HEALTH

CVS/pharmacy marks a milestone with 7,000th store

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK CVS Caremark’s opening of its 7,000th store is important as it is yet another indication of the retailer’s strong management, efficient execution and its ability to understand and meet the needs of its shoppers.

 

Serving more than 4 million customers per day, the $87 billion powerhouse has proven over the years that it is a well-oiled machine. Today, it is aggressively taking an active role on the front lines of healthcare by leveraging its PBM business and MinuteClinics.

 

 

The opening of the 7,000th store in Little Canada, Minn., (a state the company already had strong ties to) is no doubt an impressive feat but it is interesting that CVS used the opportunity to also solidify its role as a convenient health care provider by announcing that the state is joining its seasonal flu program.

 

 

Nationwide, the retailer is holding more than 9,000 scheduled flu clinics in CVS stores and, as part of the campaign, is providing more than $3 million worth of free seasonal flu shots to unemployed Americans through vouchers good for a free flu shot in any MinuteClinic or any of the scheduled CVS/pharmacy flu clinics.

 

 

CVS also handed out flu prevention kits containing CVS brand products like hand sanitizers to the first 100 shoppers at the store.

 

 

Now, Minnesota is participating in the company’s free seasonal flu shot program. CVS is partnering with the Department of Employment and Economic Development to provide more than 2,500 vouchers for a free flu shot to the unemployed in Minnesota. The 2,500 vouchers, a $75,000 value, will be distributed through 11 WorkForce Centers in the Twin Cities area.

 

 

This initiative underscores the fact community pharmacy is demonstrating the vital role it can play in the U.S. healthcare system as extremists on both sides of the spectrum and argue over the future of health care reform, and what it will look like. And with 7,000 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia, CVS is providing greater choice and more convenience for its customers and, in turn, improving health outcomes.

 

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Study: Vitamin D deficiency in women increases risk of hypertension

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON White women with vitamin D deficiencies early in life are three times more likely to have hypertension by the time they reach middle age, Reuters reported Thursday morning, citing University of Michigan School of Public Health presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Researchers in Michigan examined data on 559 women beginning in 1992, and found that those with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure 15 years later in 2007. More than 10% of women with vitamin D deficiencies were diagnosed with hypertension in 2007, versus 3.7% of those who were not vitamin D deficient.

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CHPA, CADCA commend OTC cough medicine abuse legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America on Thursday commended a U.S. Senate initiative calling for increase attention and awareness of prescription and over-the-counter cough medicine abuse among teens.

Sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Senate Resolution 263 designates October as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and urges communities to educate parents and youth of the potential dangers associated with prescription and OTC medicine abuse.

“I applaud [these Senators] for introducing this important resolution,” stated Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “By designating October as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, it will help raise awareness of the alarming numbers of young people who currently abuse prescription and OTC cough medicines. Hopefully, this will spur a dialogue on this issue in communities across the country.”

“While we are pleased with our progress [with regard to this issue], raising awareness about the abuse of cough medicine remains a top priority for us. Continued support from the U.S. Senate coupled with our educational initiatives will help us in our efforts to stop medicine abuse,” added Linda Suydam, CHPA president.

In support of the effort, CHPA and CADCA are hosting town hall meetings nationwide during October, the associations announced.

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