PHARMACY

NCPA raises awareness on its Rx disposal program in preparation for Earth Day

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday encouraged community pharmacists to demonstrate their role as a respected and knowledgeable resource on all aspects of medications, from dispensing to disposal, in preparation for Earth Day, which falls on April 22.

“On Earth Day and every day, community pharmacies that voluntarily offer drug disposal services for their patients have an opportunity to build better relationships with patients as they discuss their medication needs,” NCPA president Lonny Wilson said. "The face-to-face, patient-pharmacist interaction in a community pharmacy improves health outcomes and prevents the waste that is associated with ‘auto-shipping’ mail-order programs.”
 
To assist pharmacists in conveying that message, NCPA is raising awareness around its prescription disposal program — Dispose My Meds — for consumers. As part of the program, NCPA members receive nearly 20% in discounts with shipping included on the products from the Sharps TakeAway Environmental Return System, along with free customizable marketing materials and a listing on our companion consumer website, Disposemymeds.org.
 
Launched in 2010, the NCPA Dispose My Meds program features more than 1,400 independent community pharmacies nationwide at which consumers may be able to dispose of unused, noncontrolled medications with postage-paid envelopes or participate in onsite programs where pharmaceuticals are collected and disposed of properly. To date, participating pharmacies have collected some 70,000 lbs. of unused or expired noncontrolled medications. Currently, controlled medications are prohibited from being returned through such disposal programs as Dispose My Meds. Participating pharmacies have noted increased foot traffic and conversion of new patients.

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PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy’s Project Health highlights National Minority Health Month with free screenings

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy officially announced on Wednesday the April schedule of Project Health (Proyecto Salud in Spanish), a wellness program delivering more than $21 million worth of free health screenings to multicultural communities throughout 2012.

As part of National Minority Health Month, CVS/pharmacy will offer free health screenings at select stores in African-American and Latino communities in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

"Access to preventive care is one way we help the communities we serve," said Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We know chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes are a tremendous burden on multicultural communities and detecting these issues is a very important first step on a person’s path to better health."

The program, which aims to prevent disease through early detection, grew from CVS/pharmacy’s To Your Health/A Su Salud campaigns. This year, Project Health will offer an array of free comprehensive health risk assessments and screenings during disease-specific national health awareness months. More than 1,000 Project Health events are scheduled for 2012.

Project Health is a part of efforts by CVS/pharmacy to improve access to preventive care and ensure that cost is not a barrier to such services as professional health assessments and screenings. Project Health events, while offered to address and raise awareness of ethnic health disparities, are open to everyone and will not require an appointment.

Medical personnel will be on hand to provide diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index screenings.  Referrals will also be provided as well as consultations with nurse practitioners and CVS pharmacists. A selection of screenings will be available at each event.

Once screened, CVS/pharmacy will help patients through on-site consultations with bilingual (Spanish/English) nurse practitioners or physician assistants who will analyze the results and refer patients to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities within that neighborhood or to their primary care physician should additional follow-up be required.

In 2011, CVS/pharmacy provided free and low-cost medical screenings and services valued at $150 per person through the To Your Health/A Su Salud programs.  More than 162,000 people were screened during last year’s events. Of the individuals screened, many health concerns were discovered, including:

  • 57% had at least one abnormal screening result;

  • 48% had at least one abnormal risk factor for heart disease;

  • 42% had risk factors for osteoporosis; and

  • 27% had abnormal glucose readings.

The Project Health events will be held at designated CVS/pharmacy locations on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the month of April from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Future campaign months include Immunization Awareness Month (August), Dental Hygiene Awareness Month (October) and Diabetes Awareness Month (November).


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FDA approves UCB drug for Parkinson’s, restless legs syndrome

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a patch for treating restless legs syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.

UCB announced the FDA approval of Neupro (rotigotine) transdermal system advanced-stage idiopathic Parkinson’s and moderate-to-severe restless legs syndrome.

"Neupro represents an innovation in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome," UCB chief medical officer and EVP global projects and development Iris Loew-Friedrich said. "UCB is thrilled to make Neupro available to patients living with these serious diseases."


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