- National pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance is escalating a partnership with consumer review organization PatientsLikeMe, the companies announced late last week.
- Under the updated agreement, Walgreens' website will feature reports and lists derived from PatientsLikeMe's more than 400,000 users detailing their experiences with drugs the pharmacy sells. That information will largely consist of drug reviews, with patients providing insight about the dosing, side effects and efficacy of a medication, as well as comparisons to similar treatments.
- The two companies first teamed up early last year as part of an effort from Walgreens to improve customers' knowledge of the drugs they were buying. The original collaboration provided just a "simple snapshot" of PatientsLikeMe product reviews on the Walgreens Health Dashboard, according to a February 2015 release.
Founded in 2004, PatientsLikeMe is a free online forum for patients to share and exchange their histories with various medications. The deal is a first for the organization, which hadn't had access to a pharmacy's online platform before, as well as for Walgreens, which hadn't previously allowed posts from an outside drug reviewer on its dashboard website.
Walgreens decision to expand the collaboration isn't surprising, though, as the company has made moves recently to show its dedication to customers' wellbeing. In January, for example, Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina advocated for lower consumer drug prices.
And in June, citing "customers’ best interests," Walgreens dissolved a partnership with embattled blood testing company Theranos.
"Pharmacists are on the frontlines of the healthcare delivery system, and we believe rising healthcare costs and the limited supply of primary care physicians present new opportunities for pharmacists and retail pharmacies to play an even greater role in driving positive outcomes for patients and payers through expanded service offerings," Walgreens said in its last annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Whether you’re just starting a new medication or you’re researching alternatives, knowing what others have already experienced is invaluable," Michael Evers, PatientsLikeMe’s EVP of Marketing, Technology & Operations, said in a Nov. 17 statement.