Walgreen Co. has opened a store on the campus of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) that provides community health and wellness services and a training venue for the college's pharmacy students.

Walgreens, University of California at San Francisco, UCSF, Walgreens at UCSF, UCSF School of Pharmacy, UCSF Medical Center, Well Experience, pharmacy students, health and wellness services, clinical health services, medication adherence, pharmacist medication counseling, comprehensive medication reviews, Joel Wright, Joseph Guglielmo, Daniel Wandres

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Walgreens opens pharmacy-focused store on UCSF campus

February 26th, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Walgreen Co. has opened a store on the campus of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) that provides community health and wellness services and a training venue for the college's pharmacy students.

Photo courtesy UCSF/Walgreens

UCSF reported Tuesday that the "Walgreens at UCSF" store — a joint initiative of Walgreens, the UCSF School of Pharmacy and UCSF Medical Center — also will explore new models for patient care.

Located across the street from UCSF Medical Center, the Walgreens at UCSF store features the drug chain's Well Experience format, which offers expanded health services and has unique pharmacy department design to foster pharmacist-patient interaction. For example, the pharmacist counter is positioned out front, and there are multiple areas for private consultations, making Walgreens and UCSF pharmacists and UCSF pharmacy students more accessible to patients.

Along with traditional pharmacy offerings such as prescriptions, clinical health services offered by the Walgreens at UCSF store include pharmacist medication counseling, comprehensive medication reviews and the creation of portable medication lists that patients can take to health providers. UCSF noted that promoting pharmacist-patient engagement can spur medication adherence and mitigate adverse drug interactions.

"Walgreens at UCSF is an ideal environment for our pharmacists to work with UCSF Medical Center and School of Pharmacy faculty to further innovate in health care while providing greater access to services for the surrounding community," Joel Wright, divisional vice president for the specialty solutions group at Walgreens, said in a statement. "We are very pleased to share and develop best practices with UCSF pharmacists and pharmacy students."

In addition, Walgreens at UCSF will provide a space to serve as a training ground for student pharmacists in the experiential portion of their doctoral degree program at UCSF and as a clinical training site for pharmacy residents, according to UCSF.

"Modern medicine has transformed many diseases from urgent, life-threatening conditions into chronic illnesses that can be managed with the right medications, but that means more and more patients are juggling multiple prescriptions, with complex instructions," stated Joseph Guglielmo, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. "In many instances, this complicated medication list is inaccurate and incomplete. This collaboration aims to transform the practice of community pharmacies to enable pharmacists to do what they're trained to do, which is helping patients manage their health with the right medications and understand how to take them correctly."

Another health care focus of the store is reducing hospital readmissions for patients whose conditions could have been managed at home, UCSF noted.

"Every time a patient is readmitted to the hospital because they did not take their medications, it has a direct impact on both their health and their health care costs," according to Daniel Wandres, chief pharmacy officer for UCSF Medical Center. "By creating this three-way collaboration, we hope to create a national model for eliminating medication-related readmissions and reducing medication errors nationwide."

UCSF added that the innovative store opened in the wake of the enactment of California Senate Bill 493, which expands the role of pharmacists as part of a patient's health care team. The legislation, which became effective Jan. 1, grants pharmacists "provider status," enabling them to perform additional health services such as monitoring patient health and adjusting prescriptions as needed.