Underscoring its commitment to the cystic fibrosis (CF) community, Walgreens now offers enhanced personalized therapy management support to help people with CF live healthier lives. Connected CareSM Cystic Fibrosis Management Program is provided through Cystic Fibrosis Services, a Walgreens Alliance Pharmacy (CFS Inc.), and is designed to help CF patients manage the many life-saving medications as well as special diet, physical therapy and exercise needed to stay healthy.
About 30,000 Americans have cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. While there is no known cure for CF, newer treatments can help patients live longer, healthier lives. However, therapy can be extremely demanding, typically involving a daily combination of oral, injected or inhaled (nebulized) medications, and studies show that patients often take their medications incorrectly. Failure to take medications as prescribed can lead to health risk and increased hospitalization.
Walgreens Connected Care Cystic Fibrosis Management Program provides extensive medication education, support and ongoing guidance. The program is offered through CFS pharmacies and will expand to select Walgreens sites.
"Connected Care extends far beyond just ensuring CF patients take their medications correctly. We work closely with each patient to identify and overcome individual challenges and barriers," said Barbara S. Putignano, R.Ph., vice president of CFS Inc. "Our pharmacists are experts in CF medications and proactively provide patients the support and guidance they need to ensure they adhere to therapy and live healthier, less stressful lives."
The Connected Care CF program was developed with input from two external advisory boards comprising doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and social workers. The enhanced therapy management program features comprehensive care services and support provided by CF specially-trained Walgreens pharmacists and staff:
- Medication-specific education at the start of therapy and throughout treatment, including medication administration, regimen and how to store and handle the medication
- Monthly refill reminder calls that include assessment of adherence, monitoring for side effects and guidance in managing them
- Identification of patient-specific challenges to adherence and compliance and help in overcoming those barriers
- Pharmacist review of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to identify possible drug interactions
- Reporting of adherence data and side effects to the patient's physician and care team
- Coordinated delivery to ensure orders are filled only when needed
- Availability of pharmacy staff 24/7 online and by phone for general pharmacy questions
In December 2012, Walgreens solidified its long-standing service to people with CF by forming an alliance with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, taking significant ownership in the parent company of CFS Inc. The company provides a full line of CF medications and treatments, including limited-distribution medications as well as medications for CF-related diabetes, transplants, pancreatic enzymes, devices and vitamins with the ease of online ordering for home delivery. CFS Inc. also coordinates with the CF Patient Assistance Foundation and other nonprofit organizations and manufacturer-sponsored assistance programs and is actively involved in local CF events that promote patient education.