RxAlly to Support Million Hearts™ with Heart to Heart In-Pharmacy Blood Pressure Screenings

RxAlly, a new performance network of more than 22,000 pharmacies nationwide, is dedicated to improving medication adherence

Jun 21, 2012, 06:00 ET from RxAlly

LEESBURG, Va., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- RxAlly announced today that it is launching Heart to Heart, a blood pressure education campaign focused on the prevention and control of high blood pressure. The new campaign will support the national Million Hearts™ initiative, which aims to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years.

In support of Million Hearts™, RxAlly's Performance Network will educate patients about the importance of getting periodic blood pressure screenings and encourage pharmacist involvement in the care of and prevention of cardiovascular disease.  RxAlly pharmacies will offer free blood pressure screenings to help educate patients of the importance of knowing their numbers, and taking steps to lower them if necessary, to decrease the growing incidents of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S.  Pharmacists are involved every day in providing patient care services. Blood pressure awareness and screening programs exemplify the importance of the pharmacists in their community.

"For the millions of people diagnosed with heart disease, medication is their primary source of treatment. However, research shows that more than half of patients don't take their medication as prescribed by their doctors," said Bruce Roberts, R.Ph., CEO of RxAlly.  "Often, medications used to treat cardiovascular disease do not show immediate and visible results to the patient, which is why it is critical for pharmacists to counsel patients in adhering to their medication regimens to yield the best possible health outcomes."

Alongside Million Hearts™ and through local Heart to Heart screenings, RxAlly Performance Network pharmacies - including independent pharmacies, regional chain pharmacies and Walgreens - are encouraging people to get screened and take action on managing their cardiovascular health and remain dedicated to helping patients identify blood pressure risk factors early to prevent the disease from progressing. Local RxAlly pharmacies will also be supporting Million Hearts™ by encouraging pharmacy staff to Be One in a Million Hearts by pledging their support at www.RxAlly.com/millionhearts.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation is partnering with RxAlly on this awareness initiative. "We are thrilled to partner with our colleagues at RxAlly on Heart to Heart," said Mindy Smith, R.Ph., Executive Director of the APhA Foundation. "We are excited to support a program in which patients and pharmacists focus to improve medication use and the quality of consumer health outcomes related to lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attacks and strokes." 

Among hypertension patients, an estimated 89,000 premature deaths per year could be avoided with appropriate medication treatment.  This is especially alarming considering that high blood pressure is easy to diagnose and treat making it one of the most preventable causes of death in the United States.

RxAlly member pharmacists are stepping up to identify patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, educate and counsel them to support better blood pressure control, and work with other members of their health care team to provide support and share responsibility for hypertension care, such as medication management, patient follow-up, and helping the patient adhere to their blood pressure control plan, including monitoring blood pressure routinely, taking medications as prescribed, reducing sodium in the diet, and increasing physical activity.

"It's so important for individuals to know they can work with their pharmacist – as well as their doctor, nurse or other health worker – to improve blood pressure control," said Million Hearts Executive Director Janet Wright, M.D.  "The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends team-based care (TBC) for improving blood pressure control because when primary care physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals work together to support their patients, they can find the right formula for getting blood pressure under control."

For more information, please visit us at www.RxAlly.com/millionhearts, on Facebook or Twitter.
For information about Million Hearts: http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.
For more information about Community Preventive Services Task Force, see http://www.thecommunityguide.org/cvd/teambasedcare.html.

For media inquiries, please contact: 5W Public Relations.

About RxAlly

With more than 22,000 member pharmacies nationwide, RxAlly has brought together the largest national network of pharmacies to improve health and lower costs. The RxAlly Performance Network of community pharmacies aims to improve health through personalized pharmacist care, clinical research and evidence-based clinical practices, and an interoperable technology platform. By advancing the role of pharmacists, RxAlly is facilitating new solutions as it leads an innovative approach to health care that aligns the interests of patients, pharmacists and payers. For more information, please visit us at: www.RxAlly.com, http://www.rxally.com on Facebook or Twitter.

About Million Hearts:

Million Hearts™ is a national initiative that was launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in September 2011 to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over five years. Co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the effort focuses on community and clinical prevention—reducing the number of people who need treatment and optimizing care for those who do. For more information about the initiative: http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.

Contact: Susan Weingram / 5W Public Relations
              O: 212-584-4271 / E: sweingram@5wpr.com