PharmaSmart International Inc. is participating in "Team Up, Pressure Down," a new pharmacy-focused program that's part of the Department of Health and Human Services' Million Hearts initiative.


PharmaSmart, Million Hearts, Team Up Pressure Down, high blood pressure, hypertension, Fred Sarkis, Ashton Maaraba, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, medication adherence, biometrics, blood pressure platform, pharmacies, hypertension screening, therapeutic monitoring




























































































































































































































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PharmaSmart joins Million Hearts effort

October 18th, 2012

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – PharmaSmart International Inc. is participating in "Team Up, Pressure Down," a new pharmacy-focused program that's part of the Department of Health and Human Services' Million Hearts initiative.

Million Hearts, also led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a public-private sector effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years by reducing the number of people who need treatment and improving the quality of treatment.

The Team Up, Pressure Down program offers resources ranging from video vignettes to conversation starters that encourage and support pharmacists to provide counsel to hypertension patients, with the goal of improving medication adherence. A suite of patient education materials will also be available through the program to help people with high blood pressure take a more active role in self-management efforts and to encourage increased interaction with their pharmacists.

"Controlling blood pressure is the single most important thing we can do to reduce death and disability in the USA. PharmaSmart is thrilled to join the Team Up, Pressure Down program to help leverage the power of community pharmacy in the improved detection and control of high blood pressure," stated PharmaSmart president and chief executive officer Fred Sarkis.

"Our clinically advanced, interoperable blood pressure platform brings — for the first time — live, validated biometrics into the pharmacy electronic patient record," Sarkis noted. "This creates intervention and case management opportunities at the pharmacy that never existed before. Together with Team Up, Pressure Down, we offer pharmacies an accredited suite of education and support materials, along with validated clinical tools to aid in hypertension screening, intervention and therapeutic monitoring."

PharmaSmart's effort to support Team Up, Pressure Down is being overseen by chief operating officer Ashton Maaraba. The company currently has a national campaign that promotes pharmacy-based hypertension management as a linchpin of team-care models. The campaign includes physician detailing and value-added pharmacy services. Representatives from PharmaSmart are allying with leading health care providers and regional drug chains and national pharmacy chains to advance the Team Up, Pressure Down message.

"This initiative is an overarching point of differentiation for us," commented Maaraba. "It is a clear proof point that PharmaSmart offers a combination of innovative clinical services, biometric screening and health information technology that places the pharmacy, the most profitable center in a retail store, in a modern-day power position."

PharmaSmart serves more than 6,000 locations, including retail pharmacies such as Walmart Canada, Nash Finch, Safeway Canada, Coborn's, Loblaw's, Roundy's/Mariano's, Associated Food Stores, Health Mart, Leader, Good Neighbor, Jean Coutu, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, Zellers, Sobey's, Lawtons, Astrup Drug, Winn-Dixie and Big Y Foods.

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