LATEST NEWS & EVENTS
If you looked through last Sunday’s Cumberland Times-News, you found our news release entitled “Yellow fever, other vaccines available at PharmaCare”. We have been working for several years to bring preventative vaccines to our community – Zostavax (Shingles), Td/Tdap, pneumonia, flu, and many more. While the program has been very successful, the thought of being able to add the travel vaccines was a goal for PharmaCare.
One of the reasons for wanting to have this offering available was because local residents who were preparing to travel abroad had to drive quite a distance to get the yellow fever vaccine, among others. The article talks about the importance of this vaccine. Distance along with the high price tag, charged by travel specialists, to even meet with soon-to-be world explorers was sometimes a deterrent for people. Again, PharmaCare has been able to bring another invaluable healthcare resource to the community.
I am attaching the news release at the bottom of this e-mail in case you missed it in the newspaper. All locations will receive a starter pack of brochures for this program. Please place them in a prominent area in your store, and in your brochure rack. Please call or e-mail me when you need more brochures and I will get them out to you.
Please direct all calls and questions to Lisa Bohrer at Frostburg (direct ext. 4211 or 301.689.2909) for preventative and travel vaccines. Help us to spread the word about this new service to travelers. Be sure to share this e-mail with anyone on your team that does not have e-mail. Thanks!!
For local residents who are preparing to travel internationally, there is a new vaccine and wellness provider right in their backyard. It’s The PharmaCare Network and their Travel Vaccination & Wellness Center, located at PharmaCare’s LaVale store in the Burton’s Shopping Center.
The PharmaCare Network offers a comprehensive and informative program for residents who are traveling abroad for business, pleasure, mission or educational purposes. Lisa Bohrer, RN, BC, PharmaCare’s Community Health & Wellness Manager, offers a one-on-one consultation with individuals at no charge. The traveler’s itinerary is reviewed thoroughly, along with discussing pertinent information regarding the areas of travel and what vaccinations are necessary for safe travel.
Vaccines offered include yellow fever, typhoid fever, Japanese encephalitis, and polio just to name a few. The recent addition of the yellow fever vaccination offering is especially important because local residents were required to travel a significant distance to receive the vaccination and pay a consult fee to meet with a travel specialist. The CDC and the state health departments mandate that all travel clinics obtain a certification to order and administer the yellow fever vaccine. PharmaCare also offers anti-malarial and traveler’s diarrhea medications, necessities for many international explorers.
Lisa Bohrer stated “There is a great deal of information that travelers need to know before setting out on their trip. Not only do they need to get vaccinated against certain diseases, but they also need to be aware of safety risks including food and water consumption, parasites, insects, and conditions associated with traveling by water or air.” She continues, “Traveling abroad can be a great experience with memories that last a lifetime, we just want to make that adventure a safe one as well.”
Already travelers have been visiting the Travel Vaccination & Wellness Center and pleased with their experience. Alexander Nallin made an appointment to meet with Mrs. Bohrer to get his list of vaccinations that included yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, and polio as he was preparing to set off on his two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Peru. Alex stated “The visit was extremely easy. Lisa explained everything very well and was extremely professional.” The ability to get vaccinations close to home, particularly the yellow fever vaccine, has proved to be invaluable to church organizations who have groups preparing for mission trips.
Along with travel vaccinations, the Wellness Center at PharmaCare offers a full line of preventative vaccinations for residents of any age. Vaccinations include tetanus, measles, mumps rubella (MMR), pneumonia, Hib, Varicella, Meningococcal, Shingles, hepatitis A and B, human papillomavirus (HPV), plus the one and two-step Tuberculin testing.
Lisa Bohrer, RN, BC, is a member of the American Travel Health Nurses Association and the International Society of Travel Medicine. The travel center can be found on the CDC’s web site location finder for vaccine sites. For questions or to schedule a consultation call Lisa at 301.689.2909, or visit PharmaCare online at www.pharmacarenetwork.com.
The Myron E. Blough Memorial Scholarship, awarded to Allegany College of Maryland’s top pharmacy technician student each year, was recently presented to Margaret (Moriah) Edmiston, center. Also pictured are Richard Witt, right, a retired Cumberland pharmacist who teaches at the college, and John Balch, left, President and owner of The PharmaCare Network, where the late Blough worked as a pharmacist. The Blough award helps the recipient defray tuition expenses as it recognizes outstanding achievement. The curriculum, which is completed in one semester of full-time study, prepares graduates to assist pharmacists in community, hospital and institutional pharmacies.
