Archive for October, 2012

Hurricane Preparations and Medication Management

Posted by on October 29th, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast and government agencies warn of the risk of severe damage and flooding, it’s important to take some preventive steps to ensure uninterrupted access to prescription medications that you or a family member require.

The Center for Disease Control is an excellent resource for information on hurricane readiness and has numerous fact sheets available for people suffering from chronic conditions and steps that they and their families should take to ensure that they are not put in danger during and in the aftermath of a hurricane.

If you are worried about how to receive medical care if you are in an evacuation zone, please Download Medicare’s Getting Care and Drugs in a Disaster Area. It explains how Medicare beneficiaries have special rights to get out-of-network care if they live in an area where the President has declared a disaster.

Everyone at is hoping for the best for the thousands of patients that we have in the areas threatened by severe damage from Hurricane Sandy. Some quick preparation tips that we recommend you take to ensure your access to your prescriptions are not threatened in the coming days:

  • Have an emergency list of physicians and medications needed ready to go if you are evacuated.
  • Provide exact names, dosages, and other pertinent information on all medications that you and your loved ones are currently taking. Even bring an empty bottle, the information on the label will help a doctor or pharmacist refill that medication.
  • Put your medication in a watertight bag to protect it from damage. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions
  • Check up on elderly family or neighbors and assist them in making a list of their medication and properly storing it in case of evacuation.

Our Patient Service team and pharmacy team are available at 24-7. If you are needing a refill or a prescription transferred quickly, we are more than willing to make that happen and make sure you the medication you need. Raises Nearly $100,000 for the United Way

Posted by on October 23rd, 2012

Last week was the annual charity drive that we do at our Canada Drugs head office for our local Winnipeg, Manitoba chapter of the United Way. We had a lot of fun, and had a variety of events going all week around the office including our own version of the Price of Right’s famous Plinko game, “Food Fest”, and the always staff crowd pleasing “Cage Your Supervisor.” Being able to donate to a good cause, while also getting to lock up your boss in a cage and make them wear funny hats is the definition of win-win.

Altogether our staff raised $19,139.17, which is a lot of money, but Canada Drugs matched every dollar raised by staff at a 4-1 rate. This contribution of $76,556.68 brought the total contribution to $95,695.85. This is almost $4000 more than we raised last year.

The United Way is active in 45 countries around the world, and makes positive contributions in over 1800 communities. It’s a safe bet that the United Way is active in your community too and you can learn more about your local organization too by visiting their website. The great thing about supporting your local United Way is that your valued donation will stay right in your local community and help people right around you.

During the United Way week here at our Canadian Pharmacy location we heard from a few speakers about some of the good work the organization does in communities like our own here in Winnipeg. Ken Mason came into to tell us about the program he runs with the YMCA that runs a bustling youth program of youth in our inner city.  We learned that the money that Canada Drugs helps raise makes a huge difference in the lives of people its money goes to support.

Acid Reflux and Heartburn are on the rise. How to prevent it?

Posted by on October 19th, 2012

A lot of us have had the experience of enjoying a good meal, only to be knocked down by a bad

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case of heartburn an hour or so later. Heartburn—when food and stomach acid travel the wrong way, creating a burning sensation in your esophagus—is an unpleasant feeling, those that have a very bad case, can even confuse the symptoms with those of a mild heart attack.

A new study has reported that the number of people who frequently experience symptoms of heartburn, also called acid reflux, has almost doubled in the past decade. This is a concern because heartburn can mean more than a bout of discomfort after a few too many slices of pepperoni pizza, the stomach acid that hurts so much in your chest area can create scars in the esophagus, causing food to get stuck on its way down. Research also has connected acid reflux with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, particularly if it is chronic and untreated.

The reason for the increase in heartburn cases is traced back to the same thing that is causing an increase in a lot of conditions; mainly North Americans are gaining too much weight. The increased weight adds pressure on the stomach and esophagus, pushing more stomach acid back-up and causing heartburn.

