PHARMACY

CVS recommends adults get vaccinated prior to peak of flu season

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. Only half of adults plan to get a flu shot this year and those who do get flu shots often wait until a normally scheduled visit to the doctor or wait until flu season begins, according to a new survey from CVS/pharmacy.

“It’s best to get vaccinated before the peak flu season begins,” stated Papatya Tankut, R.Ph., vice president of pharmacy professionals services for CVS/pharmacy. “With so many convenient locations for flu shots, there’s no reason to wait.”

To make it even easier for people to get a flu shot, CVS and its retail-based clinic operator, MinuteClinic, will offer flu shots beginning this week. CVS will host about 7,500 flu shot clinic events and MinuteClinic will provide flu vaccines every day without an appointment at more than 500 locations nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccinations as soon as they are available, yet the survey by CVS also revealed that of those who normally get a flu shot, fewer than half (45 percent) get vaccinated when flu shots are available. The remainder of people (55 percent) wait until a normally scheduled visit to the doctor or health care provider, or until flu season beings.

This year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has endorsed influenza vaccination for all children 6 months to 18 years old. However, the survey revealed that just over half of adults who have children under the age of 18 in their household plan to have them get a flu shot (53 percent). Parents with children under the age of 12 are more likely to plan to get them vaccinated than parents with children age 12 and older (60 percent versus 39 percent). MinuteClinic will offer vaccinations to children over 18 months.

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Albertsons begins $4.99 generic prescription drug program

BY Jenna Duncan

BOISE, Idaho Albertsons today announced the launch of Albertsons Rx-tra Savings prescription discount program. The membership-based program offers 30-day supplies of more than 500 generic prescription drugs for $4.99. Albertsons pharmacies are also discontinuing the “Meet or Beat” pricing program, the company said.

Generic drugs included in the program include treatments for asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

To join the program, members can pay a one-time $10 fee at the pharmacy to cover all members of the household. To launch the program, for a limited time Albertson’s is giving away $10 Albertsons gift certificates to those who sign up. 

Albertsons operates 250 units in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.

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APhA encourages more patient-pharmacist communication

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The American Pharmacists Association is urging customers to get to know their pharmacists for American Pharmacists Month, APhA said Wednesday.

“Pharmacists are on the frontlines of helping patients get the most out of their medications,” APhA chief executive officer and executive vice president John Gans said.

 

“As our population ages, and more people become dependent on medications than ever before, pharmacists will play an increasingly prevalent role on the healthcare team and in improving medication use and advancing patient care.”

An APhA survey has shown that almost 70 percent of consumers don’t know their pharmacists’ names, so during its campaign, the organization plans to “underscore the link between knowing your pharmacist and the safe and effective use of medications” and inform consumers of some of the patient-care services that pharmacists offer.

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