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California Pharmacists and Senior Group Kick Off National Pharmacy Week and Senior Medication Awareness Month With Health Clinic for Seniors.

News and Health Editors

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 2000

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students Provide Health Screenings

and Medication Counseling to Seniors

Pharmacists, pharmacy students, legislators and health care advocates gathered today to kick off National Pharmacy Week (October 22-28, 2000), to celebrate Senior Medication Awareness Month (October) and to educate senior citizens about the importance of consulting with their pharmacists about correct medication usage.

"More than $100 billion is spent annually in the U.S. to treat the effects of medication misuse," said Carlo Michelotti, R.Ph., MPH, chief executive officer of the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA). "National Pharmacy Week is a good time to raise the awareness of Californians -- especially senior citizens -- about the health safeguards of communicating with your pharmacist about all your medications, including herbal supplements."

The kick-off celebration, titled Educate Before You Medicate, which was co-sponsored by CPhA and the Senior Medication Awareness and Training (SMART) Program, included a press conference and a "Senior Health Clinic" for residents of Pioneer Tower and Hart Senior Center. In addition to CPhA and SMART, participants included Senator Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), Assemblymember Mike Machado (D-Linden), the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and students from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy.

"The average senior citizen takes twice as many medications as individuals under the age of 65," said Ellie Peck, executive director of the SMART Program. "That's why it's so important that we educate seniors about the benefits of consulting with their health care providers and documenting all their medications. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements."

Pharmacists and pharmacy students provided seniors with a variety of health services, including flu and pneumonia vaccinations, bone density screenings and medication use counseling.

"More pharmacists are offering health care services that go far beyond just dispensing medications," said Michelotti. "In addition to medication counseling, many pharmacists statewide provide disease management and prevention services such as blood pressure checks, cholesterol and osteoporosis screenings, and vaccinations."

In addition to CPhA's kick-off celebration, pharmacists and pharmacy students throughout California and the nation will hold the first National Screening and Immunization Day on Friday, October 27. Students from UOP, WesternU, University of Southern California, and University of California, San Francisco schools of pharmacy and area pharmacists in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Stockton are providing disease screenings, immunization clinics, and "brown bag" medication consultations.

The goals of CPhA during National Pharmacy Week are to raise public awareness of safe and appropriate medication use, educate people about the importance about communicating with their pharmacist and to demonstrate the vital role of pharmacists as health care providers.

For more information, the public can visit CPhA's Web site at www.cpha.com.

The California Pharmacists Association is the largest state pharmacy association in the nation and the professional society representing all pharmacists in California. The mission of the Association is to act as the leader in advocating the role of the pharmacist as an essential provider of health care and to support pharmacists in providing optimal pharmaceutical care.

The overall goal of the Senior Medication Awareness and Training (SMART) Coalition of California is to expand and improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. The SMART Coalition was formed to promote appropriate medication usage, prevent needless pain and suffering, avoid the high cost of hospitalizations, and save countless lives and billions of dollars in health care costs. The SMART Coalition is comprised of a consortium of statewide grassroots organizations, public and private sector agencies, corporations and individuals. It is funded solely through private contributions and grants, which it solicits on an on-going basis.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 23, 2000
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