DEERFIELD, Ill. and MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – April 24, 2017 – Walgreens and the American Society of Transplantation (AST) today announced a collaboration focused on establishing future initiatives to help improve medication adherence for organ transplant recipients. The topic of adherence and taking medications as prescribed is especially critical in transplantation, as recipients must take lifelong immunosuppressive medications to prevent possible organ rejection.

The collaboration will officially kickoff later this week with the “Tackling Medication Non-Adherence in Organ Transplantation” symposium hosted by AST and sponsored by Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.  The meeting will take place over the two-day period (April 28 and 29) prior to the start of the American Transplant Congress (ATC) in Chicago, the premier meeting for transplant professionals which begins on April 29 in the evening.   

“The symposium will bring together renowned experts from the transplant pharmacy community to identify ongoing barriers to medication adherence in organ transplantation, and to discuss how we can collectively develop and design innovative, targeted interventions to help improve adherence among transplant patients,” said Angela Maldonado, incoming Chair of the AST Transplant Pharmacy Community of Practice (COP).

At the conclusion of the symposium, as AST and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy focus on the next steps of the collaboration, participants will become part of a new “Adherence Working Group” of the Transplant Pharmacy COP and will seek opportunities to execute these interventions.

For AST, the collaboration with Walgreens is aligned with Power2Save (www.power2save.org), AST’s public-facing initiative that takes a multi-dimensional approach to making the gift of life last a lifetime. Non-adherence is a threat to optimal outcomes after transplantation, significantly increasing the risk of organ rejection and contrary to the goal of “one transplant for life.”

“In solid organ transplantation, adherence with immunosuppressive medications is a critical issue,” said AST President Anil Chandraker, M.D. “The outcomes of non-adherence can be quite devastating, many times resulting in rejection, graft loss and even mortality. By working with Walgreens, we have the potential to effectively address this issue, with the potential for long-term collaboration on targeted interventions.”
 
Meen Kang, Walgreens senior director of transplant product management, said, “We look forward to working closely with AST, as our organizations share a commitment to helping transplant patients get back on the road to recovery. Our local Walgreens specialty pharmacy locations across the country work with providers and their patients during and after transplant, providing services designed to make it easy for patients to follow their transplant treatment, with a team dedicated to their individual care.”
At the symposium as well as at ATC, Walgreens will be presenting its recent study on medication adherence for transplant recipients whose immunosuppressives were covered by Medicare Part B over a one year period versus those whose coverage changed during that same period.