Find Your Zen: Three Techniques to Help You Unwind, Ease Your Mind and De-Stress

Feeling anxious, frustrated and not like your usual self? Life can get extremely busy, and juggling work, chores, family commitments and other social obligations can be overwhelming. In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we are sharing simple, stress-relieving practices to help clear your mind and prioritize your overall health.

 Take a Breather

The way you breathe directly impacts the rest of your body. When you take a deep breath, you are signaling to your brain to calm down. The increased heart rate, fast breathing and high blood pressure the body experiences under stress will decrease when your brain communicates that it’s time to relax. Breathing exercises such as belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, roll breathing and morning breathing are all simple methods to channel your energy and help you establish direction with clearheaded calmness.

Break a Sweat

Going on a run, lifting weights or taking a leisurely walk are also highly effective methods to relieve the tension, anxiety and mild depression that can accompany stress. Additional health benefits of staying active includes stronger muscles and bones, lower blood pressure, better sleep and more energy. Stuck on where to start? The American Heart Association suggests trying five 30-minute workout sessions each week to total 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise.

Make Time for YOU

Your relationships, sleep schedule, exercise routines and eating habits are all facets of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. While incorporating wellness strategies on top of a job and other commitments may seem like just another item for your ‘to-do’ list, being able to evaluate your priorities will help you focus on the work-life balance that is the best for you. Check in with yourself before you take on an extra commitment. If you’re doing too much, it may not be worth the extra stress!

Practicing selfcare is the first step in prioritizing your own health, which includes staying on top of your medications. Prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx provide resources to help you save money on the prescriptions that are part of your daily routine, including online tools to locate a pharmacy and research drug pricing and availability.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit http://www.paramountrx.com/.  

Tips for Overcoming Spring Allergy Season

Spring is in the air! Unfortunately for those who suffer from allergies, that means the season of constant sneezing, watery eyes or itchiness is upon us.  Allergy season can be irritating, especially when it’s finally warm enough to enjoy the outdoors again. Follow these tips to help alleviate your symptoms and get back to enjoying springtime.

COVID-19 vs. Allergies – Know your symptoms

Whether you suffer from mild or severe allergies, the symptoms can be daunting. It can be challenging to tell the difference between allergies and COVID-19, as many of the symptoms overlap including headaches, wheezing and sore throat. However, fever is one of the main indicators that it may be something more than allergies - check out this symptom resource from the CDC to learn more about prevalent symptoms. One perk this season for allergy suffers is wearing a mask. Masks also offer protection against seasonal allergies, as they can help cut down on the intake of pollen. Washing your masks regularly is particularly important during allergy season to ensure pollen and other allergens are washed away.

Keep it outdoors out

In addition to regularly washing masks and clothing, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends simple steps to keep living spaces clean and indoor air breathable. This includes keeping your windows closed and using central air conditioning with air filtration. Changing or showering immediately after spending time outside and drying your laundry in a dryer, rather than outside on a clothesline can also help cut back on symptoms. Try enforcing a “no shoes in the house” rule to keep allergens and irritants from being tracked in your home.

Be prepared this season

There’s no point in waiting until you’re miserable to take allergy medications, especially if you want to keep up your outdoor lifestyle. To help prepare your body, most allergists recommend taking medications a few weeks before allergy season begins. The more you know about what will trigger your allergies, the more you can do to manage your symptoms. Prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx can help save you money as you get through allergy season when over-the-counter medications aren’t cutting it.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit http://www.paramountrx.com/.  

Four Tips to Improve your Nutrition for a Healthier Lifestyle

Did you know that only one in 10 adults eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day? Eating a nutritious diet can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity. Despite these positive health benefits, many people fail to meet daily recommendations. In celebration of National Nutrition Month, we are sharing simple steps to help improve your daily nutrition habits and overall health.

Move your body!

The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. This can include aerobic activity, like walking or biking, strength training or a mix of both. With a more vigorous exercise routine, you’ll start to see physical improvements like improved digestion and sleeping habits. If you’re intimidated by a 30-minute workout session, try incorporating a few short walks into your daily routine. No matter how you move, remember that reducing the amount of time you sit can help decrease your risk of developing metabolic problems.

