Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Walgreens Opens HIV/AIDS Specialty Pharmacy at Desert AIDS Project Clinic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Walgreens pharmacy has opened an HIV/AIDS specialty facility at the Desert AIDS Project clinic in Palm Springs, Calif., the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS will be able to visit the clinic and then fill antiretroviral prescriptions at the Walgreens on site. Having a specialty HIV/AIDS pharmacy could give Walgreens a competitive advantage over other Palm Springs pharmacies, according to the Press-Enterprise. Walgreens' Palm Springs specialty pharmacy is only the second of its kind; Walgreens opened the first one in Chicago at the Howard Brown Health Center. Gregg Cygan, Walgreens' director of clinic pharmacies, said that the company is looking to open specialty pharmacies in other cities but added that "finding the right fit is difficult." Cygan said, "Some clinics have no desire for a pharmacy and others don't have the space. That's what was unique about the Desert AIDS Project. They had both." John Brown, director of the Desert AIDS Project, said that it is important to have pharmacists who specialize in AIDS. "[Antiretrovirals] are very expensive, complicated drugs that require a certain amount of management," Brown said, adding, "When someone starts a new drug, and it has a side effect, and they need to know what to do about that side effect, the pharmacist can help by telling them what kinds of over-the-counter medicines they can and can't take." Cygan said that it may take time for the specialty pharmacy to "establish itself," but he believes HIV/AIDS patients will eventually start using it because of its convenient location, according to the Press-Enterprise (Shikes, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/13).
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