Making prescription refills easier can help patients get the most benefit from medication and lower overall health care costs
DEERFIELD, Ill., Feb. 4, 2013 – Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today is making available a new application programming interface (API) that allows third-party mobile app developers to integrate the drugstore chain’s prescription refill technology. Developers who have scanning functionality within their apps can easily integrate the API to enable their users to order a prescription refill by scanning the barcode on a Walgreens prescription bottle.
“People continue to become increasingly engaged with their mobile devices and use the technology to help make their day-to-day lives easier,” said Abhi Dhar, Walgreens e-commerce chief technology officer. “By incorporating the Walgreens Prescription API, mobile app developers are providing users with an easy way to refill prescriptions and help them properly take their medication.”
Eleven percent of hospital admissions and 40 percent of nursing home admissions are attributable to medication non-adherence, which has been estimated to cost the U.S. health care system $290 billion annually.1,2 In addition to tools such as Refill by Scan, Walgreens pharmacists can significantly improve adherence to medications through face-to-face interaction and counseling. One recent study demonstrated a nearly 5 percent increase in adherence rates among patients who received regular counseling from their pharmacist over the course of a year.3
The Walgreens Prescription API marks the first time such technology is available for adoption among mobile app developers who focus on health and wellness, and it is the second API program offered by Walgreens. Last year, Walgreens launched its QuickPrints SDK and API, which provided third-party developers with the ability to integrate in-store photo services for its users. The Walgreens Prescription API already has been adopted by several app developers including Healthspek and PocketPharmacist.
“We are excited about our relationship with Walgreens. Walgreens leadership position in technology and consumer empowerment fits perfectly with Healthspek's message to consumers ‘Own Your Chart!’,” said Randy Farr, president of Healthspek.
"PocketPharmacist is thrilled to offer iOS users both the convenience and ease of refilling their Walgreens prescriptions," said Michael Guren, founder and CEO of Danike, Inc. “We believe this adds to our goal of helping people better understand and manage their medications.”
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,061 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
1 Osterberg L, Blaschke T. Adherence to medication. N Engl J Med. 2005; 353(5):487-497
2 New England Health Institute. NEHI Research Shows Patient Medication Nonadherence Costs Health Care System $290 Billion Annually. 2009. Available at http://www.nehi.net/news/press_releases/110/nehi_research_shows_patient_medication_nonadherence_costs _health_care_system_290_billion_annually. August 11, 2009. Accessibility verified December 19, 2011.
3 Taitel M, Jiang J, Rudkin K, Ewing S, Duncan I. The impact of pharmacist face-to-face counseling to improve medication adherence among patients initiating statin therapy. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2012;6:323–329