Walgreen Co. is offering free blood pressure testing at all of its drug stores and Take Care Clinics daily during May as part of National High Blood Pressure Education Month and to support the Million Hearts initiative.


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Walgreens serves up BP testing free

May 4th, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is offering free blood pressure testing at all of its drug stores and Take Care Clinics daily during May as part of National High Blood Pressure Education Month and to support the Million Hearts initiative.

Walgreens also said Thursday that online scheduling is now available for health tests including cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C at more than 2,000 Walgreens locations.

The drug chain initially announced its support of Million Hearts in September together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The national public and private-sector collaboration is aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

"Providing greater access to affordable services like blood pressure and other health testing can be one of the most important and effective ways to help prevent heart attacks, stroke and other conditions," Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walgreens, said in a statement. "Our pharmacists are uniquely positioned to educate consumers about the importance of 'knowing your numbers' through blood pressure testing, as well as other preventive steps people can take to manage their health. It's one of the many ways we're helping customers live well, stay well and get well."

Walgreens noted that it also offered free blood pressure tests in February as part of Million Hearts. Over 150,000 blood pressure checks were administered during the month at Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care Clinics, which the drug chain said represented a more than 400% increase over the number administered a year earlier. Patients were able to access the American Heart Association's My Life Check health assessment tool at walgreens.com/hearthealth, enter their reading and get a heart score to find out about steps to take to improve heart health.

The February results showed that more than 60% of patients had test results that were considered out of the desired range, according to Walgreens. Through patient consultation, Walgreens pharmacists urged those patients to follow up with a primary care provider, an action that about a third of individuals reported taking, the chain said.

In addition, Walgreens promoted diabetes health testing last November and has made some enhancements to its health testing platform to make Million Hearts resources available at more than 7,800 Walgreens stores nationwide, through the chain's network of more than 26,000 pharmacists and other health care professionals.

Walgreens recently introduced a new online scheduling feature offering greater flexibility for those interested in appointments for health tests, including cholesterol, blood glucose, A1C, body composition or a bundled "wellness pack" that includes all of the tests. All health testing services include a pharmacist or nurse practitioner consultation. The full range of health testing services is now offered daily at more than 2,000 Walgreens stores in 36 states, with services having recently been expanded to select stores in Georgia and Tennessee, the company said.

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