As part of its ongoing professional development and clinical training programs for its pharmacists, Walgreens will offer a range of on-demand as well as live education courses across many of the most prevalent disease states managed within specialty pharmacy. These include: oncology, fertility, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and chronic inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. The courses are provided by NASP, the only national trade association representing specialty pharmacy, and serving as both the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty healthcare professionals and patients.
The Walgreens continuing education curriculum and portal, which will go live in January, is based off of NASP’s existing virtual Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE) powered by ProCE. Developed last year by NASP’s advisory panel and ProCE, the CSPE is a professionally managed, online learning platform that provides accredited continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities, examinations, and credit tracking for specialty pharmacists seeking advanced training and recognition for their enhanced knowledge and experience to improve patient care.
“We’re proud to collaborate with NASP and ProCE, two highly-reputable, nationally recognized organizations which share our strong commitment to continuing education and patient care,” said Gerald Gleeson, group vice president, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. “Ongoing education and training are critical to ensuring our pharmacists can provide the highest levels of care and service, while helping patients with complex conditions navigate the complexities of their treatment, and providing comprehensive support when and where they need it most.”
The Walgreens customized continuing education portal features dashboard reports at both the aggregate and individual levels to track utilization and CE credits issued to Walgreens specialty pharmacists enrolled in the program. In addition, Walgreens will have the ability to assign specific CE activities to enrolled pharmacists and to track an individually-enrolled pharmacist’s activity through course completion.
“In this exciting and ever-changing juncture in specialty pharmacy, pharmacist education is of utmost importance,” said Richard Lewis, CEO of ProCE. “ProCE’s proven technology platform and content expertise will ensure that the Walgreens online education offering stays fresh, timely and relevant while always reflecting the expertise and knowledge of a wide range of specialty pharmacy industry leaders.”
After completing a post-test with instant grading, Walgreens specialty pharmacists can electronically claim Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) CPE credit through CPE Monitor, a national database of CPE credits through which pharmacists can track their credits and state boards of pharmacy can verify that the pharmacists have met the CPE requirements for license renewal.
“Our virtual Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education is rapidly becoming the largest source of specialty pharmacy education available,” said Burt Zweigenhaft, President of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy. “On behalf of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, we applaud Walgreens industry leadership and extraordinary commitment to continued education and advanced training of its specialty pharmacists to support the ever-growing needs of the patients they serve. Walgreens specialty pharmacists are not only taking the courses and getting CPE credit, they are also CSPE advisors, reviewers and faculty.”
About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
NASP (www.naspnet.org) is the only national association for all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide continuing education programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in specialty pharmacy, a growing pharmacy discipline that dispenses and manages specialized medications for chronic, rare, and/or complex conditions. NASP members include specialty pharmacies, integrated health systems, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, healthcare payers, GPOs, wholesale drug distributors, and technology and other vendors. NASP’s corporate members employ more than 7,000 specialty pharmacy professionals and represent over $50 billion in annual specialty drug spend. In addition, NASP operates the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB), which is responsible for the Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP) program. Specialty pharmacists can earn this credential by passing a rigorous examination and meeting certain experience and education requirements.
About ProCE, Inc.
ProCE, Inc. (www.proce.com) is an independent continuing education provider accredited by ACPE that develops, delivers, and evaluates educational activities for health professionals. ProCE designs educational activities for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare disciplines, offering comprehensive services that include clinical needs assessments; grant development and writing; faculty management; educational content development; attendee recruitment; CE certification; and outcomes analysis.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in 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 8,173 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens omnichannel business includes Walgreens.com and VisionDirect.com. More than 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.