Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Reed Hosts Medication Management and Health Fair for RI Seniors
Senator teams up with URI College of Pharmacy, CVS/pharmacy, and RI Script Your Future to help local seniors stay healthy; Health Insurance Reform law has already helped 21,000 Rhode Island seniors save a total of $12.5 million on prescription drugs
LINCOLN, RI – In an effort to improve the health and wellness of Rhode Island seniors, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today joined students from the University of Rhode Island (URI) College of Pharmacy, CVS/pharmacy, and RI Script Your Future to provide free medication consultations w/ pharmacists and blood pressure tests for local seniors at a health fair at the Lincoln Senior Center.
CVS pharmacists and students from URI’s College of Pharmacy offered one-on-one reviews of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and conducted free blood pressure tests.
“It sounds simple, but helping people take their medications as prescribed is critically important. It improves health outcomes and prevents unnecessary and costly hospitalizations,” said Reed. “URI does a great job training the next generation of pharmacists and I am pleased they are working with CVS/pharmacy and RI Script Your Future to educate the public and help seniors stay healthy.”
Nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their medications as directed and the results can be devastating, particularly for people with chronic conditions. More than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and almost 125,000 deaths in the United States each year are due to people not taking their medicine as directed. Medication adherence can lead to improved health and reduced health care costs.
Reed noted that one key reason people don’t take their medicine as directed is because of high out-of-pocket costs for some prescriptions.
“No one should have to go without a lifesaving prescription drug because of cost concerns. The landmark health insurance reform law has already started to make health care more affordable for Rhode Islanders. In the past 16 months, Rhode Islanders have saved $12.5 million in their prescription drug costs – an average of about $600 per senior. By 2020, the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the doughnut hole will be completely eliminated. In addition, preventive services like annual wellness visits and screenings are also free for Medicare beneficiaries. Already, 128,000 Rhode Islanders on Medicare have accessed one of these types of preventive care,” noted Reed.
Throughout his career, Senator Reed has fought to protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid. He vigorously opposes the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it.
“It is critical that we guard against harmful proposals that would not only roll back the important improvements to Medicare that were made through the new health reform law, but also drastically alter or end the program as we know it,” concluded Reed.
Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League that is dedicated to promoting medication adherence education and awareness in Rhode Island and across the nation. Providence is one of six regional markets where the campaign is conducting activities, research and advertising. To learn more about the campaign, go to www.ScriptYourFuture.org.
Students at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy continue working to find the best methods for advocating medication adherence to the public, especially those with chronic diseases. These students are trying a variety of creative methods to get the message about medication adherence across to the public. Examples include health fairs, senior center visits, walks for the cause, wallet cards where patients can list their medications, and online video presentations.