Adherence Solutions for Patients Living With or at Risk for HIV

This guest blog is one in a series by sponsors of the 2022 PQA Annual Meeting on the application of measures into daily practice. The views shared in this series are those of the author and do not reflect any PQA positions

Laly HavernAdherence Solutions for patients living with or at risk for HIV

Many of our patients living with HIV, even though it’s considered a specialty condition, use our traditional retail pharmacies. We also know that adherence rates within this population are an opportunity. Based on recent data, this population has an average adherence level of 72%[1].

Knowing that HIV prevention is also an opportunity, we’re offering education and prevention methods such as PrEP, available with a prescription at our nearly 9,000 retail locations. Also serving as a trusted resource in the community, we provide education and programs such as Ready, Set, PrEP, which provides PrEP medication at no cost to those who qualify.

Personalized interventions help address unique, patient-level barriers

In order to address the opportunity for adherence improvement within the HIV+ population, we focused first on developing personas. These personas incorporated multiple patient level considerations inclusive of demographic data, past barriers, and future barriers identified by our predictive analytics models. Our patient personas help us deliver truly personalized adherence efforts.

Once these personas were developed, Walgreens integrated them into the proprietary data platform, Patient Care Portal. This portal was already in existence, however, HIV as a specialty disease state was incorporated first to gain learnings and insight before applying a similar approach to the other specialty conditions. Leveraging the persona information with additional analytics models, we work to identify patients who are due for a refill on their HIV treatment or HIV prevention prescription(s).

These HIV patients who have been identified using our persona based, Patient Care Portal targeting, are then integrated into our Proactive Patient Care program. Through our Proactive Patient Care program, trusted, local pharmacy team members call five days before every refill. They answer any medication regimen questions patients may have, address comorbidities and provide a holistic assessment of barriers to adherence, including medication cost, side effects, forgetfulness and other prescription pickup challenges.

Meaningful results to help eradicate new HIV infections

In the first 2 years of the Patient Care Portal, we generated almost 1 million interventions[2] for HIV treatment and prevention alone. More importantly, we saw a 4% absolute lift in PDC[3] for patients on HIV medications.

Our HIV patients are supported by in-store pharmacists who have access to additional disease state training, clinical resources, and advocacy information, plus digital and automated reminders to stay on track. We aim to provide a seamless prescription pick-up experience as well, by having it ready when the patient comes in, even if we must apply additional processes such as financial assistance and/or prior authorizations.

As a trusted community pharmacy, Walgreens has been a critical partner in the fight against HIV, bringing together critical components of ending the HIV epidemic while keeping the patient at the heart of what we do.

Laly Havern, PharmD, MS, BCACP, Director, Specialty Health Solutions at Walgreens.
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[1] McComsey, G.A., Lingohr-Smith, M., Rogers, R. et al. Real-World Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Among HIV-1 Patients Across the United States. Adv Ther 38, 4961–4974 (2021).

[2] Walgreens internal data. Patient outcomes team. S. Winters Lyme. January 2019-July 2020.

[3] Hou, J., Sun, M, Kirkham, H.  2020. ARV 2-component PDC trends and Patient Care Portal.  Health Analytics Research and Reporting (HARR) team. Data from Health Analytics Services Platform (HASP) data. (unpublished.)


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