PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy’s Pack Your Bag program heads to New Hampshire

BY Antoinette Alexander

MANCHESTER, N.H. CVS/pharmacy and the National Council on Aging are bringing the Pack Your Bag medication consultation program to pharmacy patients in Manchester, N.H., which includes a presentation by a pharmacist on improving health through medication compliance and advice on how to save money on medications.

The program, held May 26, encourages seniors to pack a bag with their medications, including prescription drugs, OTC medications and dietary supplements for a review in one-on-one consultations with a local CVS pharmacist. This event is just one of hundreds of similar Pack Your Bag events that are taking place across the country.

According to CVS, 8-out-of-10 Americans have at least one chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Fifty percent of seniors take an average of eight or more prescriptions regularly. With increased use of medications, both prescription and OTC treatments, comes increased risk of adverse drug interactions and increased costs.

In the more than 5,000 Pack Your Bag consultations since the program’s inception two years ago, CVS pharmacies have found:

  • 7% of seniors were taking expired medications
  • 15% were not taking medications as prescribed
  • 10% were at risk for potential drug interactions
  • 16% had the opportunity to switch to money-saving generics.

“We recognize that many seniors in New Hampshire are struggling to make ends meet and to pay for necessary health care,” stated Nicole Harrington, pharmacy supervisor for CVS/pharmacy. “By speaking with a pharmacist about their entire medication regimen, seniors can identify cost-saving alternatives as well as any potential drug interactions.”

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PHARMACY

CVS Caremark recognized for family-friendly benefits

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has landed on Conceive magazine’s annual “50 Best Companies” list, a list of employers who are leading the way in corporate America with their generous family-building benefits, despite the challenging economy.

“At CVS Caremark one of our goals is to be the best company to work for and we have implemented many programs and initiatives to help us achieve that goal,” stated Lisa Bisaccia, SVP and chief human resources officer for CVS Caremark. “We have developed our benefits package to support our employees — dreams of starting a family in a variety of ways. Whether our employees give birth or choose to adopt, we have benefits available to help support them throughout their journey.”

Released in the summer 2010 issue of Conceive, and available at ConceiveOnline.com, the list highlights U.S. companies that offer their employees the best benefits for starting or adding to their families. The rankings are based on the company’s fertility and adoption coverage, including benefits for assisted reproductive technology and in vitro fertilization, infertility prescription drugs, paid parental leave and cash reimbursement towards adoption expenses.

CVS Caremark offers many family-friendly benefits, including financial adoption assistance, paid and unpaid leave for birth and adoptive parents, and coverage for infertility diagnostic procedures, fertility medications and assisted reproductive technologies up to $20,000 per employee.

Most employers, however, still have a long way to go, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The percentage of companies that include IVF coverage has dropped from 28% in 2006 to 23% in 2009, and the percentage that offer adoption assistance has dropped from 22% in 2006 to 10% in 2009.

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New college pharmaceutical care lab ‘simulates community pharmacy practice environment’

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A pharmacy school now has its own state-of-the-art pharmaceutical care laboratory, thanks to Duane Reade.

Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences opened the Duane Reade Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory, which “simulates a modern community pharmacy practice environment,” said Stephen Gross, dean emeritus of the College of Pharmacy, who secured the funds from Duane Reade.

“It provides important knowledge and skills that will better prepare our students for the advanced practice experiences that students will get when they are placed in actual community pharmacies,” Gross said.

Equipped with a computerized, fully operational prescription department, the new lab features semi-private and private counseling spaces and is being used in a variety of courses, including classes in pharmacotherapeutics and communication skills in pharmaceutical care.

A dedication ceremony for the laboratory was held earlier this spring. In addition to Gross, participants in the ceremony were University president David Steinberg, University VP Jeffrey Kane, Brooklyn campus provost Gale Stevens Haynes and assistant pharmacy dean Lorraine Cicero. Duane Reade was represented by SVP pharmacy operations Frank Scorpiniti.

“Duane Reade has been particularly generous to the college, providing funding for this laboratory, underwriting innovative community pharmacy residency programs and supporting many student-run events and activities,” Gross said.

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