related to new-to-therapy counseling and automated Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) refill reminders. “Medication non-adherence is one of the greatest and most costly barriers in treating illness today,” Rudkin said. “By developing programs and services that can help reduce these barriers, and examining ways to drive cost savings and improved health outcomes through better adherence, we can help more people get, stay and live well.” New-to-therapy patients often face adherence challenges while trying to learn a new medication regimen. A retrospective cohort study assessing the impact of pharmacist-led, face-to-face counseling in new-to-therapy statin patients found that compared to usual pharmacy care, those patients receiving face-to-face counseling had 7.2 percent higher adherence.1 Forgetfulness can also be a contributor to non-adherence. In a pilot program, automated refill reminders (ARR) significantly improved patient adherence to medications used to treat chronic conditions. Patients who received automated Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) telephonic reminders had a significantly higher medication possession ratio (MPR) compared with patients who did not receive reminders. Additionally, the persistence for the intervention was nearly eight days longer than that of the control group. “Helping patients improve their medication adherence is a challenge for providers, payers and many others within the health care system,” Taitel said. “We've demonstrated the effectiveness of several programs and initiatives - including our new to therapy program, automated refill reminder calls. Integrating predictive modeling and risk stratification will help us be even more effective at driving better adherence, and ultimately better health outcomes.” Medication non-adherence is estimated to cost the U.S. health care system $300 billion dollars per year2. The World Congress Summit to Improve Adherence and Enhance Patient Engagement gathered medical experts to address ways in which effective interventions and coordination can improve adherence rates and drive better patient outcomes. The summit took place March 14-15 in Philadelphia. About Walgreens 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 8,071 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 Taitel M, Jiang J, Rudkin K, Ewing S, Duncan I. The impact of pharmacist face-to-face counseling to improve medication adherence among patients initiating statin therapy, Patient Preference and Adherence, 2012, 6(1) 323-329. 2 NEHI Research Shows Patient Medication Nonadherence Costs Health Care System $290 Billion Annually WalgreensJim Cohn,847-315-2950http://news.walgreens.com@WalgreensNewsfacebook.com/Walgreens