Walgreens in Indianapolis Offers Specialized HIV/AIDS Care
A Walgreens pharmacy in Indianapolis is reaching out to HIV-positive people by offering specialized services and care, the Indianapolis Star reports. The store is staffed with a pharmacist trained in HIV/AIDS care and reflects Walgreen's "new strategy of providing customized services to those with certain diseases," according to the Star. In addition, all of the pharmacists at the store have received HIV/AIDS training.
Noelle Redmond, the pharmacist at the Indianapolis store, has been based there since September and has specialized knowledge of many HIV/AIDS medications. In addition, Redmond can help patients "navigate the complicated system of care, including how to pay for a regimen of medications that can cost $3,000 a month," the Star reports. Both of these components can help ensure that HIV-positive people adhere to their drug regimens. "Compliance is extremely important for the disease," Redmond said, adding, "If they miss just one dose a month, they risk having their HIV become resistant to therapy." According to Redmond, guidelines for HIV/AIDS drugs "change every six months. If you don't specialize in it, it's very, very difficult for an everyday pharmacist to keep up accurately." Redmond travels around Indiana a few days each week to train other pharmacists and speak with case managers and physicians.
The pharmacy BioScrip has been providing specialized HIV/AIDS care in Indianapolis for 11 years and works with several local organizations. About 8,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana, according to the state Department of Health. Stephen Everett, director of the Indiana AIDS Fund, said that there is a need for two specialist pharmacies in the city. "The HIV problem has not gone away," he said, adding, "It will continue to expand. ... Certainly people with HIV will be better served because there are more options" (Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, 11/7).