National Retail Pharmacy Chain Expands Hepatitis C Patient Care Program

Noting advances in hepatitis C treatment regimens, Walgreens expands access to its hepatitis C–focused patient care program.

This article was originally published on the Specialty Pharmacy Times website.

Walgreens will expand its hepatitis C patient education and support plan program, after noting treatment advances, particularly the potential for all-oral treatment regimens, the company announced in a February 17, 2014, press release—a week prior to the FDA granting breakthrough therapy designation to Bristol-Myers Squibb’s all-oral daclatasvir and asunaprevir combination therapy regimen.

The daclatasvir and asunaprevir combination therapy regimen is currently undergoing phase-3 clinical trials and showed favorable results in clinical efficacy trials conducted in 2013. The designation, which can expedite the drug review process, is contingent upon preliminary clinical evidence that shows substantial improvement over existing therapies, according to a February 24, 2014, press release.

Walgreens Connected Care will be available in more than 100 hepatitis C—specialized pharmacies that the company owns. The Walgreens Connected Care program is meant to help patients achieve sustained virologic response, while also improving quality of life via medication adherence, a release from the company states.

“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,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens director of specialty products and services, virology. “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 [hepatitis C virus] treatment. This can help patients achieve SVR [sustained virologic response] and an improved quality of life through medication adherence, while continuing to manage other health outcomes.”

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