Developing and mobilizing our resources and partnerships in the fight against cancer
From a Thailand talent show to solidarity breakfasts in Spain; from charity soccer in the United Kingdom to a 5K/10K run in Mexico, Walgreens Boots Alliance employees around the globe together with corporate sponsorships raised funds for cancer programs in fiscal 2016.
Walgreens Boots Alliance takes a comprehensive approach toward supporting cancer programs, including advancing research, expanding prevention and assisting people and families affected by cancer. Our legacy businesses have made a significant impact through long term commitments, which Walgreens Boots Alliance has built on. Those include a partnership since 2011 with the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), a seven-year partnership with UK-based charity Macmillan Cancer Support and a multi-year history of collaboration with the U.S. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
In partnership with the EORTC, Alliance Boots supported the creation of the first pan-European Biobank for colorectal cancer. Three years later, during fiscal 2016, we reached an important milestone with 1,100 patients participating in the EORTC SPECTAcolor biobank program. These patients were recruited from 28 hospitals and research institutions in 11 European countries.
SPECTAcolor, “Screening Patients for Efficient Clinical Trial Access,” is the first ever prospective fully annotated tumor samples Biobank and Biomarker analysis platform for genetic profiling of patients suffering from advanced colorectal cancer. This platform develops personalized treatments based on the results of tissue sampling analysis. An estimated 600 to 1,000 patients with advanced colorectal cancer are expected to enroll on a yearly basis.
Between October 2011 and August 2016, Walgreens Boots Alliance and its legacy businesses have raised nearly 5.2 million euros ($6.3 million) for EORTC, surpassing the original goal of 5 million euros.
Since 2009, Boots UK’s partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support has aimed to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by cancer by significantly increasing the amount and accessibility of cancer information and support Boots can provide to customers in its trusted stores, and online.
Through the partnership more than 2,200 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists have been trained to offer support to cancer patients and their loved ones. More than 800 Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors have also been trained to help women, both in our stores and out in the communities where they live and work, manage the visible side effects of cancer treatment.
Boots UK colleagues, customers, suppliers and partners raised $3 million for Macmillan Cancer Support in fiscal 2016, bringing the total to more than $23 million since the partnership began.
Boots Republic of Ireland has partnered for more than four years with the Irish Cancer Society and in fiscal 2016 raised more than $250,000 for the organization’s Night Nursing service, which provides free end-of-life care to cancer patients, allowing them to remain in their homes. Throughout the partnership, the total amount raised by Boots Republic of Ireland has been more than $1 million, or just over 2,700 nights of nursing care. Boots Republic of Ireland has also implemented a program, the “Boots Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacists,” to raise cancer awareness and provide patients and local communities with access to information on cancer, as well as support and referrals.
In the USA, under Walgreens Boots Alliance’s comprehensive CSR strategy, legacy fundraising traditions are taking on a larger dimension. Walgreens is a longstanding supporter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through fundraising at individual stores. Our partnership entered a new phase with a corporate-level collaboration launched in March 2016, under which LLS and Walgreens will continue to help patients manage their disease.
LLS will train Walgreens pharmacists on blood cancer information so they can provide better care for patients. Walgreens blood cancer patients will have access to LLS’s Information Resource Center where they can access guidance on treatments, supportive care, financial support and information about clinical trials. Also, Walgreens will accelerate its support for LLS’s Light The Night Walk fundraising campaign, which helps fund research to find cures and supports access to treatment for all blood cancer patients.
"Since we launched our partnership with Walgreens nearly a year ago, it is already demonstrating a benefit for blood cancer patients, and there’s more to come. Walgreens and LLS together are addressing the critical unmet medical need represented by blood cancers, through dedicated patient support services and pharmacist education. We are confident that this shared value collaboration will set a high standard for non-profit and industry collaborations as we look to the future of cancer cures,” says Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., president and chief executive of LLS.
To support the fight against cancer, Walgreens Boots Alliance employees around Europe held fundraising initiatives throughout the year. Other fundraisers, in Asia and Latin America, gathered donations for cancer programs in those regions. Fundraisers during the year included:
- In the UK, Alliance Healthcare employee fundraising and company contributions for the EORTC totaled nearly $200,000. At one important fundraiser, more than 250 employees gathered in Nottingham for soccer and netball tournaments.
- In Spain, employees organized activities in 23 warehouses of Alliance Healthcare España, raising funds for the EORTC.
- In France, Alliance Healthcare warehouse employees raised money for the EORTC through a run and a disco party.
- In Thailand, Boots employees performed at an annual talent show for dozens of their colleagues, raising thousands of dollars for the country’s National Cancer Institute (NCI).
- Farmacias Benavides in Mexico sponsored the Rosa Fuerte road race to benefit Fundación Alma, its third year of collaboration with the foundation. More than 3,500 runners participated, raising funds to donate 20 reconstructive surgeries and 300 external prostheses to uninsured or underinsured women with breast cancer.
In the USA, Walgreens was a key sponsor for the Stupid Cancer Road Trip in fiscal 2016, a cross-country grassroots campaign raising awareness for cancer in young adults. Stupid Cancer helps young adults find support from peers and reinforces messages about cancer screening, fertility preservation and side effect management.