CVS Caremark Corp. thinks customers can get more from its pharmacists.

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CVS Caremark: Talk to your pharmacist

June 20th, 2011

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. thinks customers can get more from its pharmacists.

The drug store and pharmacy services company said Monday that in its latest initiative, called CARE 1on1, CVS/pharmacy is offering patients one-on-one time with a pharmacist to discuss savings, safety and side effects when their prescription is transferred or filled for the first time.

When patients spend dedicated time with a CVS pharmacist through CARE 1on1, CVS Caremark said, they will receive a personal review of their new, ongoing medication filled at CVS/pharmacy and discuss ways to manage side effects, save money and stick to a medication routine.

CVS Caremark noted that almost half of Americans take at least one prescription drug per month, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yet many don't take advantage of the one health care professional who can be the most helpful with their medications: their pharmacist.

As a result, the company said it aims to remind consumers about the importance of pharmacist consultations and the key role pharmacists play in managing medication regimens for chronic illnesses, particularly when starting a new medication. 

"Patients with chronic health issues like asthma, or chronic diseases like diabetes, often take more than one medication, each with its own set of directions and possible side effects," Papatya Tankut, vice president of pharmacy professional services at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "Our pharmacists are here to help patients get the most out of their medications once they leave the doctor's office. Taking the time to speak to a pharmacist about your prescriptions can make a difference in the overall improvement of your health, particularly for those who are starting a new prescription."

Up to 50% of chronically ill people stop taking their medication within the first year, and pharmacists understand many of the contributing factors, according to CVS Caremark. Obstacles range from cost and side effects to the challenges of taking multiple medications.

CVS Caremark pointed out that its research shows that a pharmacist in a face-to-face setting is the most effective health care professional at encouraging patients to take medications as prescribed.