Fuel your body with a well-balanced diet

While there are a plethora of diets and meal plans in the news, the Centers for Disease Control has a simple tip: add an array of colors to your plate. It’s best to emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk to get a variety of vitamins, fiber and minerals. According to Harvard Health, foods like citrus fruits and fatty fish have been shown to reduce anxiety, as well as activate the release of serotonin and dopamine to help boost your mood. Keeping healthy snacks like sliced apples or trail mix on hand will also help you sustain your energy levels and curb hunger between meals. Healthy eating is all about balance. You don’t need to restrict your favorite treats, just remember to supplement with nutritious foods as well.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Your body is more water than it is anything else — in fact, about 60-70% of your body weight is water. Water lubricates the joints, helps deliver oxygen, regulates body temperature and boosts skin health. Feel like you’re not drinking enough? Try adding fresh fruit or investing in an insulated water bottle to help increase your daily intake.

Stay up to date on your prescription medications

There’s more to our health than how often we exercise and what we eat. The Food and Drug Administration states that it is important to establish a medication routine in order to stay on top of your prescriptions. Taking your medication at the same time every day, using a pill container and purchasing timer caps for your pill bottles are a few ways to make sure that you take exactly what your doctor prescribed. Prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx provide resources to help you save money on the prescriptions that are part of your daily routine , including online tools to locate a pharmacy and research drug pricing and availability.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit http://www.paramountrx.com/.  

Honoring Rare Disease Day: How Industry Developments, Partnerships and Community Support Could Lead to Cures

Rare disease is a battle that one in 20 people will fight in their lifetime, and most rare diseases do not have a cure. EURORDIS and its Council of National Alliances have established the last day of February as Rare Disease Day to bring awareness to the rare disease community and shed light on progress health organizations are making towards the development of medications and therapeutics:

Progress in Partnerships

Cure Rare Disease is partnering with the University of Massachusetts Medical School to gather additional knowledge about neutralizing antibodies and their impact on AAV virus therapeutic treatment for rare disease. Antibodies help fight off foreign pathogens, and they are found in varying levels in the body. Complications for the rare disease therapeutic treatment arise when the body has significant levels of the antibodies that fight the AAV virus.  

Diving into Drug Development

Your Community Cares Rx membership cards grants you access to a plethora of medications at a competitive price. Research professionals are diligently working to grant rare disease patients easy access to treatment medications. In September 2019, the FDA initiated numerous efforts to assist with drug development research, including a data analytics platform for secure sharing of patient-level data and a clinical outcome assessment program.

Raising Awareness

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) established the RareAction Network, aimed at improving the lives of the 30 million Americans diagnosed with rare diseases. This organization provides a network for members to connect with people, utilize educational resources, stay up to date on industry news and communicate with various opinion leaders. Members of this organization initiate meaningful action and depend on the strength of their community.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit http://www.paramountrx.com/.  

Paramount Rx Saves Patients $750 Million on Prescriptions in 2020 with Community Cares Rx Program

Prescription Benefits Manager Paramount Rx saved U.S. customers $750 million on their prescriptions in 2020 through its Community Cares Rx prescription discount program, providing immediate savings to millions of underinsured and uninsured American families.

“In a year marked by uncertainty and unanticipated medical expenses, prescription savings programs became more important than ever for our customers,” said Ron Richmond, senior vice president of provider relations at Paramount Rx. “By eliminating the high fees typically associated with prescription discount cards, families and individuals were able to focus on staying healthy at home while keeping prescription costs down.”

Data collected from the Community Cares Rx discount program also illustrated several trends for prescriptions filled in 2020:

  • Paramount Rx saw a significant 47% increase in the number of prescriptions filled for respiratory medications compared to 2019. This spike could be the result of increased respiratory health challenges seen in those who contracted COVID-19 last year, and patients likely also stocked up on their respiratory medications in early 2020 out of concern for possible shortages.
  • Paramount Rx saw a nearly 20% drop in prescriptions for cough and cold medications compared to 2019, likely due to the reduced spread of seasonal ailments from social distancing measures and mask wearing.
  • Prescriptions filled for the most popular medication used to treat influenza dropped an astonishing 95% compared to Paramount Rx’s pre-pandemic volume. This decrease aligns with the broader trend of seasonal illnesses presenting at much lower levels compared to historic norms.

Public health officials continue to advise those with chronic medical conditions like asthma to maintain a 30, 60 or 90-day supply of prescriptions to limit trips to the pharmacy and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is a moving target that continues to challenge our healthcare system. We are grateful to all of our pharmacy partners for the critical role they are playing to provide testing and administer vaccines to help us overcome this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Richmond.

About Paramount Rx Inc.
Paramount Rx is a full-service prescription benefits manager (PBM) focused on consumer-driven health care to help clients provide services for consumers to save money on prescription drugs. The company has tailored programs to help their customers and consumers achieve significant savings with discount prescriptions through a national network of over 57,000 participating pharmacies. For more information, visit www.paramountrx.com. Print out your free Community Cares Rx prescription discount card at www.communitycaresrx.com. A digital version of the card is also available via text or email.

