Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 6:16 EDT

APhA Foundation Launches Pharmacy Blood Pressure Challenge to Support the Million Hearts Initiative

June 22, 2012

Nationwide effort promotes pharmacist involvement in cardiovascular care and education

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation today launched the Pharmacy Blood Pressure Challenge, a screening and education initiative encouraging pharmacists to help prevent and control high blood pressure in their patients. This effort supports the Million Hearts(TM) initiative, which aims to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100820/APHALOGO-a)

The Challenge motivates pharmacists to talk with one patient per day about their blood pressure control. This effort focuses on the prevention and control of high blood pressure by encouraging pharmacists to perform screenings and educate patients about their blood pressures. 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.

APhA members and pharmacists across the country are invited to support Million Hearts and help lower the incidence of heart attack and stroke in the U.S., by providing blood pressure screenings to help educate patients of the importance of knowing their numbers. Pharmacists who engage will have the opportunity to report their impact on the APhA Foundation’s Pharmacy Blood Pressure Challenge website located at https://MillionHearts.APhAFoundation.org. Pharmacists are providing patient care services every day, and this aggregated information about in-pharmacy blood pressure education and screening programs will help portray the impact pharmacists have in their communities.

“Cardiovascular disease impacts approximately one in every three adults in the U.S., and many of these cases can be prevented or treated by focusing on cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure control, that pharmacists are ideally positioned to address,” said Mindy Smith, R.Ph., Executive Director of the APhA Foundation. “We are excited to offer a program in which patients and pharmacists work together to improve medication use and the quality of health outcomes related to lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attacks and strokes.”

APhA urges its members, including independent pharmacist, regional and national chain pharmacists, and student pharmacists, to embrace this opportunity to help patients get screened and take action to help manage cardiovascular health. “As a national partner in the Million Hearts initiative, APhA enthusiastically supports the Pharmacy Blood Pressure Challenge as a way for pharmacists to demonstrate how they can improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease,” said Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, ScD, MBA, APhA CEO/Executive Vice President.

The APhA Foundation is partnering with RxAlly, a new performance network of more than 22,000 pharmacies nationwide, on this awareness initiative through their Heart to Heart in-pharmacy blood pressure screening program. “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. “RxAlly is excited to partner with the APhA Foundation to identify blood pressure risk factors early and prevent disease progression through local Heart to Heart screenings.”

Launched by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Million Hearts is a national initiative aimed at preventing one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. APhA and the APhA Foundation encourage pharmacists to pledge to Be One in a Million Hearts at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/pharmacies.html. For more information on Million Hearts, please visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/.

About the American Pharmacists Association Foundation

The APhA Foundation is affiliated with the American Pharmacists Association, the national professional society of pharmacists in the U.S. The APhA Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., works to design solutions to medication use problems in America. The APhA Foundation’s mission is to optimize the role of pharmacists in improving people’s health. For more information, please visit the APhA Foundation website www.aphafoundation.org.

About the American Pharmacists Association

The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, visit www.pharmacist.com.

SOURCE American Pharmacists Association

Source: PR Newswire