Walgreens Introduces Mobile Text Alerts for Prescription Refills

Published Online: Monday, October 10, 2011
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Walgreens is looking to help patients remember and order prescription refills through its newest mobile feature, Refill Reminder Text Alerts. The new service delivers a text message notifying patients when an existing prescription is due for refill; orders can then be completed with a simple “refill” reply.

The service is free to mobile and smartphone users. Standard data and messaging rates apply through wireless carriers.

“We’ve driven strong adoption and customer engagement through our mobile applications, and these mobile pharmacy features are also great tools for helping people manage their health,” said Sona Chawla, Walgreens president of e-commerce. “This is another way we’re extending the access to Walgreens pharmacy to patients on the go and helping them stay well.”

Pharmacy patients can sign up for refill reminder text alerts at any Walgreens pharmacy and also online at www.walgreens.com/textalerts.

Walgreens currently has more than 2 million subscribers for its Prescription Ready Text Alerts, which notify customers when a prescription order is ready for pickup.

The overall cost of poor medication adherence to the US health system is estimated at $290 billion per year. In addition, studies have shown that for every 100 new prescriptions, only 15% to 20% are refilled as prescribed.

“Medication non-adherence is one of the biggest hurdles in treating illness today, responsible for more than $100 billion each year in avoidable hospitalizations,” said Cheryl Pegus, Walgreens chief medical officer, in a statement. “Tools and personalized services that can help patients remain compliant with their prescription regimens can be effective in lowering health care costs and improving patient care.”

Walgreens mobile applications now account for more than 25% of the company’s online prescription refills. These applications feature Refill by Scan, which enables mobile users to order refills simply by scanning the barcode on a prescription bottle. They also have a prescription refills tab, where refills can be ordered by entering a prescription number, with in-store pickup available at any Walgreens store.
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