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HIV Treatment Adherence Higher in Walgreens Pharmacy Users

November 15, 2013

This article was reported by Yahoo! Finance.

Yahoo! Finance recently reported that the Walgreen Company released results of two retrospective cohort studies that indicated HIV-infected people who used Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies had higher HIV treatment adherence than HIV-infected people who used other Walgreens pharmacies. Study authors released the data during the Cell-Lancet conference "What Will it Take to Achieve an AIDS-Free World?" in San Francisco.

Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies had more than 2,000 HIV-trained pharmacists, who supplied education, counseling, testing, and treatment at 700 stores. Walgreens' HIV patient support programs aimed to increase treatment adherence, since poor adherence often resulted in treatment failure, resistance to treatment, and increased mortality.

HIV-infected people with comorbidities who used HIV-specialized Walgreens pharmacies also demonstrated better adherence to statins (high cholesterol medication) and angiotensin (hypertension medication) than those who used other Walgreens pharmacies. Patients taking angiotensin who used HIV-specialized Walgreens had a mean proportion of days of 82.6 percent compared with 79.6 percent for those using other Walgreens. Patients taking statins who used HIV-specialized Walgreens had a mean proportion of days of 83.7 percent compared with 81.3 percent for those using other Walgreens.

A second retrospective data analysis showed that approximately 30 percent of HIV-infected people with severe mental illness had better adherence to HIV medications when using a specialty Walgreens. Only 19 percent of HIV patients with severe mental illness who used other Walgreens responded well to antiretroviral therapy, compared with 32.7 percent of those using HIV-specialized Walgreens.

CDC estimated that 207,600 of the 1.4 million HIV-infected U.S. residents remain undiagnosed.

The full report, "Two Retrospective Cohort Studies Exploring HIV Medication and Overall Adherence at HIV-Specialised Pharmacies: Implications for HIV Patients with Comorbid Conditions and Serious Mental Illness," was published online by the journal The Lancet (2013; doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62251-5).

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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