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AllianceRx Walgreens Prime adds 4 cancer drugs to portfolio

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ORLANDO, Fla.—  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is helping cancer patients prepare for challenges through multidisciplinary, holistic patient care, including access to more than 60 limited distribution oncology drugs. Most recently, Pfizer added to this list by granting the specialty pharmacy access to four targeted cancer therapies that

treat metastatic melanoma, metastatic colorectal cancer, and two types of leukemia. These include:

  • Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin), an antibody-drug conjugate used to treat adults with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who achieved remission with previous cancer treatment, but whose ALL has returned (relapsed), or those whose ALL did not respond to previous treatment (refractory).
  • Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), an antibody-drug conjugate used in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adults and pediatric patients one month and older.
  • Braftovi (encorafenib) and Mektovi (binimetinib), kinase inhibitors indicated for use in combination for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600E or V600K mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test. Braftovi is a prescription medicine used in combination with cetuximab for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with a BRAF V600E mutation, as detected by an FDA-approved test, after prior therapy.

“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with Pfizer,” says Tracey James, senior vice president of pharmacy services at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “Our team members are specially trained to support patients with rare cancers at every step of the way, so they can concentrate on their health.”

What makes rare cancers rare 
Rare cancers are those with an incidence of fewer than six cases per 100,000 individuals per year in the U.S. Overall, approximately 20% of patients with cancer in the U.S. are diagnosed with a rare cancer.Compare that to 123 cases per 100,000, the incidence rate for both breast and prostate cancer – the most common cancers in women and men, respectively – according to the American Cancer Society.

“Rare cancers present unique and greater challenges than other cancers. They are more difficult to diagnose than other cancers, often requiring more physician visits and expense. As a result, the cancer may be more advanced when diagnosed,” says Amy Pfeifer, PharmD., oncology clinical program manager at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “Treatment options as well as patient information may be limited. Emotional support, which is so important for cancer patients, can present challenges, because finding someone else with the same rare cancer may be difficult.”

A unique and holistic approach to care 
After diagnosis, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime clinicians review prescribed medications with the patient, as well as any applicable warnings or potential side effects.

However, medication is only one component of the patient’s care journey at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. Patients on self-administered oncology medications benefit from the pharmacy’s Connected Care Oncology clinical management program, whose patented technology guides interactions with patients, helping them stay on treatment and manage any possible side effects.

“Our pharmacists are actively involved in the management of the patient using Connected Care’s system-driven activities to monitor adherence, side effects and other triggered activities or tasks,” says Pfeifer. “Depending on the prescribed treatment, a patient’s support program may include our Cycle Management Program which offers additional pharmacist support during the first month of therapy.”

AllianceRx Walgreens Prime’s specialty pharmacists also connect patients and caregivers with resources including support groups, financial and co-pay assistance, counselors, and anything else the patient and his or her family may need.

An additional show of support is the pharmacy’s relationship with various advocacy organizations. “We’re a proud sponsor of CancerCare, which provides access to educational information to all patients and families affected by cancer. Supporting organizations like CancerCare aligns with our core values. We want to support organizations that support our patients,” says James.

Simplifying the patient experience with innovation
Earlier this year, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime announced the release of new digital tools allowing patients with rare cancers to manage their care online. The digital clinical assessments, available only through AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, simplify patients’ online experience when refilling their prescriptions. This means patients with rare cancers who are handling their treatment well can choose to order refills online rather than calling the pharmacy. The tools’ proprietary algorithms use patient-provided information to ask relevant questions and identify specific needs for individual support. Patients complete their entire transaction online – and still have the option to speak to a pharmacist if they desire, or if their responses necessitate follow up with a clinician.

“We are engaging with patients on their terms. These tools help us know if patients are safely taking their medicine and achieving benefit from their therapy. Our patient-focused and holistic approach to care, combined with maintaining our leading limited distribution access so our patients can have the latest drugs on the market, continues to be a focus for us,” says James. “It’s how AllianceRx Walgreens Prime shows up for every patient with rare cancer and beyond.”

For full prescribing information, black box warnings for Besponsa and Mylotarg, and any other warnings for these medicines, visit Pfizer.com or dailymed.nlm.nih.gov.


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