Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Up Vaccination Rate, Drug Study Finds

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacists Up Vaccination Rate, Drug Study Finds

Article excerpt

Pharmacists can make a difference with patients who are vulnerable to the flu and should be vaccinated.

Newly released findings show that community R.Ph.s improved flu immunization rates by more than 13% after letting their high-risk patients know about the dangers posed by the infection and ways they can get the vaccine.

The findings come from a study conducted by pharmacists at three Kerr Drug outlets in North Carolina under the direction of Maj. John D. Grabenstein, an Army pharmacist at Fort Sam Houston in Texas."Community pharmacists played a major role in disease prevention with very little extra commitment of time or other resources," said Grabenstein, who conducted the research project at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy.

The vaccination awareness study was a simple one that involved using patient profiles to target those most vulnerable to the flu. With the names in hand, the Kerr Drug pharmacists sent personalized letters to their patients having prescriptions for asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients aged 65 and older also got the letter, which included information about where and when to get vaccinated in their local community. Among patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the informational letter were 74% more likely to get the vaccine than those in a control group who didn't receive the missive.

"The letters cost less than $1.10 a piece, prevented a potentially fatal disease, and generated a lot of goodwill as well," said Jimmy Jackson, Kerr Drug director of pharmacy services. …

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