‘Shortcut to Health’ Survey: Older Americans Eager to Seek Preventive Care at Local Pharmacies—Especially Immunization

*As mentioned on Pharmacist.com, American Pharmacists Association

About Half of Americans Over 40 Would Transfer Prescriptions to a Pharmacy That Provided Preventive Care Services and Would Prefer to Pay Cash for Them

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PrescribeWellness, the cloud-based services company whose mission is to inspire collaboration for better health, today released the results of their “Shortcut to Health” survey. The survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 40, conducted online by Propeller Insights on behalf of PrescribeWellness in December 2017, looked at older Americans’ 2018 health goals and what services they most value from their community pharmacy.

Medication nation

One in five Americans over 40 (21 percent) take more than five medications, and another 41 percent take between two and five. Thirty-five percent say they visit multiple doctors and that their doctors communicate with each other “somewhat” (44 percent) or “not at all” (19 percent). While 92 percent trust that their doctor is aware of all of the medications they are taking, 30 percent say they do not discuss possible drug interactions with their doctor when they are given a new prescription.

Having said that, more than two-thirds of older Americans (67 percent) prefer to discuss new prescriptions with their pharmacist because their pharmacist does a better job of explaining side effects (39 percent), is a trusted expert (36 percent) and has more time to spend with them (23 percent).

In terms of logistics, more than half (51 percent) make multiple trips to the pharmacy each month to pick up their prescriptions—which means that some 25 percent forget to pick up or refill their prescriptions—but three-quarters (76 percent) say their pharmacy has never offered to sync up their medications.

Making healthcare more convenient

When asked what services their local pharmacy could add to make healthcare more convenient, older Americans said:

1. Quick over-the-counter treatments — 38 percent
2. Blood pressure checks — 31 percent
3. Access to all vaccines — 29 percent
4. Synchronized pickup of their medications — 27 percent
5. Medication delivery — 27 percent

Another 20 percent want help with weight loss, 15 percent want advice on their Medicare plan, and another 11 percent would like help managing their diabetes. Fifty-seven percent of adults over 40 would be more willing to use a pharmacy that delivered.

When it comes to services they most value in their local pharmacy, older Americans cited advice about medication interactions and side effects (40 percent each) and quick over-the-counter treatments (36 percent).

Moving preventive care to the local pharmacy

Almost half—46 percent—of older Americans would be willing to pay cash for services at their pharmacy instead of paying a co-pay at a doctor’s office, and a full half would transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that provided other preventive care services.

Immunizations are prime among them. When asked what services their pharmacy could add to make healthcare more convenient, access to all vaccines was third on the list (29 percent). It was also third on the list of services older Americans find most valuable in a pharmacy (29 percent). Of the older Americans who have been vaccinated at a local pharmacy, 58 percent say it is more convenient than visiting their doctor, 46 percent say it’s quicker, and 37 percent say it’s closer.

Likewise, only 12 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have ever had flu or strep testing at their local pharmacy, but 68 percent say it would be easier than visiting their doctor.

“Thousands of community pharmacies are going ‘beyond the fill’ every day offering their patients valuable advice and preventive care services—and this role will only be increasing as technology changes the way illnesses are diagnosed and treatment is delivered,” said Al Babbington, CEO of PrescribeWellness. “This survey illustrates that American adults are excited to have their community pharmacies—which are often closer and more convenient than their doctor’s office—be trusted allies in their health and wellness.”

Older Americans eager for help getting healthier

Weight loss is a top priority for Americans over the age of 40 this year: 79 percent plan to get more exercise, 74 percent plan to eat healthier foods, and 59 percent will eat less to lose weight in 2018. While only 5 percent say they have ever consulted their local pharmacist for help losing weight, 42 percent would be willing to do so.

Many older Americans will also be trying to kick the nicotine. According to the CDC, about 13 percent of adults over the age of 40 are smokers; according to this survey, all 13 percent will be making an attempt to quit this year, with 39 percent going cold turkey, 28 percent using a nicotine patch, 24 percent using an e-cigarette or “vape,” and 21 percent using some other form of medication. Only 23 percent of them have consulted with local pharmacists for help quitting smoking, but 62 percent are willing to consult with them.

Survey methodology

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Propeller Insights on behalf of PrescribeWellness in December 2017, among 1,002 adults 40+. The results were weighted to the U.S. census for age, gender, region and income.

About PrescribeWellness

PrescribeWellness inspires collaboration for better health across America by connecting patients to locally owned community pharmacies. Its proprietary cloud-based platform empowers pharmacists to provide more effective preventive healthcare services, which improve medication adherence, chronic disease management, transitions in care, and population health. With data integration and behavioral science at the foundation, PrescribeWellness software solutions position the pharmacist at the center of community healthcare prevention. Inc. 5000 named PrescribeWellness one of America’s Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies for the past three years. For more information, please visit www.prescribewellness.com.



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