Don’t Miss a Beat – Fast Facts for a Healthy Heart

‘Self care’ may be a popular buzzword, but it’s true that taking care of yourself goes a long way toward a healthier lifestyle and a healthier heart. Staying active, preparing nutritious meals, getting quality sleep, and taking a moment to de-stress are all small steps you can take to improve your heart health. In honor of American Heart Month, check out these heart health facts and tips:

Heart Fast Facts –

  • The average human heart is the size of two fists.
  • Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide
  • On average, the resting heart rate fluctuates between 60 and 100 beats per minute. That means over the course of a year, your heart beats more than 40 million times.
  • A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost eight beats per minute.
  • Each minute, your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood – that’s 2,000 gallons every day!

Healthy Heart Quick Tips –

  • Eat your greens. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are high in vitamin K and nitrates, which can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function. Studies show that a higher intake of leafy greens is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Laugh out loud. The American Heart Association suggests that laughing can lower stress hormones and decrease inflammation in your arteries.
  • Quit Smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of heart attacks and heart disease, and your blood pressure and heart rate lower almost immediately after kicking the habit.
  • Keep moving. Getting at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is linked to improved sleep, memory and balance!

These small changes can help you start 2021 off right with a healthier heart. While you’re on your journey to better health, Paramount Rx can provide great savings on the prescriptions that you and your family use every day.


For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide costs saving on prescription medications, please visit www.paramountrx.com

Three Things to Keep in Mind Before Filling Your Prescriptions

The average American household spends almost $500 out-of-pocket on prescriptions each year. But how do you know if your prescription is right for you? Have you asked your doctor about other options on the market? Are you paying the lowest price? Here are three tips to ensure you get the right treatment without breaking the bank.

Generic vs. brand-name medication

When it comes to your health, you are your own best advocate. Your doctor’s preferences, and the success of a particular drug with their other patients, can influence what they prescribe to you. This is why it’s important to ask your doctor specific questions about your medications, and why they are recommending them for you. In some cases, the generic version of a drug might be just as effective as its brand-name equivalent, but cost up to 85% less. The Food and Drug Administration also ensures that generic drugs are just as safe and effective.

 Find the best price

Buying a prescription is like buying gas for your car: the key is finding the best price in town. Your doctor will typically know which pharmacy in your area offers the best pricing, and online tools like Community Cares Rx’s pharmacy pricing tool can help you find the pharmacy offering your specific medication as the best price. The Community Cares Rx prescription discount card saves customers an average of 20% off brand names and 70% off generic drugs.

Consider a 60- or 90-day supply

For a reduced price and an added convenience, a 60- or 90-day supply of medication may be the right fit. According to the AARP, healthcare professionals are advising their patients who are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 to have additional refills on-hand. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises that you have at least one month’s worth of refills, but preferably two.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost savings on prescription medications, please visit www.paramountrx.com.

Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2021

In 2020, mental health awareness and virtual care topped the list of emerging healthcare industry trends. What can patients expect in 2021? Forbes previewed the top healthcare trends to keep an eye out for in the new year:

  • The race for COVID-19 therapies and vaccines will dominate the first part of the year. It is estimated that healthy adults under 65 and children may not receive the vaccine until late spring or early summer 2021.
  • There will be an influx of individuals look to reestablish routine care who were unable to receive care at the height of the pandemic.
  • Virtual healthcare will become more balanced and widely used. As soon as it was safe to do so, we’ll move back into in-person visits in addition to virtual visits.
  • Prescription prices will continue to rise as more high-cost procedures and medicines hit the market in 2021.

The past year has given us time to reflect and reset our priorities when it comes to health and wellness. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our resilient healthcare systems and workers to rapidly adopt new healthcare solutions around the world. As modern medicine and technology continue to evolve in 2021, we will continue to adopt new approaches to improve care quality.

Paramount Rx is working to help ease the burden of rising prescription costs, with programs like Community Cares Rx that could help you save an average of 50 percent on your prescriptions. Online tools are also available to help you find the best possible price on your medications. Print out a free prescription discount card at www.communitycaresrx.com. A digital version of the card is also available via text or email.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost savings on prescription medications, please visit www.paramountrx.com.

 

Set up for Success: Start the New Year with these Healthy Habits

With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your 2021 resolutions. But who says we can’t start the healthy habits now? After all, cold turkey methods are one of the main reasons people struggle to keep their resolutions.

