Patient counseling to become part of chain's culture

June 28, 2011

CVS/pharmacy's new Care 1on1 program aims to make patient and pharmacist counseling more a part of the chain's culture.

Time and again, pharmacists say they need more time to counsel patients about proper medication use. CVS/pharmacy's new Care 1on1 program aims to make patient and pharmacist counseling more a part of the chain's culture.

With the Care 1on1 program, CVS/pharmacy offers patients dedicated one-on-one time with a pharmacist to discuss cost savings, medication safety, and side effects, when their prescriptions are transferred or filled for the first time.

The counseling program is designed to address the fact that up to 50% of chronically ill people stop taking their medication in the first year, according to CVS.

"Pharmacist counseling during a first fill can improve a patient's ability to take their medications properly. We believe this is an important message to communicate because while one-third of patients do not take their medications as described, an even higher percentage of people with chronic conditions stop taking their medications within a year of diagnosis. And those who are managing a chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes can be on more than 4 medications at one time. Without intervention, only about half of patients with a chronic condition stay on their medication as prescribed," according to Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS/pharmacy.

When patients opt to spend dedicated time with CVS pharmacists through the Care 1on1 program, they will receive a review of their ongoing medication filled at CVS and discuss ways to manage side effects, save money, and stick to a medication routine.

CVS/pharmacy is also reminding patients with new prescriptions to:

  • Ask pharmacists which medications can be taken together and which ones need to be taken separately when planning a medication schedule.
  • Take medications at the same time you do something else every day, so it becomes part of a daily routine.
  • Remind yourself to take medications by posting a sticky note, setting a watch or timer, using a pill organizer, or creating a check-off chart.
  • Speak with your pharmacist about side effects or a missed dose. Do not stop taking your medication until you speak with your pharmacist.