October 31st, 2016

Get Your Flu Shot at London Drugs and Help Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Children from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

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For every flu shot administered at London Drugs this year, a lifesaving vaccine will be donated to immunize a child against tetanus, polio or measles

Customers who receive their 2016/2017 influenza vaccination at London Drugs will now play an active role in helping to protect tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Through a new partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), a Canadian-based online immunization advocacy network, for every flu shot administered at London Drugs this year, a lifesaving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to immunize children in a developing country.

“By getting the flu shot you already help protect the most vulnerable people in your own community from potentially life-threatening illness including the very young, the elderly and the immunocompromised,” says John Tse, vice president, pharmacy at London Drugs. “This partnership with IBI in support of UNICEF Canada allows our customers to make a global impact, providing life-saving vaccinations to children worldwide while taking care of their own health needs.”

According to UNICEF, 19.4 million children missed out on basic vaccines needed to stay healthy last year. Almost one third of deaths among children under five are preventable by vaccines.

Tse says that the potential to save a child’s life with the simple act of getting the flu shot is added motivation to get vaccinated. “Our customers have the opportunity to be global change makers simply by protecting themselves and their families against the flu this year,” he says.

For each flu vaccination administered at any of London Drugs 78 pharmacy locations, I Boost Immunity will provide a tetanus, polio or measles vaccine to UNICEF Canada to vaccinate marginalized children at risk of deadly illnesses.

“Partnering with London Drugs is one of the many ways we hope to increase awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated and to improve immunization rates both here in Canada and across the globe,” says Michael Barnes, Executive Director of the Public Health Association of BC. “Diseases cross local and national boundaries. That means that vaccinating anyone, anywhere in the world, benefits all of us.”

I Boost Immunity is managed by the Public Health Association of BC and partnered with ImmunizeBC – a collaboration of the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Pharmacy Association and regional health authorities –which aims to promote immunization as the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases.

To learn more about getting the flu shot at London Drugs or about booking an appointment, visit: http://www.londondrugs.com/flu.



September 30th, 2016

Five Ways to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Sick this Cold & Flu Season

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With a handful of flu cases already reported this year, pharmacists are advising patients to take preventative measures to avoid getting sick.

All London Drugs pharmacies will be offering this year’s flu vaccine but in addition to getting a flu shot, Pharmacists offer the following advice to help you reduce your chances of getting sick.

READ MORE



September 28th, 2016

How’s Your Bone Capital?

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Your bones are like your bank accounts: the more you put into them when you’re still young, the more “bone capital” you have to draw on when you get older and you need harder bones.

And the reason you need to make your bones as hard as you can while you’re still young – this is done through eating well and doing weight-bearing exercise such as jumping and skipping and running, activities that come naturally to kids who are allowed to just play. Something that is becoming rarer and rarer, alas, in this new overly-scheduled, wired and connected era – is that bones start to get steadily weaker (we often refer to this as softening) from the age of about 25 on.

And if the bones weaken enough, you end up with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis should never be ignored because bone fractures – no matter where they occur – can leave you with a pile of huge problems including lifelong pain (such as in fractures of the spine, for example), loss of function of parts of limbs (in wrist fractures, for example), loss of independence (such as through fractures of the hip) and even premature death.

In fact, one study found that any fracture in a person over the age of 50 doubles the risk of premature death, although no one is sure about why there is that link.

One other very important thing of note about osteoporosis: it is often referred to as a women’s disease but in fact, men get it, too, although not quite as frequently.

The bottom line is that you need to do something – actually a few things – about osteoporosis if you don’t want to suffer some if its potentially debilitating effects.

This starts with prevention, of course: weight-bearing exercise throughout life, healthy diet, not smoking, knowing which medications can raise your risk, and so on.

And if you already have osteoporosis, it’s very important to inform yourself about a few issues: the extent of the condition, what you can do on your own to slow down its progress, what you must do to prevent falling, which is of course, the major reason that bones break, and most important, the pros and cons of the medications you might be asked to consider taking.

Take a proactive approach to protecting your long-term bone health by attending a London Drugs Osteoporosis Screening Clinic*. During the 45-minute, one-on-one consultation, your Patient Care Pharmacist will provide you with a one-on-one screening to measure your bone strength with an ultrasound bone measuring device and assess your risk for falls and fractures. You will be provided with an assessment, tips on how to minimize your risks and a personalized action plan to fit your wellness goals.

Book your appointment online at London Drugs’ NEW pharmacy website.

*A small fee applies for this service, for which a tax deductible receipt will be issued.

pharmacy-2016-osteo-blog



September 23rd, 2016

World Pharmacists Day – September 25, 2016

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World Pharmacists Day is designed to raise awareness about the role of pharmacists in providing care to the public. This year’s theme is “Pharmacists: Caring for you”. The theme reflects the increasing role pharmacists play in the provision of health care services and the tangible benefits they bring as health care providers. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers for Canadians, yet many are still unaware of the range of health services they are able to provide.

For many years, pharmacists have been taking on expanded roles in the Canadian health care system. Today’s pharmacist is highly respected as the medication management expert of the health care team. They collaborate with patients, their families and other health care providers to deliver a range of innovative services, including medication reviews, chronic disease management, immunization services and wellness programs.

