Specialty pharmacy enters collaboration with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
RYE BROOK, N.Y., and DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Walgreens have partnered to advance cancer therapies and address the changing treatment model facing patients with blood and other cancers.
Announced Wednesday, the collaboration between LLS and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy aims to help patients, families and caregivers by providing educational tools and resources for enhanced patient support as well as implementing a pharmacist education and training program to ensure pharmacists are knowledgeable about cancer care and can provide additional care.
Walgreens, too, will provide community engagement and corporate support for LLS’s “Light The Night Walk” national fundraising campaign.
“We are proud to team up with LLS on this transformational approach to empowering and supporting patients through our expert oncology specialized pharmacies across the country,” Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens, said in a statement. “With our aligned missions and commitment to serving patients and families, LLS and Walgreens will make an even greater impact on the health and care of the nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with or in remission from a blood cancer.”
As part of the health care support team serving blood cancer patients, LLS will bring to Walgreens its expertise as a leading global source of information for blood cancer patients with educational programs to raise pharmacists’ level of care and improve outcomes. The Blood Cancer 101 and 201 educational series will provide a basic to advanced understanding of blood cancers and treatments, and the pharmacy will earn an LLS certification.
Meanwhile, through LLS’s Information Resource Center (IRC), Walgreens and LLS can help the drug chain’s blood cancer patients nationwide access quality, affordable coordinated care. Staffed by master’s degree-level healthcare specialists, LLS’s IRC responds to over 60,000 annual inquiries from patients, caregivers and health care professionals in need of guidance regarding treatments, supportive care, financial support and clinical trials. Walgreens patients will have access to a dedicated health care specialist.
LLS has established its leadership with a series of blood cancer conferences, attended by thousands of patients and caregivers at no charge. As a national sponsor of these educational conferences, Walgreens pharmacy experts will interact with patients directly in their communities, alongside LLS, to provide the latest information about disease and treatment breakthroughs.
In addition, Walgreens — a longtime supporter of LLS and is the 10th-largest Light The Night Walk team in the U.S. — plans to accelerate this support and bolster its relationships within cancer communities.
In its 66-year history, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance blood cancer treatments and cures. As new blood cancer therapies come to market and patients are able to manage their disease with oral medications at home, specialized pharmacists are well-positioned on the front lines of patient care to help facilitate this treatment transition and play a key role in providing access to these new therapies, LLS noted.
The society added that although survival rates have increased for blood cancer patients, more than a third still do not survive five years after initial diagnosis, and there are virtually no means of preventing or screening for most blood cancers.
“Today, new treatments for blood cancers are entering the health care arena at an unprecedented rate. And these treatments are extending patients’ lives by years, even decades,” stated Louis DeGennaro, president and chief executive officer of LLS. “Our collaboration with industry leader Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy assures that patients and their caregivers have timely access to high-quality, up-to-date information to best manage their disease.”