CVS Caremark to Support Million Hearts with Free Blood Pressure Checks on Fridays in May at MinuteClinic

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark announced today that it is supporting Million Hearts™ during National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May through a number of patient-focused initiatives. Launched by the Department of Health and Human Services and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years.

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In support of Million Hearts™, MinuteClinic will be offering free blood pressure checks on Fridays in May – May 4, 11, 18 and 25. No appointment is necessary and a MinuteClinic practitioner will discuss the results and make recommendations for keeping blood pressure under control, including staying on prescribed medication and taking it as directed.

"One in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, increasing their risk for heart disease and stroke," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark. "We're pleased to support Million Hearts™ by screening, educating and monitoring people who, for a variety of reasons, may have difficulty accessing preventive care, which is vital when it comes to heart health."

In addition, CVS/pharmacy will host a live Facebook chat with a CVS pharmacist and MinuteClinic nurse practitioner on May 16 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. The live online event will be free and open to the public and can be accessed by logging on to the CVS/pharmacy Facebook page at The discussion will focus on practical ways patients can remember to take their medication as directed and other issues facing those who are managing chronic conditions, like hypertension.

"It's so important for individuals to know they can work with their pharmacist – as well as their doctor, nurse or other health worker – to improve blood pressure control," said Janet Wright, MD, FACC, executive director of the Million Hearts™ initiative. "Pharmacists don't just dispense medicine; they can offer advice on how families can help people with high blood pressure remember to take their medications, schedule automatic refills, explore whether a different drug might be easier to take, or share information about lower-cost options."

Finally, in an effort to attack the high costs of cardiovascular illnesses and to improve the treatment outcomes of cardiac patients, CVS Caremark has launched Pharmacy Advisor® for chronic cardiovascular care, a pharmacy-based approach to managing one of the most prevalent and expensive chronic illnesses. The program, which combines pharmacy benefit management insights and solutions with pharmacist interventions, ensures that patients follow their medication regimens to achieve optimal health outcomes. Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular care will initially focus on improving medication adherence for four conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.

"Our support of Million Hearts™ underscores our belief that we can improve health outcomes through innovative ways of delivering care, including public-private partnerships," said Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark. "At CVS Caremark we are reinventing pharmacy for better health."

About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with approximately 600 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor® program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at


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