WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight out of ten older Americans have at least one chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. With many of these older adults taking multiple medications, some could be at risk for drug interactions when certain medications are combined.
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To address this important issue, CVS/pharmacy and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) have launched a Pack Your Bag(TM) community outreach program as part of their ongoing partnership designed to improve the lives of older Americans. The program, administered at participating senior centers across the country, encourages seniors to pack a bag with prescription and over the counter medications and dietary supplements including vitamins for a comprehensive review in one-on-one consultations with a local CVS pharmacist. The program also includes a presentation by the pharmacist on improving health through medication compliance.
The 2009 program kicks off today with eight Pack Your Bag events taking place simultaneously at Horizon Bay Retirement Communities throughout Rhode Island.
"Many seniors have problems with managing multiple medications, especially those with chronic conditions," said James Firman, President and CEO of NCOA. "We hope that many older Americans will take advantage of this important program this year."
In over 4,000 Pack Your Bag consultations since the program's inception in 2008, CVS pharmacists have found:
-- 7% of seniors were taking expired medications
-- 14% were not taking medications as prescribed
-- 10% were at risk for potential drug interactions
-- 15% had the opportunity to switch to money-saving generics
"The findings of our Pack Your Bag program underscore the importance of reviewing your medication regimen with your pharmacist on a regular basis, especially when filling a new prescription," said Papatya Tankut, R.Ph., Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS/pharmacy. "For older people who often see multiple doctors, the pharmacy is a central point of care where potential drug interactions can be averted. What's more, pharmacists are aware of the latest generics available and can suggest ways to save money."
The Pack Your Bag program is available nationwide to senior centers located within five miles of a CVS/pharmacy store location. Seniors can also visit their local CVS for a personal consultation with a pharmacist. To find the CVS/pharmacy nearest you, call 1-800-SHOP-CVS or visit CVS.com.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's largest retail pharmacy. The Company operates more than 6,900 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at www.cvscaremark.com.
About the National Council on Aging
The National Council on Aging is a non-profit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans -- especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged -- and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together non-profit organizations, businesses and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently and remain active in their communities. For more information, visit www.ncoa.org.