Walgreens Healthcare Clinic to offer HIV, STI testing in multiple markets
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning April 25, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations in 18 markets will offer testing services for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, Hepatitis B and C, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
“Offering these new services in our Healthcare Clinics demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the comprehensive health and wellbeing of our patients,” Pat Carroll, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, said. “We’re proud to introduce the testing services during STD Awareness Month in April, and support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in raising public awareness about the impact that STDs — the diseases that can develop from STIs — can have on the lives of Americans and the importance of testing and prevention.”
As part of the services, which will be offered in Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Washington D.C.; and Wichita, Kan. Healthcare Clinic providers – nurse practitioners and physician assistants will first conduct a consultation with the patient and, as applicable, conduct the STI testing process. The method of testing varies based on the type of condition being assessed.
The STI testing service cost ranges from $89-$129, though additional lab charges may apply And most insurance plans are accepted. Healthcare Clinic providers can offer treatment or a referral to a specialist, as needed.
In addition to STI testing, Walgreens is also furthering its commitment to supporting communities impacted by HIV through prevention and early detection services. On April 25, providers at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics in the Houston area, can begin prescribing PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a medication protocol for people who don’t have HIV to help proactively protect against HIV infection. When taken daily as directed and used consistently, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%.
Following an initial PrEP consultation with a patient, Healthcare Clinic providers will be able to conduct tests for HIV and other STIs, as needed. Upon review of test results, providers will conduct a follow-up visit and may prescribe PrEP, as necessary.
“With our long history of working with the HIV/AIDS community, we are as committed as ever to the ongoing, incredible advancement in HIV testing, prevention and treatment that has occurred over the last decade, and to providing greater access to high-quality testing and prevention services through the clinics and our pharmacies,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Walgreens senior director, virology disease state.
Also, as part of this commitment, Walgreens pharmacy staff and store managers chain-wide will be completing HIV continuing education training courses. The curriculum includes a Walgreens-developed HIV stigma course as well as a HIV prevention course developed by Walgreens in collaboration with the National Alliance of HIV Education and Workforce Development. The educational training also includes tools for improving adherence to PrEP.
“With this training, our pharmacy staff will be even more equipped to offer one-on-one medication counseling and other support services that provide our patients living with HIV/AIDS and their families, as well as those at risk for HIV, with compassionate, confidential care,” Pietrandoni said.
Walgreens also collaborates with health departments and local AIDS service organizations to help provide free HIV testing as part of an ongoing effort to broaden the reach of HIV information and testing in non-traditional settings and to support local organizations’ outreach efforts.
Glad to see Walgreens doing this - making a difference where greatly needed.
CVS’ MinuteClinic teams with VA to expand health care access for veterans
PHOENIX — MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, is joining forces with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Phoenix VA Health Care System and TriWest Healthcare Alliance for an initiative that will expand access to high quality and convenient health care services for veterans in Phoenix and surrounding communities.
Through this initiative, Phoenix VA Health Care System nurses will be able to refer veterans to MinuteClinic for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries through the Veterans Choice Program when clinically appropriate.
“We believe in the MinuteClinic model of care and are excited to offer our health care services as one potential solution for the Phoenix VA Health Care System and its patients with minor illnesses and injuries,” said CVS MinuteClinic Chief Medical Officer, Tobias Barker, M.D. “We’re looking forward to working with the Phoenix VA Health Care System team to ensure that their patients have additional options for high-quality acute care at times and locations that are convenient for them.
On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain will join representatives from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Phoenix VA Health Care System, and CVS Health/MinuteClinic to announce the program at a CVS MinuteClinic in Tempe, Ariz.
“This new public-private collaboration between CVS, TriWest and the VA is an important step forward in enhancing choice and flexibility in Veterans’ health care,” McCain said. “I’ve long believed that Veterans in need of routine health care services should not have to wait in line for weeks to get an appointment when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic to receive timely and convenient care. Thanks to the leadership of CVS Health and the VA, Phoenix’s nearly 120,000 Veterans will now be served at 24 different area MinuteClinic locations for minor health care services.”
According to CVS, to facilitate care coordination, the partnership will share electronic health information in the same manner that proved successful in a similar program launched in 2016 with the Palo Alto VA Health Care System. MinuteClinic visit summaries will be sent to a veteran’s VA primary care physician. This ensures the VA physician has the clinical information necessary for follow-up services in the VA, if appropriate.
“Ou No. 1 priority is getting veterans access to care when and where they need it. The launch of this partnership will enable VA to provide more care for Veterans in their neighborhoods,” said Dr. Baligh Yehia, the deputy undersecretary for health for community care.
This sentiment is echoed by TriWest, one of VA’s partners in administering the Veterans Choice Program. President and CEO of TriWest, David J. McIntyre, Jr. said: “TriWest values greatly the partnership with community providers who share our commitment to providing Veterans timely, high quality, and convenient health care.”
Added Dr. Maureen McCarthy, Phoenix VA Health Care System chief of staff: “We are thrilled to have this new partnership for Phoenix area Veterans. Increasing access and availability of care is crucial. In sending Veterans out into the community, however, we are always conscious of providing the best care coordination we can. We are working to leverage technology to share important clinical information and ensure care continuity.”
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Indian government approves Baxter acquisition of Claris
AHMEDABAD, India — India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board on Monday approved Baxter Healthcare’s acquisition of India-based Claris Injectables for $625 million, according to multiple news reports. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has the ability to approve mergers and transactions, similar to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.
Baxter anticipates launching seven to nine new products annually over the next few years, increasing to 10 to 15 anticipated new product launches a year beyond 2019.
Claris is a global generic injectables pharmaceutical company. “Claris Injectables will add proven capabilities in production of essential generic injectable medicines, such as anesthesia and analgesics, renal, anti-infectives and critical care in a variety of presentations including bags, vials and ampoules,” Baxter said at the time the deal was announced in December.
“The Claris Injectables acquisition will expand Baxter’s presence in the fast growing, global generic injectable pharmaceuticals space and accelerate our growth trajectory with high-value, essential medicines that will benefit patients worldwide,” said Jose (Joe) Almeida, Chairman and CEO, Baxter. “The capabilities we gain with Claris Injectables will augment and complement our differentiated technologies, expertise and extensive presence in the hospital channel to create a pathway for Baxter to become a global leader in generic injectables.”
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