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CVS’ Proactive Pharmacy, ReadyFill target medication adherence

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. —Non-adherence to maintenance medications is dealing a major blow—$177 billion a year—to the nation’s already over-burdened healthcare system, according to recent studies from CVS Caremark.

To help curb the crisis, CVS Caremark is promoting its Proactive Pharmacy Care approach, which engages patients earlier with education and personalized outreach to improve adherence, and also has launched a free program, dubbed ReadyFill, which automatically fills prescriptions for maintenance medications and calls the patient to remind him or her that the medication is ready to be picked up.

Consumers must sign up to participate in the free ReadyFill program.

According to a new study from CVS Caremark, 28% of patients said they sometimes forget to refill their prescriptions on time, and this is despite the fact that most (86%) believe they can stick to a daily medication schedule. In addition, more than half (52%) said it would be useful if their pharmacy would remind them when it’s time to refill.

The “2009 CVS Caremark Health IQ” study, which examined consumer attitudes and behaviors around health care and prescription usage, found additional reasons why consumers may not be taking their medications:

Many (43%) admit to simply having forgotten, on occasion, to take their medications.

21% of women take five or more prescriptions each month and must remember to fill all of them on time.

47% of women are more likely to forget to take their own medications than they are to forget to give a medication to another family member.

In another study, CVS Caremark revealed that more than 50% of patients under the age of 45 who are prescribed a medication to treat high cholesterol are not adherent to the cholesterol-lowering medication. In fact, the data showed that 58% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are not taking their cholesterol-lowering medications as prescribed.

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Stop & Shop to offer flu shots to customers

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass. For more than twenty years, Stop & Shop has provided seasonal flu shots as part of its Health & Wellness initiative in a continuing effort to best meet the needs of its customersduring the cough and cold season. This year, Stop & Shop will offer seasonal influenza immunizations at a reduced price to Stop & Shop card holders in the pharmacy department beginning Sept. 11 through Nov. 26 or until quantities associated with this program last.

“As part of our continued commitment to provide value to our customers, Stop & Shop is offering seasonal flu shots for $20 when customers use their Stop & Shop card,” said Jim Wonderly, VP pharmacy operations for Stop & Shop. “Unfortunately, many Americans are foregoing medical care because of increased costs, and we want to do our part by offering affordable immunizations during these challenging economic times.”

Seasonal flu shots will be administered at a reduced price in most Stop & Shop stores starting Friday, expanding to all stores in October. Immunizations will be provided by certified and trained Stop & Shop pharmacists and through Stop & Shop’s partnership with Maxim Health Systems and their trained health care professionals. The cost of the seasonal immunization is $30, but customers with a Stop & Shop loyalty card can save an additional $10. Thus, the final cost to Stop & Shop customers, with the Card, is $20.

“Last month, we introduced millions of customers to the new Stop & Shop card along with a commitment to provide them with the best possible value,” said Stop & Shop EVP Jeff Martin. “With the savings Stop & Shop is offering on seasonal flu shots, we are demonstrating that ongoing value commitment as well as a commitment to the health and wellness of ourcustomers.”

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Louisiana seeks to curb methamphetamine abuse with new legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two government officials from Louisiana invited the National Association of Chain Drug Stores for a signing of a new law aimed at curbing methamphetamine abuse.

On Sept. 8, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Fred Mills invited NACDS, law enforcement and other select stakeholders to the Governor’s Mansion for a special signing ceremony for HB890 (Act 314). NACDS was instrumental in the negotiations and eventual passage of the new law which establishes a real-time pseudoephedrine reporting system once federal grants are secured.

The law also provides liability protections to pharmacy, and specifically states that no fees will be collected from pharmacies or pharmacists to operate or transmit the data to state police.

NACDS thanked both Gov. Jindal and Rep. Mills for initiating this important legislation, and for working with pharmacies to make it even better.

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