Eight out of ten older Americans have at least one chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. According to CVS/pharmacy, fifty percent of Medicare Part D participants take an average of eight or more prescriptions regularly. With increased use of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter treatments, comes increased risk of adverse drug interactions and increased costs.
To address this important issue, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and CVS/pharmacy are bringing the Pack Your Bag(TM) medication consultation program to Pennsylvania. The program encourages seniors to pack a bag with their medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements 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 and advice on how to save money on medications.
A Pack Your Bag program is being held today at the Center in the Park in Philadelphia and will offer seniors one-on-one medication consultations with CVS pharmacists. This event is just one of 24 Pack Your Bag events that will be taking place throughout Pennsylvania this summer.
"The Center in the Park is excited to be participating in the Pack Your Bag program this summer," said Lynn Harris, Executive Director of the Center in the Park. "Medication management is an important aspect of healthy aging. The Pack Your Bag program allows us to provide an important educational service to the seniors in our community."
In over 5,000 Pack Your Bag consultations since the program's inception last year, CVS pharmacists have found:
- 7% of seniors were taking expired medications
- 15% were not taking medications as prescribed
- 10% were at risk for potential drug interactions
- 15% had the opportunity to switch to money-saving generics
"It's important to review your medication regimen with your pharmacist on a regular basis, especially when filling a new prescription," said William Hanna, R.Ph., Pharmacy Supervisor 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 generic medications available and can suggest ways our patients can save money while maintaining good health. This is especially important in these economic times."
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.
Below is a list of upcoming Pack Your Bag events scheduled throughout Pennsylvania. Seniors can sign up to attend by contacting the individual center directly:
July 7th The Center at Journeys Way, Philadelphia
July 7th Plymouth Senior Center, Plymouth
July 8th Charles T. Adams Center, Wilkes-Barre
July 9th BNai Brith House Senior Center, Allentown
July 9th John F. Kennedy Center, Erie
July 14th Main Street Center, Clarion
July 14th Schaner Senior Adult Center, Enola
July 14th FCCAA Union Town Center, Union Town
July 22nd Bedford Senior Center, Bedford
July 22nd Edwardsville Senior Center, Edwardsville
July 22nd Harleysville Senior Center, Harleysville
July 23rd Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia
July 29th Blair Senior Center, Altoona
August 4th JCCs Stiffel Senior Center, Philadelphia
August 4th Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia
August 19th Blair Senior Center, Altoona
August 20th Chaneysville Senior Center, Clearville
August 24th Mohler Senior Center, Hershey
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.
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.