More than one million children in the U.S. under the age of five are exposed annually to potential poisons such as medicines and household chemicals. Most of the time poisoning happens right at home. Poisons can look like things that are good to eat and drink. They can come in many colors and forms including solids, liquids, sprays and gases. Young children are curious. They like to put things in their mouth, especially if they look colorful or smell nice.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes poisonings can happen. If you suspect a poisoning, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Call the Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. For more information, visit www.mdpoison.com.
Pictured: Lisa Bohrer, R.N.,BC, director of Wellness for PharmaCare, discusses Mr. Yuk and poison safety with the St. Michael Early Childhood program children.
Propoxyphene, a drug used to control pain, was taken off the U.S. market in November. An estimated 10 million patients have been prescribed this drug commonly known as Darvocet N (propoxyphene and acetaminophen) or Darvon (propoxyphene).
For years, studies have demonstrated propoxyphene with acetaminophen was no more effective in treating pain than acetaminophen alone. However, propoxyphene’s adverse effects can be substantial, especially in older adults. Propoxyphene can cause constipation, abuse potential, seizures, delirium and changes in mental function. More recent findings of serious heart risks prompted the total withdrawal of propoxyphene from the U.S. market.
If you are still taking propoxyphene, it is crucial that you coordinate withdrawal of the medication with your prescriber. Suddenly stopping routine use of propoxyphene can cause withdrawal symptoms, some of them serious. Tapering off of propoxyphene may be necessary. Your prescriber and pharmacist can help determine the best tapering schedule and alternative treatment for you given your other medical conditions, your type of pain and other medications prescribed.
Propxyphene is on the Beers’ list of potentially inappropriate medications. In 1991, Dr. Mark Beers published a consensus list of medicines considered to be inappropriate for long-term care facility residents. The Beers’ criteria is now in its third revision and is used in hospital, outpatient, managed care and other settings.
The Beers’ list can be found at www.seniorcarepharmacist.com under “Potentially Inappropriate Medications for Older Persons.” Health-care providers experienced with caring for older adults should be familiar with the Beers’ list.
If you find you are receiving a medication on the list, discuss the benefit over the risk of taking the medication. The list is only a guideline to alert health-care providers and patients of the potential risk of using certain medications in older adults. For you, a drug on the Beers’ list may be the most appropriate therapy.
The Beers’ list is only one tool for assessing drug therapy in older adults. Other researchers and reports have identified drugs not on the list which can cause problems in the geriatric population. Side effects of drugs may go unrecognized in the older adult because they are nonspecific (e.g. confusion, lethargy, falls).
Frequent review of your complete medication regimen by a prescriber or pharmacist can help identify medication related problems that may otherwise be missed.
Even if you are retired, managing your medications can sometimes feel like you have a full time job. Younger seniors, age 65 to 69 years old, take an average of almost 14 prescriptions per year. By the time seniors reach 80 to 84, the average creeps above 18 prescriptions per year. For cost savings, seniors often use various strategies to procure their drugs including mail order, manufacturer samples provided by prescribers and multiple retail pharmacies. Add over the counter products and herbal agents to the mix and keeping track of your regimen can be a challenge.
Unfortunately, one of the top five greatest threats to your health are adverse drug reactions caused by the very drugs prescribed to improve your health. By spending a little more time paying attention to your drug regimen, you can reduce your risk of adverse reactions. Sometimes the cost saving measures used in an effort to afford your medications can actually increase your risk of medication related concerns. By using several sources for your medications and having multiple prescribers results in not one health care professional being aware of all the medications you are taking.
Duplicate therapies or significant drug interactions can be missed when providers are not aware of your complete drug regimen. Bringing in your medications, including over the counter and herbal products, when you visit prescribers can help them identify potential concerns.
The Medicare Part D plan has expanded the requirements of a free service that also will help you monitor your medications. Over 7 million Medicare Part D participants qualify for this service coined ‘medication therapy management’ (MTM). If your total annual drug costs are $3,000, you have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease and take several medications, you may qualify. Your insurance representative can see if you are eligible for medication therapy management.
In most cases a pharmacist will provide MTM. It can be in person, by phone or through the Internet. Some insurers contract with your local pharmacist to meet with you one on one. In other drug plans, pharmacists contact you by phone or Internet to provide the service. While cost savings is a goal of MTM, the session will also include a check for side effects, drug interactions and provide advice on the best way to take your medication. Any recommendations for changes in therapy will be forwarded to your prescriber and only after his/her approval can a change occur. A written summary of the session will be provided to you and quarterly follow-ups can be scheduled.
Making the most of your insurance benefits is part of being a savvy consumer. Don't forget MTM when maximizing your Medicare Part D benefits.