DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has received a U.S. patent for new proprietary technology that its Walgreens community specialty pharmacists and AllianceRx Walgreens Prime’s specialty pharmacists will use to facilitate communication with and counseling of individuals prescribed oral oncology medicines.
The technology will be applied through Walgreens Connected Care Oncology, a process that helps pharmacy customers remain on their treatments and manage any side effects, the company said last month.
Historically, chemotherapy and other cancer medicines have been administered under the supervision of a medical professional in an outpatient clinic or in-patient hospital, Walgreens said. More recently, however, medical science has created oral cancer medicines called oncolytics that patients can take in their home. While convenient, oncolytics are powerful medicines designed to treat cancer in accordance with complex treatment plans that are critical to patient outcomes.
The patented technology will provide specialty pharmacy teams at Walgreens and AllianceRx Walgreens Prime with a set of questions and informational scripts to guide conversations with Connected Care Oncology patients. Each patient interaction is customized to focus on patient-specific variables, including prescribed medication, adverse events and adherence.
“As more and more cancer patients are self-administering oral oncolytic medications without medical supervision, there is no way for providers to know if the patient is taking the medication as prescribed or what side effects they may be experiencing,” said Rick Miller, senior director of specialty clinical services at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime and one of the developers of the technology.