Walgreen Co. has begun offering tests for total cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), blood glucose and A1C daily at more than 1,400 of its pharmacies in 33 states and the District of Columbia.


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Walgreens serves up daily cholesterol, glucose, A1C tests

May 2nd, 2011

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has begun offering tests for total cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), blood glucose and A1C daily at more than 1,400 of its pharmacies in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

The drug store chain said Monday that the tests, each of which includes a free blood pressure reading and personal consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist, will give consumers ready access to preventive health care services. The tests are available on a walk-in basis to those age 18 and older.

Walgreens pharmacists administer the tests by fingerstick. The total cholesterol tests and HDL tests cost $30, blood glucose tests cost $20 and A1C tests (for self-identified diabetics only) are priced at $35. The blood pressure checks are no charge and are provided with every health test. Recipients are encouraged to share test results with their primary care doctor.

"Providing convenient, affordable access to health testing services is an important part of our commitment to disease prevention and chronic care management," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said in a statement. "As the most accessible health care professionals, our pharmacists are spending more time with patients through consultations, immunizations, medication questions or concerns, health testing and other important services."

Walgreens said it began offering scheduled testing days at select stores last December, and over 40% of patients getting cholesterol and glucose tests had levels considered high or out of the desired range. And as part of routine follow-up with those patients, the drug chain learned that more than a third had scheduled an appointment with their doctor as a result of the test.

In February, free blood pressure testing was conducted daily at all of the more than 7,600 Walgreens stores and Take Care Clinics nationwide in tandem with American Heart Month, and more than half of the people tested had above normal blood pressure readings, according to Walgreens..

Walgreens also noted that it conducted blood glucose and A1C testing at select stores and Take Care Clinics over three time periods from November 2009 through November 2010. About 300,000 tests were administered during these events, with over 20% of patients testing out of the desired range and consulting with a Walgreens pharmacist or Take Care Clinic provider about their results.

"These tests are an important part of preventive health care," stated Cheryl Pegus, chief medical officer for Walgreens. "Our pharmacists are educating consumers about the importance of 'knowing your numbers' and consulting with your health care provider, and these are key steps to managing costly chronic conditions. We're committed to collaborating with health care professionals in the communities we serve to improve the outcomes of those with newly diagnosed or ongoing health conditions."

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