11 June 2015
  • Participants tracking activities show greater adherence to diabetes and blood pressure medications
  • Nearly 17 percent of active participants lost more than 10 pounds
  • New Walgreens Partner Marketplace helps customers find apps and wearables to track and earn Balance® Rewards points

DEERFIELD, Ill., June 11, 2015 - Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices® (BRhc) program, which awards loyalty points for healthy behaviors and activities, is helping members lose weight and driving better medication adherence among participants with hypertension and/or diabetes, according to a new white paper and outcomes data the company released today. The white paper can be found at: www.walgreens.com/balancerewardsoutcomes.

The data, from a series of related Walgreens studiesi,ii conducted on BRhc participants throughout 2014, shows:

  • Active members who tracked weight measurements lost an average of 3.3 pounds, with more than one-in-four participants (27.2 percent) losing six pounds or more. Nearly 17 percent (16.5 percent) lost over 10 pounds. In addition, those who also logged at least one mile of steps per day lost an average of 3.7 pounds.
  • New BRhc participants taking diabetes medications who also tracked blood glucose levels demonstrated 5.4 percentage points higher adherence, while participants who logged steps for walking and running demonstrated 7.9 percentage points higher adherence.
  • New BRhc participants taking antihypertension medications who also tracked blood pressure levels demonstrated 2.6 percentage points higher adherence, while participants who logged steps for walking and running demonstrated 2.4 percentage points higher adherence.

“These exciting results demonstrate how an easy to use, wellness program that integrates incentives, like Balance Rewards for healthy choices, drives engagement and positive behavioral change – this creates a more enjoyable experience for participants that ultimately leads to better health outcomes,” said Harry Leider, M.D., chief medical officer, Walgreens. “The results also underscore the program’s value for health plans, employers and other payers. It’s a big step toward reducing health care costs when you can effectively promote more active lifestyles among members in a cost-effective manner.”

Additional and more detailed findings from the studies include:

Weight loss

  • Of 100,069 active participants examined, 45.8 percent tracked activities and 6.2 percent tracked weight measurements.
    • Participants who logged at least one mile of steps per day lost an average of 3.7 pounds.

Diabetes medication adherence

  • Among 1,855 participants who filled at least one oral diabetes medication, participants who tracked blood glucose levels were 82.9 percent adherent as opposed to 77.5 percent for those who did not.
    • In the same sample group, participants who logged more than one mile of steps per day were 86.4 percent adherent as opposed to 78.5 percent for those who did not.

Antihypertension medication adherence

  • Among 4,943 new participants who filled at least one antihypertension medication, participants who tracked blood pressure levels were 81.7 percent adherent, as opposed to 79.1 percent for those who did not.
    • In the same sample group, participants who logged more than one mile of steps per day were 81.5 percent adherent as opposed to 79.1 percent for those who did not.

New Partner Marketplace Connects Users to Wearables and Apps Synched to BRhc

As of April, 2015, more than 250,000 devices are connected to BRhc, and over 800,000 users have accessed the program. To help these and other customers more conveniently find and access apps and wearable devices that link with BRhc, Walgreens recently launched the Walgreens Partner Marketplace, online at: https://www.walgreens.com/steps/appmarket.jsp.

“We want our customers to enjoy a seamless and convenient user experience, and bringing this selection of connected devices together in one easy to find portal furthers that goal,” said Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens divisional vice president of digital health. “Our BRhc partners share our vision of encouraging healthy lifestyles and behaviors. As we approach 1 million customers enrolled in BRhc, we’ll continue to find innovative ways to bring the program to more people through more channels.”

BRhc was first launched in September 2012 to reward Walgreens customers for making healthy choices and for taking part in tracking activities and biometrics such as walking, running, cycling, body weight and sleep. In April 2014, the program expanded to offer members points for connecting biometric devices and tracking both blood glucose and blood pressure.

Featured Sponsor

Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care, is a featured sponsor of the diabetes category on the Partner Marketplace, which features a link to its free personalized diabetes support program, Cornerstones4Care. The website provides access to the Diabetes Health Coach, which offers an online customized learning and action plan to help patients build the habits and skills they need to manage their diabetes – step by step, as well as outbound calls from a Certified Diabetes Educator for patients with type 2 diabetes starting a Novo Nordisk product. The site also offers easy-to-use tools, reminders and progress trackers – empowering patients to manage their diabetes their way.

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), the nation's largest drugstore chain, constitutes the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,232 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

i Taitel M, Jiang J, Akinbosoye O, Orr G. The relationship between online activity and biometric tracking and medication adherence among members with diabetes. Poster presented at: 75th Scientific Sessions (2015) of the American Diabetes Association; June 5-9, 2015; Boston, MA.

ii Taitel M, Jiang J, Akinbosoye O, Orr G. The relationship between online activity and biometric tracking and medication adherence among members with hypertension. Poster presented at: 36th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society for Behavioral Medicine; April 22-25, 2015; San Antonio, TX.

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