The Mayo Clinic study saw an increase of over 31% in reported cases of heartburn from 1999-2011 and the American College of Gastroenterology reports that 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month, and some studies report that more than 15 million Americans have symptoms every day.

Besides losing weight, you can prevent heartburn by watching what you eat. Certain foods can irritate the lining of the esophagus; as well fatty foods loosen the mussels and allow acid to escape the stomach more easily. Caffeine and carbonated beverages should also be avoided if you suffer form heartburn regularly.

Finally, you should talk to your doctor about medication solutions and turn to, online pharmacy to save you money on these prescription and OTC products. Prilosec is one of the top selling prescription medications that people turn too to combat acid-reflux. Common OTC’s also work for people that suffer from less serious cases of heartburn.

Now is the time to prepare for Medicare open enrollment season

Posted by on October 5th, 2012

Medicare’s open enrollment comes early this year, Oct. 15, and lasts longer, until Dec. 7, but it’s best to start thinking and planning your Medicare strategy as soon as possible to make sure you find the best plan that fits your needs. Unlike the past several years, there are relatively few changes to Medicare rules for 2013. But because your individual plan or your circumstances might be changing, you should still take a close look at your coverage options during the enrollment period.

Fox Business News published a good general overview of some of the small changes that are coming this year to the Medicare system.

In terms of Medicare Part D and prescription drug coverage, we encourage you to give a call and ask to speak to someone on our Medicare Team. We’ve got trained Patient Service Representatives that are here to work through your drug bills, and find the best way to maximize your savings. In the past, we’ve seen that smart purchasing direct from, combined with enrollment in a Medicare Plan can add up to maximized savings.

Seven of the top 10 Medicare-D plans will have double-digit percentage increases next year, according to Avalere Health, a healthcare consulting and research company. This increase in premiums will drive up drug spending for seniors. With the rising cost of enrollment plans, it’s important to find one that works best for you. A low premium may not be the best deal if the plan doesn’t cover your particular drugs, or if the co-pays are higher. Every plan is different, so this is the time to shop around, and is here to help you maximize your savings in 2013.

The Affordable Care Act is gradually closing the prescription drug “donut hole” – the nearly $4,000 gap where seniors have to cover 100 percent of their costs. In 2013, the gap starts when spending hits $2,970 and then coverage resumes when it reaches the “catastrophic” level of $6,733. direct cash savings are a real help when your trapped in that doughnut hole and don’t expect to reach the “catastrophic” level.

Shop around during enrollment season and find out which plan balances cost, coverage and flexibility for your prescription drug needs.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Family

Posted by on October 5th, 2012

Monday the 8th of October is when our staff celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Why October? Well, let’s face it, it’s colder up here and our crops are harvested earlier! What are we thankful for? We are thankful that we are able to provide services to YOU. Don’t get us wrong, we’d all be happier if none of us needed to take the medications we do, but we’re thankful that you give us your trust to let our pharmacists around the world help you be able to afford the medication you do need to lead a healthy life. We’re a family and a family helps each other lead the happiest most fulfilling life possible.

So while your families may not be celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend like we will be…from our families to yours, thank you and we wish everyone a happy and healthy thanksgiving.

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for you to keep in mind for when American Thanksgiving rolls around in November.

Pumpkin Pie

What you need:

2-1/2 cups Honey Maid Graham Crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

3 eggs, beaten, divided

1 can (796 ml) pumpkin

1-1/2 cups half and half

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Make It:

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix graham crumbs and butter; press half onto bottom and up side of each of 2 (9 inch) pie plates. Brush lightly with some of the egg. Bake 4 minutes. Meanwhile, mix remaining eggs with all remaining ingredients except Cool Whip until well blended.

Pour pumpkin filling evenly into crusts. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely. Top each slice with 1 tablespoon Cool Whip just before serving.