Walgreens designates more than 50 specialty pharmacies as cancer-specialized centers


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday designated more than 50 of its local specialty pharmacies as cancer-specialized locations. Each of the locations will be led by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have advanced cancer training and expertise and are committed to making sure patients get the medications and answers they need.

“It is increasingly the case that a pharmacist, either over the phone, in person or via a mobile or web chat, will have the last conversation with a patient prior to the initiation of their oral therapies,” stated Matthew Farber, Walgreens senior director for oncology disease state management. “With the continued advances in new oral therapies for cancer care, our pharmacists at these specialty locations are playing an integral role in working with patients’ physicians, nurses, social workers and financial counselors.”

The pharmacy staff at these locations have completed a cancer-focused curriculum of advanced education courses, focused on colorectal, lung, prostate and breast cancer, as well as various blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphomas, multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative neoplasms and myelodysplatic syndrome.

Walgreens cancer-specialized pharmacies help patients access, afford and stay on their medication while also helping to successfully transition them into survivorship care. Walgreens pharmacists and technicians collaborate with other providers to help manage any medication side effects, and can assist in finding financial assistance options, if necessary.

The training curriculum

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancers, along with input from blood cancer experts from academia, developed clinical training courses, resources and certification for Walgreens specialty pharmacists and technicians to learn about and implement the latest evidence-based standards and guidelines for blood cancer care. LLS will be awarding blood cancer certifications to all of the Walgreens cancer-specialized pharmacies upon completion of their blood cancer courses.

“We are passionate about understanding, meeting and exceeding the needs of blood cancer patients,” commented Louis DeGennaro, LLS president and CEO. “Our programs, priorities and policies are driven by what is right for patients. In collaboration with Walgreens, we are making an impact on the health care of the more than 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with or in remission from a blood cancer.”

The education-focused initiative is part of an ongoing collaboration between Walgreens and LLS. One of its objectives has been to implement an education and training program to help enhance pharmacists’ knowledge of blood cancers and treatments, as part of the overall cancer care continuum.


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