Pharmacy & Healthcare

WBA marks World Cancer Day 2023

World Cancer Day may take place once a year, but WBA is actively creating innovative and meaningful support for cancer patients year round.

By Sarah Cason
Cancer patient with Boots beauty advisor

World Cancer Day takes place every year on Feb. 4, uniting people across the globe in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and improving education about cancer, and encouraging governments, businesses and individuals to take action against the disease.

World Cancer Day may take place once a year, but WBA is actively creating innovative and meaningful support for cancer patients year round through its three-pronged approach to cancer care: assisting people living with cancer, working with organizations that advance research and supporting prevention programs. Read on to find out how WBA businesses are supporting cancer programs globally throughout the year:

This year marks the 14th year of Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support’s long-standing partnership. The partnership has raised a phenomenal £21 million ($27 million), which has helped the charity to support thousands of people across the UK with access to vital support while undergoing cancer treatment.

As part of the partnership, Boots has more than 3,000 specially trained Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists (BMIPs) who are now accessible through every pharmacy store in the UK, and for those unable to visit a Boots pharmacy, they can access a Boots Macmillan information pharmacist online from the comfort of their home.

Along with 580 Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors (BMBAs), who are trained to support with the physical side effects of cancer, Boots UK’s BMIPs are estimated to have collectively conducted almost 180,000 in-store and virtual conversations and consultations in 2022.

Last year, WBA and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) announced the next phase of their partnership in support of the organisation’s E²RADIatE platform, the only radiation oncology platform in Europe. Over the next three years, WBA aims to raise €1.8 million in support of the E²RADIatE platform, aimed at defining optimal radiation oncology treatment strategies and interventions that can become the new standard of care for patients through the performance of clinical trials. 

In the U.S., Walgreens collaborates with two cancer-focused causes: Susan G. Komen and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to enable research in tough-to-treat cancers and increase access to care. In 2019, Walgreens pledged to contribute more than $25 million to the two organizations over a five-year period, and exceeded that goal in 2022. In partnership with LLS, Walgreens has 80 LLS-certified blood cancer pharmacies, with specially trained pharmacists helping patients manage side effects and adhere to medications.

Since launching its partnership with the Irish Cancer Society 10 years ago, Boots Ireland has raised €2.5 million ($2.8 million), helping provide more than 7,400 nights of end-of-life care to cancer patients. Along with supporting the Irish Cancer Society's Night Nursing Service, Boots Ireland has almost 150 Boots Cancer Information Pharmacists and 50 Boots Cancer Beauty advisors in store to help support and advise people living with cancer.

Since 2016, Boots Thailand has worked in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide underprivileged individuals with specialist cancer care, education and resources, and as of 2022 Boots has donated an accumulated 2 million Thai baht ($59,108) to the NCI.

During fiscal 2022, Farmacias Benavides, WBA’s retail pharmacy chain in Mexico, continued to raise funds for Fundación Alma, a charity that supports uninsured or underinsured women living with cancer through funding for reconstructive surgery, prosthetics, psychological assistance or other aid. Since 2014, Farmacias Benavides has raised more than $8 million Mexican pesos ($392,582) for Fundación Alma, helping to fund more than 162 reconstructive surgeries and more than 1,200 prostheses.

Since 2012, Farmacias Ahumada, WBA’s retail pharmacy chain in Chile, has worked with the Fundación Arturo López Pérez (FALP), a comprehensive cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and teaching center. During fiscal year 2022, Ahumada donated to the center, which helped support patients who have experienced delays with their cancer treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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