MinuteClinic urges vaccination as pertussis cases rise in 2012
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With at least a dozen states reporting confirmed cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, during the first three weeks of January, MinuteClinic is urging parents and guardians to obtain a DTaP shot (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) for unvaccinated children under 7 years old. Booster shots, known as Tdap, also are encouraged for all pre-teens, teens and adults.
"We have seen a reemergence of whooping cough in recent years and in many cases infants and children are infected by parents, siblings, other family members and caregivers who don’t realize they have the disease," stated Nancy Gagliano, MinuteClinic chief medical officer. "Our practitioners at MinuteClinic can help educate parents and other adults about appropriate immunization schedules for their children and themselves to prevent spreading the illness."
Pertussis is known as whooping cough due to the "whooping" sound that is made when gasping for air. The disease can result in hospitalization, particularly among infants. There are about 300,000 pertussis-related deaths worldwide per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
News reports of confirmed pertussis cases among children in 2012 have occurred in a number of states where MinuteClinic medical clinics offer pertussis vaccinations, including New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
A vaccination is the best way to prevent pertussis, according to the CDC. Both DTaP and Tdap vaccinations are available without appointment for those 18 months and above at 600-plus MinuteClinic medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in 24 states and the District of Columbia.
The recommended pertussis vaccination for infants and children is DTaP, a combination vaccine that also protects against diphtheria and tetanus and is given four times in infant/early childhood years and a fifth time before a child enters school between ages 4 and 6 years.
Vaccine protection fades over time, so a Tdap booster shot, which also protects against all three diseases, is recommended for pre-teens at ages 11 or 12 years and for adults who did not get a Tdap vaccine as a preteen or teen. Children ages 7 to 10 years with an incomplete vaccination history against pertussis should also get a Tdap shot. Tdap vaccinations are particularly recommended for pregnant women, family members with newborn infants, grandparents, healthcare workers and child care providers.
DTaP vaccinations at MinuteClinic are $82 while Tdap vaccinations are $79. The vaccines typically are covered by insurance.
I have been in MinuteClinic before several weeks and I have to admit that this clinic is very awesome. The stuff of this clinic is very friendly and helpful and the prices are not very high. Well, I really recommend for all people MinuteClinic. Kind regards, Mike W.
The vaccinations are so important to get. I am glad to see that they promoting this. So many people need to take advantage of it. Keep up the good work.
PEBTF awards prescription drug benefits contract to CVS Caremark
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund announced on Tuesday that it has awarded CVS Caremark a three-year contract to provide prescription drug benefits to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees, retirees and dependents, beginning July 1.
The PEBTF account will be serviced from the CVS Caremark mail order pharmacy in Wilkes Barre, Pa., the specialty pharmacy in Monroeville, Pa., and the customer service center in Monroeville, Pa.
The PEBTF stated that CVS Caremark was selected following a rigorous competitive-bidding and capabilities review process. In addition to its network and clinical programs, PEBTF members, under the CVS Caremark Maintenance Choice 2.0 program, now will be able to pick up their 90-day supply of maintenance medications at any CVS retail pharmacy at the same low co-pay as the mail order pharmacy.
The PEBTF, established in 1988, is the single largest employer group purchaser of insurance in Pennsylvania. The PEBTF administers health care benefits to approximately 186,000 active employees and their dependents. In addition, the PEBTF administers retiree health benefits for approximately 101,000 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania retirees and their dependents enrolled in the Retired Employees Health Program.
Mobile app reveals price differences of Rxs across local pharmacies
SALT LAKE CITY — Pharmacy customers looking to view and compare prescription drug prices now can do so on their iPhone or Android device.
LowestMed said its mobile application includes more than 1,000 of the most popular brand-name and generic drugs, consisting of more than 95% of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the nation, with thousands of additional drug price comparisons available on the company’s website LowestMed.com. How it works: LowestMed provides a list of discounted prices at nearby pharmacies of both branded prescription drugs and their generic alternatives. The app also includes access to the free LowestMed discount card, which when displayed at the point of sale, ensures savings of 10% to 85% off of retail prices, the company said.
“Most consumers don’t realize that prices can vary widely by pharmacy, and that up until this point the only way to do price comparisons on a local level was to go to each pharmacy and submit an insurance claim,” LowestMed CEO Brad Bangerter said. “With the LowestMed app, for the first time consumers are empowered with the full transparency to identify the least expensive drug prices in their area. We do for the pharmacy marketplace what Travelocity or Kayak does for the travel industry, providing a one-stop, fast, convenient and easy way for consumers to maximize savings on their medications.”
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