London Drugs Pharmacists: Caring for you

World Pharmacist Day is an opportunity to remind Canadians about the health care services easily accessible through their pharmacists. At London Drugs, these services include:

  • Medication reviews to ensure drug therapy is appropriate and effective. Pharmacists are trained and knowledgeable about medication issues.
  • Administration of vaccines by Certified Injection Pharmacists, including the Zostavax vaccine for Shingles.
  • Individualized diabetes management programs withour Certified Diabetes Educators.
  • Chronic illness management.
  • Ability to prescribe for minor ailments/conditions (in select provinces).
  • Renew and/or extend prescriptions (some medication restrictions apply)
  • Assisting patients find solutions to everyday health issues around allergy, cough & cold, pain management, stomach health and eye care.
  • A variety of Health Clinics offered at select times throughout the year, including:

London Drugs pharmacists are committed to being an important part of our customers’ health care team. To learn more, speak with a pharmacist at any location or visit our NEW pharmacy website.



September 22nd, 2016

Have a sick kid at home? Make sure you’re giving them the right dose of medication.

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A new research study has found that four in five parents are administering the wrong dose of liquid medications — in some cases more than twice as much as instructed.

Through a series of experiments to test whether 2,100 parents could follow common dosing instructions, over 80 per cent of participants made at least one mistake while measuring, and 68 per cent of the time that mistake was an overdose.

“Many parents rely on the small plastic cup that often comes included with liquid medication or use a spoon from home to administer liquid medication,” explains Pharmacy Manager Jason Chan-Remillard. “Unfortunately, these methods make it easy to inaccurately measure a child’s dosage.”

In fact, the study indicated parents are four times more likely to give their children either too much or too little medication when using a plastic cup. The researchers suggest using a syringe instead of a cup or spoon could prevent many dosing errors.

“If parents are using a plastic cup, it should be placed on a level surface and the measurement should be confirmed at eye level,” says Chan-Remillard.

Dosage confusion also stems from the fact that instructions for liquid medications are often found in an assortment of measurements, from millilitres to tablespoons, and are often based on the weight – in pounds or kilograms – of the child. This leaves room for calculation errors which could result in an overdose, or the child not receiving enough medication. If the child receives too little, their illness could go untreated.

Chan-Remillard encourages parents to ask for dosage guidance from pharmacists even for common over-the-counter medications.

“Giving children the right dosage is just as important as giving them the right medication. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from pharmacists. There are no silly questions. We are here to provide parents with general education about dosage or even specific recommendations tailored to the individual child. We can also provide appropriate dosing tools such as syringes and instructions about how to use them accurately.”

 

Reference: Liquid Medication Errors and Dosing Tools: A Randomized Controlled Experiment  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/09/08/peds.2016-0357



September 16th, 2016

Reminder to parents and caregivers – check the date of your auto-injectors for Back to School

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If you or your child has severe allergies, an auto-injector such as EpiPen is a lifeline for potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis awareness, preparedness and access to treatment is critical for children with severe allergies now back at school.

At London Drugs, the price for EpiPen remains constant and the important allergy medication is fully stocked at all of our 78 stores.

For children with severe allergies, the start of a new school year is an important time to check expiry dates and update their prescriptions, including any anaphylactic medications. Our London Drugs pharmacists suggest parents ensure they have an emergency plan in place, after a study found a ‘worrisome increase’ in anaphylaxis cases among children.

The study revealed that the percentage of emergency department visits due to anaphylaxis doubled over the four-year research period. Only slightly more than half of children in the study who visited the emergency department due to anaphylaxis used an auto-injector prior to their arrival.

“While awareness in schools about severe allergies has grown, there is a lag in understanding when it comes to using auto-injectors such as EpiPen,” says London Drugs Pharmacist Jason Chan-Remillard. “Parents, caregivers and teachers should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and know how to initiate treatment. Understanding how to administer epinephrine in an emergency is just as important as other lifesaving skills like CPR or the Heimlich maneuver.”

Parents of children with severe allergies should work with teachers and caregivers at the start of each school year to create an action plan with an explanation of the child’s allergy triggers, what to do in case of reaction, where they have access to epinephrine and how to administer emergency anaphylactic treatment.

“It’s especially important for lunchroom personnel to be aware of children’s health status. Often times, that requires the parents to speak with them directly about their child’s allergy triggers,” adds Chan-Remillard.

There is sometimes a misconception that peanuts are the only trigger for severe food allergies. In actuality there are nine food allergens commonly associated with allergic reactions; eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, sesame seeds, soy, sulphites, tree nuts, wheat and other cereal grains that contain gluten.

Epinephrine auto-injectors expire so it’s important to check dates and update prescriptions when necessary. Expired auto-injectors can be properly disposed of in the sharps disposal bin at London Drugs pharmacies and our pharmacists can provide re-education about how to self-administer EpiPen.



September 16th, 2016

Are you at risk for Osteoporosis?

pharmacy-2016-osteo-blog

Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms unless one has fractured. According to Osteoporosis Canada, hundreds of thousands of Canadians needlessly fracture bones each year because their osteoporosis goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Take a proactive approach to protecting your long-term bone health by attending a London Drugs Osteoporosis Screening Clinic*. During the 45-minute, one-on-one consultation, your Patient Care Pharmacist will provide a one-on-one screening to measure your bone strength with an ultrasound bone measuring device and assess your risk for falls and fractures. You will be provided with an assessment, tips on how to minimize your risks and a personalized action plan to fit your wellness goals.

Book your appointment online at London Drugs’ NEW pharmacy website.

*A small fee applies for this service, for which a tax deductible receipt will be issued.



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