Walgreens and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Create New Approach to Support Cancer Patients in their Communities

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Walgreens have announced the launch of an innovative collaboration designed to further advance cancer therapies and address the changing treatment model facing patients with blood and other cancers.


Rye Brook, NY and Deerfield, Ill., March 16, 2016

- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Walgreen Co. today announced the launch of an innovative collaboration designed to further advance cancer therapies and address the changing treatment model facing patients with blood and other cancers. The collaboration, between LLS and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, builds on the heritage of Walgreens in serving its communities, and the 66-year history of LLS, which has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance blood cancer treatments and cures.

“We are proud to team up with LLS on this transformational approach to empowering and supporting patients through our expert oncology specialized pharmacies across the country,” said Richard Ashworth, president, pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens. “With our aligned missions and commitment to serving patients and families, LLS and Walgreens will make an even greater impact on the health and care of the nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with or in remission from a blood cancer.”

As new blood cancer therapies come to market and patients are able to manage their disease with oral medications at home, specialized pharmacists are well-positioned on the front lines of patient care to help facilitate this treatment transition and play a significant role in providing access to these new therapies.

This collaboration will help patients, families and caregivers in three key ways:

  • Provide educational tools and resources for enhanced patient support
  • Implement a pharmacist education and training program to ensure pharmacists are knowledgeable about aspects of the cancer care continuum and can provide additional care
  • Community engagement and corporate support for LLS’s iconic Light The Night Walk national fundraising campaign

Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO, said, “Today, new treatments for blood cancers are entering the healthcare arena at an unprecedented rate. And these treatments are extending patients’ lives by years, even decades. Our collaboration with industry leader, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, assures that patients and their caregivers have timely access to high-quality, up-to-date information to best manage their disease.”

LLS has played a role in a significant number of the treatments that have been developed for blood cancers. In fact, since 2000 more than 40 percent of new cancer therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were first approved to treat blood cancer patients. And, many of these treatments are now being used effectively to treat other cancers and chronic diseases.

Additional detail about the Walgreens LLS collaboration

  • Blood Cancer Continuing Education for Walgreens Pharmacists/LLS Certification: As part of the healthcare support team serving blood cancer patients, LLS will bring to Walgreens its expertise as a leading global source of information for blood cancer patients with educational programs to raise pharmacist level of care and improve outcomes. Blood Cancer 101 and 201 is an educational series providing a basic to advanced understanding of blood cancers and treatments, while the pharmacy will earn an LLS certification.
  • LLS Information Resource Center: Through LLS’s Information Resource Center (IRC), Walgreens and LLS can help Walgreens blood cancer patients across the country access quality, affordable, coordinated care. Staffed by master’s degree-level healthcare specialists, LLS’s IRC currently responds to over 60,000 annual inquiries from patients, caregivers and health care professionals in need of guidance regarding treatments, supportive care, financial support and clinical trials. Walgreens patients will have unique access to a dedicated healthcare specialist.
  • LLS Blood Cancer Conferences: LLS has established its leadership with a series of comprehensive blood cancer conferences — attended by thousands of patients and caregivers at no charge. As a national sponsor of these educational conferences, Walgreens pharmacy experts will interact with patients directly in their communities, alongside LLS, to provide the latest information about disease and treatment breakthroughs.
  • Community Engagement and Volunteer Leadership. Walgreens has been a longstanding supporter of LLS and is currently the tenth largest LLS Light The Night Walk (LTN) team in the U.S. Walgreens intends to accelerate this support and strengthen relationships within cancer communities.

While survival rates have increased for blood cancer patients, more than one-third still do not survive five years after initial diagnosis. And, there are virtually no means of preventing or screening for most blood cancers.

Walgreens and LLS share a mutual dedication to providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare treatment, services and support to patients, and a commitment to better patient outcomes. The new initiatives announced today represent an innovative industry/non-profit collaboration that capitalizes on Walgreens leadership role in specialty pharmacy care and LLS’s plan to provide more access to care for blood cancer patients that can lead to better health outcomes.