By incorporating small steps now, we can gradually transition into healthier versions of ourselves before we flip the calendar to 2021. Here are a few simple habits to help kickstart your New Year’s resolution success:

  1. Drink more water – The average body is 60% water. That’s why it’s crucial to stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day. In general, health experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but this can vary depending on your height, age and health history. Hydration is key for improving your memory and mood, reducing headaches and flushing waste out of the body. If increasing your daily intake seems like a struggle, try filling a smart water bottle that tracks intake before you go to bed, that way you’ll have it first thing in the morning!
  1. Create a daily routine – Humans are creatures of habit, so routines are the perfect way to promote health and wellness in an organized and structured manner. From eating times to exercise, having a daily routine reduces stress levels and allows us to prioritize important tasks like rest, relaxation and fun. According to the National Sleep Foundation, going to bed at the same time every night can help regulate the body’s internal clock. With a solid sleep schedule, it should be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
  1. Add up the small savings – Money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans, and stress negatively impacts our overall health. There are plenty of ways to save on the things you frequently buy, like gas, groceries, clothes and prescriptions. If you’re taking prescription drugs for common ailments like blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, participating in a program like Community Cares Rx could help you keep costs down on medications. The program allows you to print a free, pre-activated discount card and use it at your local pharmacy to save up to 70 percent off generic drugs and 20 percent off brand-name medications.

These resolution tips will keep your mind, body and wallet fit all year long. For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost savings on prescription medications, please visit www.paramountrx.com.

 

Ask a Pharmacist: Flu Season and COVID-19

Ronald Richmond, R.Ph., MPH, Senior Vice President of Provider Relations, Paramount Rx

Why is getting a flu vaccine more important than ever this year?

Getting a flu shot this year is very important as we struggle through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Both Flu and COVID-19 are viruses that attack the respiratory tract. While we don’t currently have a lot of experience with co-infections of these viruses, we do know it is possible to contract both at the same time. Having Flu and COVID-19 simultaneously could result in much more severe illness, especially for those with underlying diseases or vulnerable populations, like the elderly.

Is the pharmacy industry preparing for flu season differently this year? If so, how?
Pharmacies in general have anticipated an increased demand for flu shots this year. The benefits of immunizations have been highlighted much more this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with the potential for Flu co-infection with COVID-19 and more severe illness, it is thought that many people may seek out a flu shot this year, even if they haven’t routinely done so in the past. Pharmacies have been preparing for this increased demand by ensuring they have adequate supplies of flu vaccine on hand.

Are there special precautions pharmacists are taking this flu season to safely administer vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Pharmacists are keenly aware of the importance of social distancing. However, the administration of the vaccines does require close contact between the patient and the pharmacist. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread during immunizations, the pharmacist wears a mask and gloves, and the patient is required to wear a mask. Social distancing is maintained while the pharmacist is not administering the vaccine.

What would you tell an at-risk person about getting a flu vaccine this season?

While everyone should get a flu shot this year to lower their risk of co-infection with COVID-19, getting a flu shot is even more critical for those with underlying disease states and the elderly. These individuals are already at greater risk for more severe illness with a flu infection. Flu vaccines for the current year usually become available well in advance of flu season, and flu shots are readily available at most retail pharmacies and doctor’s offices. In short, lack of access is really not an excuse for not getting your flu shot. For those aged 65 and above, who have poorer immune responses to flu vaccines than younger people, a “high dose” or “adjuvanted” version of the flu shot may be used to achieve a better immune response, and better protection against flu.

What about children? Can they get a flu shot at the Pharmacy? How about a COVID-19 shot when the vaccine becomes available?

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) issued an amendment under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) that allows licensed pharmacists meeting specific requirements to order and administer approved or licensed vaccines to children ages three and above. Further guidance under the amendment expands the authorization to administer these vaccines to qualified pharmacy technicians and interns working under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. The amendment was considered an important step in ensuring adequate access to immunizations for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many pharmacies have moved ahead with the training programs required for their staff to administer flu and other approved vaccines to children ages three and above. Check with your local pharmacy to verify they can provide flu immunizations to your children.

When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, your local pharmacy may provide the most convenient access to receive this immunization. However, current vaccine trials in the United States do not include children under the age of 12. Therefore, additional information is needed before we can further discuss COVID-19 immunizations in children. Nonetheless, once an approved COVID-19 vaccine is determined to be safe in children, it will likely become available for the immunization of children at pharmacies whose qualified staff meet the requirements established by the amendment to the PREP Act.

For more details on Community Cares Rx and other programs that provide cost savings on prescription medications, please visit www.paramountrx.com.