ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Apple Discount Drugs in Salisbury, Md., came out on top in the “Lower My Blood Pressure” challenge launched last year by PharmaSmart International Inc. and Chain Drug Review.
The one-year competition, which began in February 2016, sought to determine which pharmacies could enroll the most patients in PharmaSmart’s Smart Card tracking program and demonstrate the biggest improvement in average blood pressure rates among enrolled patients.
Pharmacists enrolled in the contest via the Chain Drug Review or PharmaSmart websites. PharmaSmart biometric screening kiosks and health IT technology took patients’ blood pressure readings and streamed them to its PS DataSmart secure, HIPAA-compliant data center. Qualified clinicians then assessed confidential data.
Apple Discount Drugs on Fruitland Boulevard in Salisbury achieved the largest overall improvement in blood pressure control — with an average reduction of 16 mmHg systolic and 6 mmHg diastolic — and won the grand prize, an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Miami.
“We are honored as we strive to make an impact on patient health,” commented Jeff Sherr, owner of Apple Discount Drugs. A Health Mart pharmacy, Apple Discount Drugs has two locations in Salisbury and one in Berlin, Md. The Apple group also includes Apple Infusion in Salisbury, Md., which provides infusion and enteral therapy; Advantage Medical in Onley, Va., a supplier of durable medical equipment (DME); and Snow Hill Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Snow Hill, Md.
Three Brookshire Grocery Co. pharmacies also were winners in the blood pressure challenge by generating strong patient enrollment in the PharmaSmart clinical program. Brookshire Pharmacy No. 90 won first place, followed by Brookshire Pharmacy No. 34 and Brookshire Pharmacy No. 62.
“We are thrilled that our pharmacy staff from each winning location volunteered to enter into the Lower My Blood Pressure contest. PharmaSmart is a company exclusively focused on helping pharmacists target uncontrolled cases of hypertension. Kudos to both companies for driving such a critical initiative nationwide,” stated Jim Cousineau, senior vice president of operations at Brookshire Grocery Co. Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire has over 150 stores, more than half with pharmacies, in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
The goal of the Lower My Blood Pressure challenge was simple: to boost awareness of the need to prevent and manage chronic disease — including such conditions as hypertension — across the retail pharmacy sector and spotlight the bigger health care role that pharmacists can play.
“PharmaSmart offers pharmacists a credible, accessible, low-cost solution for controlling blood pressure that is backed by evidence and trusted by both physicians and payer networks,” according to Ashton Maaraba, chief operations officer at PharmaSmart. “Because of this strong clinical positioning, pharmacists can coordinate hypertension care with local physicians, and they can confidently recommend the program to their patients.”
Jeffrey Woldt, vice president and editorial director of Racher Press Inc., the publisher of Chain Drug Review, commented, “We were very excited to have partnered with PharmaSmart on such a unique collaboration and look forward to continuing our part in generating awareness across community pharmacy about the importance of controlling hypertension.”
PharmaSmart serves more than 6,500 locations — including pharmacies in chain and independent drug stores, supermarkets and other retailers — as well as major worksites, military bases, university schools of pharmacy, hospitals and medical clinics. The PharmaSmart PS DataSmart Health IT database holds more than 40 million targeted patient blood pressure readings.
Fred Sarkis, president and chief executive officer of PharmaSmart, noted that the company’s independently validated technology bolsters the clinical credibility of its retail pharmacy clients.
“Clinical program success depends on the delivery of trustworthy data, within standard workflow, at the pharmacy point of care. Program success also depends on delivering patient outcome metrics that show long-term value. This is what differentiates PharmaSmart,” Sarkis explained. “We are proud to see so many pharmacists embracing the challenge of hypertension control and taking this big step toward an expanded scope of practice.”