As part of National High Blood Pressure Education Month, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG)(NASDAQ: WAG) today announced it is once again offering free blood pressure testing at all of its stores and Take Care Clinics every day throughout the month of May.
This nationwide effort is also part of Walgreens ongoing support of the Million Hearts Initiative, a national public and private sector collaboration aimed at preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. Walgreens initially announced its support of the Million Hearts Initiative in September, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
“Providing greater access to affordable services like blood pressure and other health testing can be one of the most important and effective ways to help prevent heart attacks, stroke and other conditions,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Our pharmacists are uniquely positioned to educate consumers about the importance of ‘knowing your numbers’ through blood pressure testing, as well as other preventive steps people can take to manage their health. It’s one of the many ways we’re helping customers live well, stay well and get well.”
Walgreens also offered free blood pressure testing in February as part of the Million Hearts Initiative. More than 150,000 blood pressure tests were administered in February at Walgreens pharmacies and Take Care Clinics – more than a 400 percent increase over the number administered in February 2011. Patients were able to access the American Heart Association’s (AHA) My Life Check health assessment tool through www.walgreens.com/hearthealth, enter their reading and get a heart score to find out what steps they can take to live a heart-healthy life.
February results from Walgreens showed that more than 60 percent of patients had test results that were considered out of desired range. Through patient consultation, Walgreens pharmacists encouraged those patients to follow-up with a primary care provider, an action approximately one-third of individuals report taking.
In addition to free blood pressure testing, Walgreens promoted diabetes health testing last November and has made a number of enhancements to its health testing platform to make Million Hearts resources available at more than 7,800 Walgreens stores nationwide, through Walgreens network of more than 26,000 pharmacists and other health care professionals.
Walgreens recently introduced a new online scheduling feature offering greater flexibility for those interested in appointments for health tests including: cholesterol, blood glucose, A1C, body composition or a bundled “wellness pack,” which includes all of the tests1
All health testing services include a pharmacist or nurse practitioner consultation. The full range of health testing services is now offered daily at more than 2,000 Walgreens stores in 36 states, with services having recently been expanded to select stores in Georgia and Tennessee. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting www.walgreens.com/healthtests, tests are also available on a walk-in basis.
Health test results are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the absence or presence of any health condition. Recipients are encouraged to share test results with their primary care physician.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,855 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
1 Blood pressure tests are free for the month of May, all other tests fees and other restrictions apply, see pharmacy for details.