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Boots pharmacists set for wider vaccination role under Walgreens plans

Business US pharmacy giant Walgreens has announced its intention for pharmacists at UK partner Boots to deliver a wider range of vaccinations for conditions such as shingles and tetanus.

Boots pharmacists will deliver a wider range of vaccinations such as shingles and tetanus under plans announced by the health and beauty giant's US partner Walgreens.

Walgreens pharmacy, health and wellness president Kermit Crawford told C+D that the 17 immunisations available at its stores in the US would work equally well on this side of the Atlantic.

The "proven outcomes" from vaccinations at Walgreens should help the company launch similar services in the UK, Mr Crawford told C+D in an exclusive interview at the European Pharmacists Forum in Paris.

"We do 17 different immunisations, so one of the things I would look forward to is bringing that to Boots" Kermit Crawford, Walgreens

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Walgreens, which acquired a 45 per cent stake in Alliance Boots last year, offers vaccinations against conditions such as shingles, tetanus, diphtheria and meningitis.

Mr Crawford said this extended range of immunisations was one of the main services he would like to see introduced in the UK. "We do 17 different immunisations, so one of the things I would look forward to is bringing that to Boots here, by showing some of the results we have," he told C+D.

"People are the same all over and we can give the shingles immunisations safely and effectively [in US pharmacies], so hopefully we can support Boots in providing this in the UK," Mr Crawford said.

But Mr Crawford added that, when providing these services, US pharmacists' access to electronic patient records was an advantage. "With [our system] the pharmacist can see which immunisations the patient should and shouldn't get," he explained.

Mr Crawford stressed that he was optimistic over the potential to share best practice between Walgreens and Boots. "Two big companies the size we are, we can actually change the way healthcare is delivered throughout the world," he argued.

Boots currently offers HPV, flu and travel health vaccines in the UK.

Together, Walgreens and Alliance Boots have more than 11,000 stores with nearly 365,000 employees.

Are you ready to deliver a wider range of vaccinations?

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Leon The Apothecary, Student

Think that was a small jab at EPS?

Rajive Patel, Community pharmacist

Culture, Culture, Culture. This is what delivery of healthcare is all about. You cant simply impose US models of healthcare delivery into the UK. Firstly the health systems are completely different, one is driven privately and the other is driven socially.

I am not saying it would not work, but probably on the scale of PGD's, which is small in terms of the overall comparison of penetration.

I think the Wallgreens merger was always going to be good for Alliance Boots shareholders, but probably bad for the employees and customers who will have to put up with this type of imposition. Perhaps they should have of looked at firstly driving operational efficiency and sharing cost bases, before firing off on the clinical provision front

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