WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) has launched expanded health care offerings to support the health and well-being of people with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other liver diseases in Hawaii. The effort is part of a statewide initiative to raise awareness about the prevalence of Hepatitis A, B and C in the state and to encourage the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis, a collection of viruses that attack the liver, may lead to liver disease and liver cancer. Hawaii has the nation's highest rate of liver cancer, so testing and vaccinations have become increasingly important for people living on the islands. In response, CVS Health, through its Longs Drugs and MinuteClinic locations in Hawaii, has launched new services to help raise awareness of the virus, particularly for Baby Boomers (people born from 1945-1965) who may be at risk for the virus.
"It's critical that people who may have been exposed to hepatitis be screened for the virus," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., President of MinuteClinic and Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. "The longer people live with the virus, the more likely they are to develop serious, life-threatening conditions such as liver disease."
Added Sussman, "A simple screening will not only help them learn if they are infected, but can also help them get referred to life-saving care and treatment. We're happy to be able to provide this important screening to people living in Hawaii, which will help them on their path to better health."
MinuteClinic locations in Hawaii recently began offering Hepatitis C screenings to people who may have been exposed to the hepatitis virus. The virus is spread through direct blood-to-blood contact with someone who has Hepatitis C. The most common way to get Hepatitis C is through injected drug use, getting a blood transfusion prior to 1992, or being exposed to blood in some other way. While there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C, treatments are available to manage and even cure Hepatitis C for some patients. The cost of a Hepatitis C screening consultation at Minute Clinic ranges from $59-$69, plus $39 for the Hepatitis C blood test.
Hepatitis C screenings are available at all of Hawaii's MinuteClinic locations, including:
- Longs Aiea #9813, 98 1005 Moanalua Road, Aiea
- Longs Hawaii Kai #9185, 377 Keahole Street, Honolulu
- Longs South King #9954, 2470 South King Street, Honolulu
- Longs Waialae Avenue #9220, 4211 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu
- Longs Waikiki #10621, 2155 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
- Longs Kailua #9825, 609 Kailua Road, Kailua
- Longs Kaneohe #9953, 45 480 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe
- Longs Kapolei #9317, 590 Farrington Highway, Kapolei
- Longs Wahiawa #9300, 925 California Avenue, Wahiawa
In addition, Longs Drugs pharmacists are helping to raise awareness of both Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is usually an acute, short-term disease for those infected as adults, but it can become a chronic disease for those infected as children. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. The most common way to get Hepatitis B is from mother to baby, especially for those born in counties in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders tend to be infected at a much higher rate. While there is no cure for Hepatitis B, there are treatments available to manage the disease. In addition, there is a vaccine available to prevent infection.
In April, Longs Drugs pharmacists began inviting patients to complete a "Prevent Liver Cancer Get Checked for Hepatitis" assessment form at the pharmacy counter. When forms are completed, the pharmacist reviews the assessment and provides a recommendation as to whether a patient should be tested for Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. The pharmacist also provides the patient with a list of nearby testing facilities, including physician's offices, free testing facilities or MinuteClinic, for those patients at risk for Hepatitis C.
If a patient is eligible for the Hepatitis B vaccination series, a Longs Drugs immunizing pharmacist can administer the required doses right in the pharmacy. The cost of the Hepatitis B vaccine is typically covered by health insurance plans, although patients are encouraged to check with their health insurer.
Patients can take the "Prevent Liver Cancer Get Checked for Hepatitis" assessment at all of Hawaii's more than 60 Longs Drugs locations, and receive the Hepatitis B vaccine series if needed. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines are also available at MinuteClinic locations.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its approximately 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 75 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
Amy Lanctot, (401) 770-2931
TBC (for MinuteClinic)
Brent Burkhardt, (410) 986-1303
SOURCE CVS Health