Walgreens is expanding the reach of its Feel More Like You service, which combines pharmacy, health and beauty services to help patients with cancer manage the medical and physical changes that accompany their treatment.
The chain has launched Feel More Like You in more than 3,000 stores following a 100-store pilot that kicked off in 2018. The company also rolled out a commercial to inform customers about the offering.
The program was developed in collaboration with the Look Good, Feel Better Foundation, which focuses on the appearance and beauty needs of patients with cancer, and Cancer Support Community, the world’s largest professionally led cancer support network.
“The Feel More Like You program leverages the expertise of more than 15,000 combined Walgreens pharmacists and beauty consultants who have received special training to provide holistic care for people living with cancer,” Rina Shah, Walgreens vice president of pharmacy operations and specialty, told Drug Store News. “The concept of training pharmacists and beauty consultants allows us for the first time provide this level of service.”
More than 12,000 Walgreens pharmacists have been trained in recommending OTC products that help manage such treatment side effects as skin rash, increased fatigue, mouth sores and dry mouth. This is coupled with the expertise of more than 3,000 Walgreens beauty consultants, who have been trained to help manage the physical changes of cancer treatment, including loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as dry hair, skin discoloration and dryness, sunlight sensitivity and changes to nails and cuticles.
Shah said the offering was initially rolled out in phases that started in seven pilot markets last year, and the company has scaled and expanded the program to get it to launch into more than 3,000 stores. She said that a holistic approach to cancer treatment that addresses side effects from the pharmacy, health and beauty sections, can play a role in helping patients heal.
“For many patients, navigating cancer diagnosis and treatment can be overwhelming and require an extensive support network. There’s a real, positive psychological impact to looking good and feeling good, especially in times of sickness or stress that can go a long way to help heal,” Shah said. “The rollout has allowed for us to test, try, and learn from our customers and patients to provide the right experience during this critical time in their life.”
Among the training pharmacists and beauty consultants received was empathy training from the Cancer Support Community to help enhance the level of emotional support they could provide during patient interactions.
“During our 37-year history, we’ve made it our mission to create and support programs that meet the needs of people impacted by cancer. We deliver these services at 175 locations, online, and through a helpline,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of the Cancer Support Community. “With the launch of Feel More Like You, people impacted by cancer will have additional in-person, patient-focused resources at a time when many are looking for personalized oncology information and emotional support.”
With regard to beauty consultant training, Look Good Feel Better Foundation executive director Louanne Roark said, “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.”
Walgreens noted that it is taking a comprehensive approach to supporting cancer programs, including working with research organizations, prevention programs and assistance organizations.