Wendy future of retail top

MinuteClinic provides allergy treatment services

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — MinuteClinic, the retail health clinic arm of CVS Caremark Corp., is offering treatment services for allergy sufferers.

The company said that through the walk-in service, allergy patients meet with a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant specializing in family health care, who then provides an exam that focuses on the patient’s eyes, nasal passage, throat and lungs to determine the extent of allergy-related irritation, inflammation and blockage.

Next, the practitioner then determines a course of treatment. Options may include over-the-counter recommendations such as nasal saline and eye drops along with prescriptions. Effective prescription therapies may include antihistamines, decongestants, steroid nasal sprays and anti-inflammatory medications, according to MinuteClinic.

Spring allergy exams at MinuteClinic are $62 and are covered by most health care insurance. A MinuteClinic visit summary, which includes the results of any lab tests performed, is provided to primary care providers with patient permission. Visit summaries are typically sent within 24 hours via electronic medical record, fax or mail.

"It’s simple to suggest to allergy sufferers that they stay indoors and turn on the air conditioning, but for most, that’s not a practical solution, especially when they want to mow the lawn, plant a garden and or see a child’s Little League game," Andrew Sussman, MinuteClinic president and CVS Caremark senior vice president and associate chief medical officer, said in a statement. "MinuteClinic practitioners can assess a patient’s condition and recommend an appropriate course of treatment that may include prescription medications to provide relief and clear nasal pathways before they become overly inflamed."

MinuteClinic reported that an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal indoor/outdoor allergies, based on data from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.


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