Wendy future of retail top

Walgreens enlisted by UnitedHealth for diabetes alliance

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has been selected by UnitedHealth Group as a founding partner of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), a program aimed at treating and managing diabetes.

The drug store chain said Wednesday that in the alliance it will be joining the YMCA of the USA, which is also a DPCA founding partner, focusing on disease prevention.

As part of the alliance’s Diabetes Control Program (DCP), Walgreens will offer personalized coaching and counseling by trained pharmacists to help patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes manage their condition and improve adherence to their physicians’ treatment plans.

Walgreens pharmacists — or in some markets, Take Care Health Systems nurse practitioners — will provide diabetes education and behavioral intervention, risk-factor reduction, health promotion and regular examinations for early signs of complications in local pharmacies. The retailer said UnitedHealth Group will cover the services at no charge to plan participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans — marking the first time in the country that a health plan will pay for evidence-based diabetes prevention and control programs.

"Walgreens is proud to be selected by UnitedHealth Group, alongside the YMCA of the USA, in their formation of this comprehensive diabetes treatment and self-care management program," Colin Watts, chief innovation officer at Walgreens, said in a statement. "For years, Walgreens has been committed to serving the needs of people with diabetes.

"For this alliance, we are customizing many of the program elements of our recently launched Walgreens Optimal Wellness program, a national program designed to capitalize on the power of face-to-face interaction with a trusted Walgreens pharmacist or nurse practitioner in treating diabetes," Watts noted. "Walgreens is excited to be part of this new program and looks forward to collaborating with such strong and innovative partners. We believe the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is the right approach for treating one of the most pervasive chronic diseases in the country."

The Diabetes Control Program will launch in eight markets: Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Oklahoma City; Albuquerque, N.M.; Phoenix; and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

"We selected Walgreens as a partner in the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance based on their ability to bring thousands of highly motivated and trained pharmacists, a national footprint and a true commitment to help tip the scales against the epidemic of diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity in the U.S.," stated Deneen Vojta, senior vice president of UnitedHealth’s Center for Health Reform and Modernization. "We look forward to working with Walgreens to roll out this program in key cities across the country to help people with diabetes better control their condition through education and support from their pharmacists."

Walgreens reported that according to the American Diabetes Association, in 2007 nearly 24 million people in the United States had diabetes, 24% of them undiagnosed. Another 57 million people, or 26% of the adult population, are considered pre-diabetic, with about 85% of those people unaware of their condition.


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