New Program Is Focused on Improving Specialty Drug Adherence

With an eye on improving medication adherence for people with rare diseases or chronic conditions, AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy recently launched RightGuide. The program helps digitally connect pharma manufacturers to patients and their caregivers in order to provide education on a variety of topics, from training people how to self-administer injectable agents to helping with financial issues and addressing the side effects of medications.

The specialty pharmacy is working with manufacturers to create customized, brand-specific resources “to help facilitate patient conversion, adherence and retention — while minimizing treatment barriers for patients and caregivers,” explains Tracey James, R.Ph., chief operating officer at AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy.

The content may be specific to a drug or a disease state. “For drugs with multiple indications, AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy can tailor the program so patients are connected to the appropriate, diagnosis-specific information,” she says. And it’s not just focused on certain drugs, such as self-administered pharmacy benefit agents. The “content is customizable for any drug, regardless of route of administration or reimbursement method.”

Acknowledging that issues may occur at various points during a person’s treatment, RightGuide offers three separate offerings: (1) RightConnect, which addresses onboarding and access; (2) RightStart, which focuses on the start of treatment and acclimation; and (3) RightTrack, which offers ongoing patient engagement throughout therapy. “Together, we map out the content and cadence of each patient communication based on the patient treatment journey,” James tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT.

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy conducts patient and caregiver outreach via both digital and telephonic methods throughout a person’s treatment. “This is a core element of our service as a specialty pharmacy,” states James. “Patients and/or caregivers also have access to our online resource library. Patients can complete eligible refills online and opt in to receive prescription status updates and refill reminders through digital notifications.”

The program, she says, is a resource for patients and caregivers “as they navigate the unknowns and complexities of a new therapy and breaks down lengthy/complex information into bite-sized nuggets that are easier for patients to digest and retain. As always, patients and caregivers can connect with the AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy care team 24/7.”

RightGuide currently does not have telehealth or video options, “but it is something we’re exploring as a next step.”

When asked to give a specific example of the kind of information that may be provided, James declines, noting that the “RightGuide program content is proprietary, customized and created specific to a drug, its indications and formulation(s). We work with our pharmaceutical manufacturer partners to analyze data to understand where and why patients may be struggling along their treatment journey. We use this information to create a customized engagement strategy, including the content and timing of outreaches along the patient journey.”

She distinguishes the program from a manufacturer hub, noting that it is “a tool to deliver important, brand-specific information and/or tools to patients. This can include information and links to services provided by the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s hub.”

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy also provides companies that contract for RightGuide with engagement metrics so they have a clear view into how many people are using the different tools.

“Our patient satisfaction surveys indicate patients prefer to engage digitally. RightGuide allows us to deliver relevant information to patients exactly when they need it in their treatment journey,” says James. “Patients are more likely to retain this information because it is timely, and presented in an understandable, useful format that’s easier for patients to follow.”

Contact James via Adrienne Foley at

This article was reprinted from AIS Health’s monthly publication Radar on Specialty Pharmacy.

Angela Maas

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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