Walgreens has launched Feel More Like You, a pharmacy, health and beauty service designed to help people with cancer deal with the physical and and medical changes that cancer treatment can cause.
The wider launch will cover 3,000 stores -- a little less than a third of all Walgreens -- and follows a pilot program of 100 stores Walgreens initiated last spring.
The announcement came the same day the FDA scolded Walgreens for a bad record of allowing minors to buy tobacco products.
Feel More Like You gives cancer victims the opportunity to get cosmetic advice from 3,000 beauty consultants Walgreens has specially trained to advise patients about how to deal with the physical changes treatments can cause, like dry skin and discolorations, the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, changes to nails and cuticles and sunlight sensitivities.
Walgreens has also given 12,000 pharmacists training about knowledgeably recommending over-the-counter products to help manage side effects like skin rash, increased fatigue, mouth sores and dry mouth.
The drugstore chain produced a commercial that ends with a new tagline and hashtag, “Battle Beautifully.” Walgreens has
also added information for cancer victims on its website.
The pharmacists and beauty staff received specific empathy training from Cancer Support Community, which, along with the Look Good Feel Better Foundation, helped Walgreens devise the program.
“Our organization pioneered training techniques to help cancer patients manage the visible side effects of treatment, so the opportunity to train thousands of Walgreens beauty consultants was something we were eager to support,” said Louanne Roark, executive director of the Look Good Feel Better Foundation.
Walgreens also helps to raise millions of dollars each year for cancer-related organizations like Susan G. Komen, Stupid Cancer and LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).
Last year, Walgreens received a patent for new proprietary technology, called Walgreens Connected Care Oncology, that its
pharmacists can use to counsel patients using oral oncology medicines, called oncolytics, at home.
The Feel More Like You program is a feel-good cancer story Walgreens can be telling.
But on Monday, the FDA also came down hard on 40 companies, including Walgreens, it said had a poor track record of failing to keep minors from obtaining tobacco products.
Though Walgreens wasn’t anywhere near the worst, the FDA’s monitoring found 22% of Walgreens stores sold tobacco to underage consumers the FDA sent into stores. (Its chief rival, CVS drugstores, stopped selling cigarettes in 2014.)
The FDA singled out Walgreens because “the company positions itself as a health-and-wellness-minded business."
Walgreens said it has a “zero-tolerance policy” about selling minors tobacco products and it has “lowered the visibility” of the products in some stores and promoted smoking cessation programs.