) recently unveiled research results of two retrospective cohort
studies that were involved with the study of HIV and comorbid
medication adherence at the company's HIV-specialized pharmacies.
The studies also focused on implications for HIV patients
suffering from serious mental disorders.
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The research data was disclosed at the Cell-Lancet conference,
What Will it Take to Achieve an AIDS-Free World? in San
Francisco. It was inferred from the results that patients using
Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies showed high adherence to
therapeutic treatments for HIV as well as associated
comorbidities, than those using other Walgreens retail
The HIV-specialized pharmacies of Walgreens are highly
recognized. More than 2,000 HIV-trained pharmacists provide
education, counseling, testing and treatment at more than 700
Walgreens has been developing patient support programs, with
special emphasis on HIV patients, to inculcate greater abidance
to medication within the treatment process. Medication adherence
is vital, as poor or lack of it often results in treatment
failure, resistance to therapy and also increases mortality rate.
The study results demonstrated that patients using the
specialized pharmacies of Walgreen are inclined to use
anti-retroviral and comorbid therapies as provided by them. The
mean proportion of days covered for patients using Walgreens
HIV-specialized pharmacies exceeded the same parameter for
patients using other Walgreens retail pharmacies.
Moreover, patients taking angiotensin (drug used to treat
hypertension), and a regular at Walgreens HIV-specialized
pharmacies had a mean proportion of days of 82.6% as compared to
79.6% among those using generic retail pharmacies of the company.
Similarly patients taking statins (drug used to treat high
cholesterol) had 83.7% mean proportion of days, higher than 81.3%
among those using other Walgreens pharmacies.
Additionally, Walgreens researchers also undertook a
retrospective data analysis of HIV patients with severe mental
ailments. It has been observed that such patients face
difficulties in taking medication. This in turn almost doubles up
hospitalization and treatment costs.
Nearly 30% of HIV patients tested in the above mentioned study
showed increased medication adherence when utilizing a Walgreens
HIV-specialized pharmacy. Of them, 32.7% responded well to the
anti-retroviral therapy comparing favorably with 19.4% of HIV
patients using other Walgreen retail pharmacies.
The studies validate Walgreens commitment toward eradication of
the fatal disease AIDS that has reached epidemic levels across
Such specialized services introduced by the Retail Major are
likely to be effective at this time when the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1.4 million people
presently infected with HIV, out of which 207,600 remain
undiagnosed. The extensive network of the company is also
expected to raise the awareness about the disease. Moreover, the
high response rate of the treatment and other services provided
by the unit is expected to help the company bolster its revenues.
Such a noble initiative is believed to improve the quality of
life as well as increase the survival chances of those acutely
infected with the disease, as it is a serious health problem in
the U.S. and worldwide.
Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-performing stocks in the industry include
Rite Aid Corp.
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and
GNC Holdings Inc.
), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).