ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PrescribeWellness today launched its "A Million More" Flu Shot Initiative with the goal of increasing the influenza vaccination rate by one million more Americans.
"The flu is dangerous, threatens lives and costs the American economy billions of dollars each year," said Al Babbington, CEO of PrescribeWellness. "The flu is responsible for approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths in the United States each year, yet only 46 percent of the population currently gets flu shot immunizations."
The core message of the initiative is that even if you are young, healthy and don't feel at risk for serious illness, get a flu shot for your family, for your community and to help protect those who are more at risk such as young children and the elderly. With fall approaching and the health care debate surging, now is the time to raise awareness about the importance of preventative health care and how to lower the cost of care.
The director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Dr. Karen Midthun, recently stated, "the best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year. It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three virus strains used in this season's influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year's vaccine."
PrescribeWellness developed the "A Million More" Flu Shot Initiative in response to the rising cost of health care, which is escalating at a record rate and is expected to reach $4.1 trillion by 2018. More than 70 percent of health care costs are controllable with personal actions, support of families, neighbors and communities.
PrescribeWellness has the most efficient and effective tools for influencing patient behavior by educating and motivating them toward vital health care habits such as adhering to prescribed medications, getting the recommended screenings and immunizations as well as making small lifestyle changes necessary to improve health. The goal of this initiative is to rally support from civic and faith-based leaders and health care professionals across the nation to deliver the message that healthier individual choices improve the health of our communities and lower health care costs.
To date, PrescribeWellness has partnered with the Arizona Pharmacy Association, California Pharmacists Association, North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, Georgia Pharmacy Association, Iowa Pharmacy Association and Oklahoma Pharmacists Association. These associations have identified and enrolled 300 pharmacies thus far and the goal is to reach 1,000 participating pharmacies before the peak of the flu season.
"We support this campaign because it demonstrates the health care services that pharmacists can provide beyond safely dispensing medication," said Jon Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacists Association. "We think it is important for pharmacists to have access to a program that highlights their role in the community. At the same time, we can use these examples with policymakers to expand understanding about how pharmacists contribute to the health care delivery system."
The local pharmacist is the community's most accessible and trusted preventative health care resource. Participating pharmacists can provide immunizations as well as screenings, medication therapy management sessions and other preventative health care services. The Affordable Care Act now provides more Americans preventative health care coverage, and this campaign will raise awareness of the useful role that pharmacists play in the health of our communities.
"By supporting 1,000 communities and getting 1,000 more people vaccinated in each one, we will make the world a healthier place," said Babbington.
For more information on the "A Million More" Flu Shot Initiative, please visit www.amillionmore.com.
PrescribeWellness was founded in 2010 with a mission of reducing health care costs and improving health in America. The company's Automated Digital Intervention (ADI) system delivers cloud-based communications and facilitates collaboration of health care providers, family and other stakeholders to improve care and outcomes. Their services include population health, medication adherence, chronic disease management, behavioral change programs and transitional care. For more information, please visit www.prescribewellness.com.