Walgreens adds PatientsLikeMe data on medication side effects

By Jonah Comstock
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PLM WalgreensWalgreens is adding data from PatientsLikeMe to its online health dashboard, giving patients a view of possible medication side effects sourced directly from other patients. The deal represents a first for both companies: It's the first time PatientsLikeMe has allowed its data to be displayed on another company's website, and the first time Walgreens has featured externally contributed data on its health dashboard.

“Leveraging patient perspectives and experiences through Walgreens Health Dashboard provides our patients with helpful insight into their medications and overall therapy management,” Walgreens Divisional Vice President of Digital Health Adam Pellegrini said in a statement. “Our collaboration with PatientsLikeMe underscores the power of social support and shared experiences on a wellness journey.” 

The data will be displayed in a graphical sidebar on the health dashboard that will list side effects along with a percent bar that shows how many people reported each side effect from. The sidebar will be branded as from PatientsLikeMe, and Walgreens customers will be encouraged to join PatientsLikeMe and provide additional data themselves.

"We’re thrilled to be working with the nation’s largest drugstore chain," PatientsLikeMe Executive Vice President of Marketing and Patient Advocacy Michael Evers said in a statement. "Our work with Walgreens will give their patients important insights from people taking both simple and complex medications. It can also help enrich our treatment data should Walgreens patients decide to join our community."

Both PatientsLikeMe and Walgreens have focused on partnerships as a major part of their digital health strategy. PatientsLikeMe leverages its community of 300,000 patients and the data they provide about their conditions and treatments, selling access to that data to pharma companies like Sanofi, Genentech, Merck, and inVentiv Health. Genentech's Joling Mew recently spoke about how the company uses PatientsLikeMe to better inform their clinical trial design.

Walgreens, meanwhile, has partnered widely on its Balance Rewards program, working with WebMD, Misfit, and Qualcomm Life. It's also partnered with Glow to bring medication refills into Glow's women's health app. At the mHealth Summit in December, Walgreens also announced it was working with MDLive to provide video visits to select customers.