Walgreens Launches First Weekly Flu Index for 2015-16 Season

The Flu Index ranks the top markets and states across the US where flu activity is most prevalent each week, and now also features the ability to search by location.

PRESS RELEASE

DEERFIELD, Ill., December 03, 2015 - The one constant that accompanies every flu season is unpredictability, which is why tools and resources that can track and measure influenza activity can be so critical in helping to keep communities healthy. The Walgreens Flu Index™ was a go-to resource for health department officials, media and others last season, and today Walgreens launched its first weekly Index for the 2015-’16 season - a greatly enhanced, interactive online portal featuring hyper-local data, search capabilities and more.

The Flu Index ranks the top markets and states across the U.S. where flu activity is most prevalent each week, and now also features the ability to search by location. The new functionality was developed to provide state- and market-specific information for anyone, anywhere, anytime, to drive consumer awareness and prevention, and to help every community better understand when flu cases may be escalating.

To view this week’s Walgreens Flu Index, maps and other online features, click here.

“With the ability to provide actionable information in a quick and timely manner, and leveraging prescription data that can be a telling indicator of activity, we’re empowering everyone to be informed about flu in their community,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “The Flu Index has become a powerful and credible tool that has garnered national attention, while also helping health officials at the most local level to keep their communities healthy throughout the season.”

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using the drugstore chain’s weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The Index lists the top markets and states for flu activity, as well as those experiencing the greatest gains on a week-over-week basis.

Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity

Week of 11/29/15

1. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas

2. Jackson, Miss.

3. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

4. Knoxville, Tenn.

5. Oklahoma City, Okla.

6. Greensboro — High Point – Winston Salem, N.C.

7. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas

8. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.)

9. Houston, Texas

10. Lexington, Ky.

Top Ten States with Flu Activity

Week of 11/29/15

1. Mississippi

2. Oklahoma

3. Texas

4. Kentucky

5. Tennessee

6. Alabama

7. Louisiana

8. Hawaii

9. Florida

10. Arkansas

Top Ten DMAs Flu Activity Gains

Week of 11/29/15

1. Jackson, Miss.

2. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C.

3. Huntsville — Decatur (Florence), Ala.

4. Bakersfield, Calif.

5. Dayton, Ohio

6. Tri-Cities, Tenn. — Va.

7. Portland — Auburn, Maine

8. Lexington, Ky.

9. Lansing, Mich.

10. Roanoke — Lynchburg, Va.

Top Ten State Flu Activity Gains

Week of 11/29/15

1. Maine

2. Wyoming

3. Oregon

4. West Virginia

5. Virginia

6. Connecticut

7. Washington

8. Massachusetts

9. Mississippi

10. Minnesota

Data for the Walgreens Flu Index is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

The Index is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, based on this methodology, to show which populations are experiencing the highest incidences of influenza within the U.S. each week.

For more on the Walgreens Flu Index visit http://arcg.is/1HA3vGp.