The partnership to deliver HIV medications will reduce transportation and access barriers for patients, especially in underserved communities.
Walgreens has announced that they will be partnering with DoorDash and Uber to provide Same Day Rx Delivery, a service that will provide free, same-day delivery of prescription medications that treat and prevent HIV. To be eligible, patients must live within 15 miles of a participating Walgreens retail pharmacy.
“While most of the US population lives within 5 miles of a Walgreens pharmacy, transportation remains a critical barrier to accessing health care,” said Kevin Ban, MD, chief medical officer, Walgreens, in the press release.
The new HIV service seeks to advance a recent White House initiative to update the National HIV/AIDS strategy and re-energize the national response to HIV. The strategy set 4 goals to reduce new HIV infections 75% by 2025 and 90% by 2030:
This combined response to a White House initiative is not the first of its kind. In December 2022, the 3 organizations responded to a White House call to action and partnered to launch a free Paxlovid delivery service that increased accessibility to COVID-19 treatment for patients who are socially vulnerable and/or living in medically underserved communities.
Although more than 1 million people in the United States are HIV-positive, underserved communities are disproportionately affected, said Julia Paige, head of Global Social Impact at Uber, in the press release. Transportation barriers can prevent people from accessing medications, noted Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, vice president of Communications and Policy, DoorDash.
The Walgreens, DoorDash, and Uber partnership “ensure[s] that people aren’t denied lifesaving medication just because they can’t make it to their local pharmacy,” Shean said in the press release.
“With more than half of Walgreens stores located in socially vulnerable or underserved communities, we can help make HIV prevention and treatment options more accessible, convenient and equitable across our communities,” Ban added in the press release.
Currently, patients with HIV take antiretroviral therapy (ART) to maintain low levels of HIV in the blood (undetectable viral load). ART prevents HIV transmission from an HIV-positive person to their HIV-negative partner during sex. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective medication that can prevent HIV in high-risk patients.
Patients who are eligible for the program must have an ART or PrEP prescription from their health care provider. The pharmacy will fill the prescription and before picking it up, the patient can choose Same Day Rx Delivery on the Walgreens app, calling the store, or visiting the website.
“By combining Walgreens nationwide network of pharmacies with Uber’s industry-leading technology, our partnership will help reduce transportation and access barriers so that those who need it most can get their prescription delivered right to their door at no cost to them,” Paige said in the press release.
Walgreens. Walgreens, DoorDash and Uber Team Up to Launch Free, Same Day Rx Delivery of HIV Medications. News Release. March 2, 2023. Accessed March 2, 2023. https://news.walgreens.com/press-center/walgreens-doordash-and-uber-team-up-to-launch-free-same-day-rx-delivery-hiv-medications.htm