02 December 2014

Weekly report provides market-specific information on incidence of flu across the U.S.

First report shows southern states Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia headline flu activity

DEERFIELD, Ill., December 02, 2014 - With flu activity just beginning to rise in many parts of the U.S. in the midst of the busy holiday travel season, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today introduced its new Flu Index – a weekly report providing state- and market-specific information regarding influenza to help identify areas where flu cases may be escalating. The Index ranks markets and states experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country, as well as those showing the largest increases week-over-week.

Developed to serve as a valuable resource for health departments, media and others at the local level to help drive consumer awareness and prevention within their communities, the Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using the drugstore chain’s weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide.

This week’s Index shows that Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi currently have the highest incidence of flu among U.S. states, while Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas; New Orleans; and Tallahassee, Fla.-Thomasville, Ga. are the top markets for flu activity. Each week, the index will list the following:

  • Top 10 states for flu activity
  • Top 10 markets for flu activity
  • Largest week-over-week increases by state
  • Largest week-over-week increases by market

“There’s a growing need for timely information and reliable data sources throughout the flu season, and this weekly report can help alert health officials and the public in areas where flu activity is trending the most,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of retail and pharmacy operations. “With the ability to generate hyper-local data that’s as specific as a single zip code, the Walgreens Flu Index can become a platform to improve preventive health measures throughout the season, including immunization rates.”

Top Ten DMAs with Flu Activity

Week ending 11/28/2014

    1.   Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
    2.   New Orleans, La.
    3.   Tallahassee, Fla.-Thomasville, Ga.
    4.   Houston, Texas
    5.   Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
    6.   Baton Rouge, La.
    7.   Chattanooga, Tenn.
    8.   St. Louis, Mo.
    9.   Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
    10.   Jackson, Ms.
         

Top Ten States with Flu Activity

Week ending 11/28/2014

    1.   Louisiana
    2.   Texas
    3.   Mississippi
    4.   Alabama
    5.   Georgia
    6.   Florida
    7.   Illinois
    8.   Missouri
    9.   Tennessee
    10.   Kentucky
         

Top Ten DMAs Flu Activity Gains

From week ending 11/21/2014 to week ending 11/28/2014

    1.   Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
    2.   New Orleans, La.
    3.   Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
    4.   Houston, Texas
    5.   Baton Rouge, La.
    6.   Chattanooga, Tenn.
    7.   St. Louis, Mo.
    8.   Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Harrisburg, Ill.
    9.   Atlanta, Ga.
    10.   Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C.
         

Top Ten State Flu Activity Gains

From week ending 11/21/2014 to week ending 11/28/2014

    1.   Louisiana
    2.   Texas
    3.   Mississippi
    4.   Alabama
    5.   Georgia
    6.   Illinois
    7.   Missouri
    8.   Kentucky
    9.   Tennessee
    10.   Colorado
         

Data for the Walgreens Flu Index is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 20 retail locations.

The Index is not intended to illustrate levels or severity of flu activity, but rather, based on this methodology, to show which populations are experiencing the highest incidences of influenza within the U.S. each week.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2014 sales of $76 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be America’s most loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty enterprise. Each day, in communities across America, more than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with online and mobile 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 8,207 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.

 

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