WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health is honoring the patient care efforts of its 30,000 pharmacists as part of the annual American Pharmacists Month observation in October.
CVS noted that its pharmacy teams are playing an increasingly important role in helping people lead healthier live by improving access to care and lowering costs for the millions of patients they serve daily.
The company also plans to celebrate National Pharmacy Technician Day on Oct. 17 to recognize its more than 50,000 pharmacy technicians for the valued support they provide to CVS pharmacists and pharmacy teams across the organization.
“As our nation’s health care landscape changes, our pharmacists are being called upon to play a broader role in a patient’s overall health care team,” CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo said in a statement. “Pharmacists not only provide one-on-one trusted counsel to patients each and every day, they are also delivering vital health care services, such as providing immunizations, and offering medication reviews to ensure patients are getting the most out of their entire medication regimen.”
CVS pharmacists — and not just those behind the counter at CVS Pharmacy — are helping identify barriers to medication adherence and offering solutions to help thier patients to stay adherent.
“Whether through Omnicare, CVS Caremark, CVS Specialty or Coram,” Merlo added, “our pharmacists are providing expert clinical care to patients with a wide range of medication regimens, from simple to complex.”
For example, CVS said CVS Pharmacy recently rolled out ScriptPath, a new prescription management system taht will help its pharmacy team provide more guidance to patients through a first-of-its-kind Prescription Schedule. The schedule allows the pharmacist to recommend a consolidated dosing schedule — narrowed to four dosing times a day — that the company said will further help patients understand their regimen and raise their adherence, in turn yielding better health outcomes.
Also, CVS noted, pharmacists are providing convenient access to flu shots and other vaccines at all CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide seven days a week on a walk-in basis, including evenings and weekends. In some states, such as California and Oregon, pharmacists can prescribe hormonal contraceptives, giving patients greater access to care at times and locations convenient for them.
CVS pharmacists also provide telephonic medication adherence and clinical support to CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management members and CVS Specialty patients, the company added. They review and check all medications submitted for mail delivery and provide counseling and support to members via programs such as Pharmacy Advisor, which help improve adherence and outcomes for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
And through the company’s Pharmacists Teach program, CVS pharmacists are helping to fight prescription drug abuse. The community outreach program connects pharmacists with high school students to share information about the dangers of improper drug use.
CVS said thousands of its pharmacists have volunteered their time to deliver the program to more than 295,000 students across the nation, at no cost to the school. The company also has started expanding the program to a parent audience.