The Walgreens Community Pharmacy is now open at 4130 La Jolla Village Drive to provide specialty medications, same-day or next-day delivery, and reduced copays. It is one of 75 “Community” pharmacies in the United States.
Store manager Bobby DePreist said of the name, “ ‘Community’ is a brand of Walgreens that mostly deals with specialty pharmacy drugs, which are more expensive than the average drugs and classified (as specialty) by insurance companies. That can include various cancers, chronic inflammatory diseases, HIV, leukemia, etc. So our inventory is more focused on hard-to-find medications you won’t find in other places.”
He added, “These drugs can range from a few hundred dollars to $15,000 … and even when they are covered by your insurance company, the co-pay could be unaffordable for the average American. So we work with a variety of non-profits and copay savings programs to, hopefully, get everyone’s copay down to $20 or less. It is not always possible, but that’s our mission: To provide local access to medications and make then affordable.”
To get these medications to the patients that need them, the pharmacy offers a delivery service and consultation. “If someone can’t come and pick up the prescription, we can go to them,” DePreist said. “Sometimes it can be scary for patients who have to take an injectable medication for the first time, so I can go to them for a little counseling session and show them how to use it properly.”
In addition to the specialty prescriptions, the La Jolla Community Walgreens can fill regular prescriptions. However, they do not sell over-the-counter drugs commonly found at pharmacies.
“Most pharmacies have the goal of filling hundreds of prescriptions per day, but our goal is to fill very few, but have a lot of time and energy for each one. It’s a lot of work to get a $30,000 drug covered for $20 or less,” he said. “So we focus all of our time and energy on that.”
Learn more at (858) 352-2242 or walgreens.com