Retail News Breaks
Walgreens to form cystic fibrosis specialty pharmacy
October 2nd, 2012
DEERFIELD, Ill., and BETHESDA, Md. – Walgreen Co. and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are partnering to operate a specialty pharmacy for the disease that will provide patients enhanced access to medications and expanded pharmacy services.
Under the alliance announced Tuesday, Walgreens will get "a significant ownership stake" in the parent company of Cystic Fibrosis Services Inc., a specialty pharmacy that provides medications and treatment support for the cystic fibrosis community.
Plans call for CF Services to continue to operate under its current name and remain based in Bethesda, Md.
Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
Walgreens has more than 7,900 stores nationwide, including about 180 hospital outpatient pharmacies, which the company said will be able to offer enhanced services to CF Services customers. According to the drug chain, the services include unique programs that can help CF patients better manage their treatment regimen so they can have better health outcomes.
"Walgreens has a long-standing relationship with the CF community, and we understand the unique needs and challenges that CF patients and their families face," Mike Ellis, vice president of Walgreens specialty pharmacy and infusion, said in a statement. "By working with the CF Foundation, we are both committed to CF patients continuing to have access to the medications and services they need to stay healthy and getting the greatest benefit from their relationship with their pharmacist."
Even as the alliance stands to expand the services and resources available to CF Services customers, the two organizations said they will work to enhance CF Services' service. For example, they said, customers of CF Services will continue to use the same toll-free number to order medications with the same knowledgeable professionals there to handle orders and answer questions. Services such as free shipping and monthly invoices for out-of-pocket payments also will continue.
"By working with a pharmacy chain the size and stature of Walgreens, we will be better able to offer people with CF greater access to high-quality, customer-friendly pharmacy services," stated Robert Beall, president and chief executive officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "Together, CF Services and Walgreens can bring pharmacy services to a higher level for the CF community."
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States and about 70,000 people worldwide. The disease causes debilitating lung infections and premature death. The median age of survival for a person with cystic fibrosis is in the late 30s. Ten million Americans, or one in 30, carry the defective cystic fibrosis gene.
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