Walgreens donates 3 million vaccines in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced it is donating the value of 3 million vaccines for children in developing countries upon successful completion of its immunizations campaign developed in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.
Walgreens pledged to donate the value of one vaccine through Shot@Life for each immunization the company administered from Sept. 4 through Oct. 14, with a goal to reach three million vaccines to benefit children in developing countries by protecting them against such diseases as measles and polio.
“We’re proud to have been a part of the Shot@Life campaign with the UN Foundation, and I want to thank our customers who came in for flu shots and vaccines,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “This program is a great example of how large organizations and individuals can come together to improve the delivery of preventive care. At Walgreens, we’re very pleased to help these vaccines get to the children who need them.”
“By expanding access to vaccines, we have the ability to save a child’s life every 20 seconds from a preventable life-threatening disease, like measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio,” said Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “Working in partnership with Walgreens, we raised awareness among its loyal customers of the importance of vaccines for the health of children in developing countries, and together with our United Nations partners we have given three million children around the world an opportunity at a healthy life.”
Shot@Life statistics show 1-in-5 children worldwide lack access to life-saving immunizations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.
In the United States, Walgreens is in its fourth year of a flu shot voucher program developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through which one million vouchers have now been distributed. This season, Walgreens distributed more than 400,000 flu shot vouchers to Americans without health insurance or coverage for a flu shot, providing free access to individuals and families in need. HHS assisted in the voucher program effort in markets across the country.
“Since this innovative partnership began in 2010, hundreds of thousands of uninsured men, women and children have accessed vouchers and received free flu shots,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “In the face of persistent disparities in influenza vaccination coverage — especially among adults — this initiative is a promising example of how we are working with partners to expand access to important preventive services for our most vulnerable and underserved communities.”
Meijer offers free flu, strep tests and dispenses drugs at some Mich. stores as part of NACDS Foundation-supported study
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With cases of influenza rising across the Midwest, mass-merchandise retailer Meijer is participating in a new study by offering free testing for flu and strep throat at its stores in Michigan and allowing its pharmacists to dispense prescription drugs as necessary under a protocol developed by a physician who’s also involved, the 204-store chain said Wednesday.
Under the program, pharmacists at Meijer’s stores will administer the tests and, in some cases, fill a prescription for flu drugs under a protocol set by a physician participating in a study for which Meijer is collaborating with Ferris State University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy to examine the effectiveness of rapid diagnostic testing and the process by which medicines are administered to patients for influenza and strep throat in pharmacies.
"This is not a replacement of physician services," Meijer VP pharmacy operations Karen Mankowski said. "Increasing accessibility to testing for flu and strep throat and enabling pharmacists to work from those results means that patients might self-treat symptoms less and get better more quickly. That decreases the risk of spreading those common illnesses and allows doctors and nurse practitioners to provide care to patients with more complicated conditions."
Before the study, pharmacists at the retailer underwent a training certification program developed by a team from the two universities and sanctioned by the Michigan Pharmacists Association to administer the noninvasive Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment-waived rapid tests.
"Many of us forget how many people come to the pharmacy first anyway when they have symptoms for flu and strep," said UNMC physician and principal study investigator Donald Klepser, who is conducting the study on a grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. "Stand at your pharmacy during cold and flu season and see how many people ask the pharmacist, ‘What should I take for this?’"
AbbVie starts phase-3 trial of drug for aggressive form of breast cancer
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – Drug maker AbbVie has started a late-stage clinical trial of an experimental drug for treating triple-negative breast cancer, the company said Wednesday.
AbbVie announced the initiation of a phase-3 trial of ABT-888 (veliparib) as an add-on treatment to the chemotherapy drug carboplatin in women with early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for about one-fifth of all breast cancer cases, is a type that can grow in the absence of three receptors that often fuel the growth of breast cancer, namely estrogen, progesterone and large amounts of HER2/neu protein. Because it does not respond to some of the most effective therapies available to treat breast cancer, it tends to be more difficult to treat than other types.
The trial will consist of three parts, one with ABT-888 added to carboplatin, one with carboplatin and placebo and one with a chemotherapy treatment.
"This new phase-3 trial is an important step in potentially providing women with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer with a new treatment option for use in conjunction with surgical therapy," AbbVie VP pharmaceutical development Scott Brun said. "While therapies exist to treat many forms of breast cancer, there is still a significant need for effective, targeted therapies for women with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer, which tends to be an aggressive, faster-growing form of breast cancer."