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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

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 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


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


Celebrating Health Literacy Month: How to Stay Informed About Your Health Decisions

The world of medicine is complicated, and healthcare literacy is a stressful issue for most Americans. It is important for your doctor to help make healthcare easier to understand, and for you to take a proactive role in your care. Here are some tips to keep in mind during Health Literacy Month:  

Tip #1 Find the Right Doctor for You

Establishing a strong relationship with your doctor is a key step in making smart decisions about your health, but it can be challenging to find the right fit. Communication plays a key role – you should feel comfortable speaking freely, and find an active listener who makes you feel heard. If you find yourself leaving an appointment with questions, or are unsure about the next steps to take, getting a second opinion can help guide you toward an more informed health decision.

Tip #2: Take an Active Role in Your Health Care

By taking an active role in your own health care, you are setting yourself up for success. Being open with your physician, asking questions proactively at check-ups and scheduling regular appointments are all ways to take charge. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification in conversations that confuse you – HealthLink says this is one of the best ways to make the most of your appointments! Being active in your health care goes beyond conversations in the doctor’s office. A simple task like organizing your medical records at home is a smart way to stay prepared when the time comes to make a health decision.

Tip #3: Use Reliable Outlets for Online Health Information

Searching the Internet for health information can be a quick and easy way to educate yourself, but it is easy to go down a rabbit hole of misinformation if you are not looking in the right places. Start with The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s website or health websites sponsored by government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Remember, your pharmacist is also a trusted resource for questions on alternative medications, immunizations and healthscreenings.

Making the best health decisions also includes finding the best deals on medications. Participating in prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx can help you get the best prices. For more information on Community Cares Rx and other programs that can help you save money, please visit

Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19

With the first day of fall officially in the books, health experts across the nation are discussing the possibility of a COVID-19 resurgence in the coming weeks. Countries in Europe and Asia have already started to fend off a second wave of the disease, and as the weather starts to get cooler, it’s important to be prepared and stay vigilant about your health.  

Wondering what you can do to stay a step ahead and remain healthy this season? Here are a few tips:

  1. Get a flu shot
    Vaccination season is underway, and the CDC says it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. In addition to staying healthy, getting your flu shot is a simple way for everyone to help alleviate the strain on the healthcare system, and allow them to focus time and resources on treating COVID-19 patients. To get your flu shot, contact or visit your local pharmacy – many accept walk-in appointments!
  2. Know your local COVID-19 guidelines
    Many parts of the country have seen schools and businesses reopen, or attempt to reopen, in recent weeks. States, cities and counties may have different regulations in place, so it’s helpful to know what precautions your community is taking. While some communities are easing restrictions, others are increasing them – and this is likely to keep changing as our knowledge of the pandemic evolves throughout the fall. Local regulations are designed to keep you safe and are following the latest data available. Remember, just because a restaurant or store has re-opened, they could close back up again. Find the latest restrictions your state’s Department of Health website to keep yourself up to date.
  3. Keep up the recommended prevention techniques
    During the summer, spending time outside was a great way to stay active and relatively safe, as COVID-19 is less transmittable in the open air. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, we will soon find ourselves back indoors, but it’s still as important to continue the same recommended prevention techniques. Make sure to keep washing your hands, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Out in public, maintain six feet apart from other people and wear a face covering at all times – and don’t forget to wash your cloth mask after each use!

While preparing for a safe and healthy season, it can be helpful to find ways to save on your everyday medications by participating in prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx. For information on Community Cares Rx and other cost-saving programs that can help you find discounts on prescription medications, please visit

Ask a Pharmacist: The Role of Pharmacists During COVID-19

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

How are pharmacists implementing drive-thru COVID-19 testing? What are the challenges and opportunities with this type of testing?

The pharmacy industry is working rapidly to make more testing available to the public. While testing may be available at both chain and independent pharmacies, a majority of the drive-thru COVID-19 tests are being implemented by major chain pharmacies using appointment-based services. These drive-thru tests are administered primarily through supervised self-swabbing, which minimizes physical contact and provides a greater sense of safety. Some pharmacies are even distributing at-home self-swab test kits, reducing in-person contact to virtually zero. State regulations regarding which services pharmacists can perform under their scope of practice has been a hurdle. However, the states have been working to address these challenges. This may include authorizing pharmacists to provide testing under existing practice laws or waiving the requirement for collaborative practice arrangements to provide testing. Overall, the addition of pharmacy COVID-19 testing services will provide greater access to testing, which can help to identify positive cases more quickly and get patients to self-quarantine and any treatment they may need faster.

In your opinion, what is the most important role of pharmacists right now?

There are three critical components I believe should be a top priority at this time:

  1. Improving medication therapy outcomes by driving medication adherence
  2. Providing a local, accessible destination for preventive care services, such as immunizations
  3. Providing patient education on medications and health-related matters

How has COVID-19 changed the dynamics between pharmacists and patients?

The increased use of remote prescription services, such a delivery and mail-in orders, has eliminated face-to-face contact normally seen in pharmacist-patient interactions at the counter. This is a critical component of pharmacist-patient relationships, as it enhances the sense of community and trust. As pharmacies deal with short supplies or unavailable stock of essential items, pharmacists are adapting to provide patients with alternative products and resources. For example, if a pharmacy is out of alcohol swabs or Acetaminophen, the pharmacist can be consulted to suggest a safe alternative product.

Do you believe pharmacists will play a larger role in patient care moving forward?

In several states, pharmacists are already playing a larger role in delivering patient care. These services may include prescribing oral contraceptives, conducting finger-stick blood tests for blood glucose or throat swab tests for strep, and providing diabetes education, to name a few. The availability of these types of expanded services will vary depending on the state you live in, and the type of service. States must often expand their pharmacists’ scope of practice under the law to allow them to perform these services.  Services that integrate well with normal pharmacy workflow, such as walk-up immunizations, can usually be offered at all pharmacies. In contrast, services that require more time or a private room, like diabetes education, may only be available on an appointment basis at select pharmacies.

How do you believe COVID-19 will impact the pharmacy industry in the long-term?

While it may likely impact industry procurement and preparedness practices, I’m not sure that COVID-19 will significantly impact pharmacy practice. Many pharmacists already provide testing services, so using local pharmacists to administer COVID-19 testing is not necessarily a new concept. Pharmacy drive thru testing is a new concept and may be impactful on normal workflow during pandemics, but it should not present a practice challenge for pharmacists, especially when acting in a supervisory role for self-swab tests. In addition, when the COVID-19 vaccine is available, most pharmacies will already have the infrastructure in place to administer the immunizations. During the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, pharmacists learned how support the distribution and tracking of an allocated government-procured vaccine, build reporting mechanisms to account for administered doses and work with payers to secure reimbursement for the administration of the vaccine. I believe that this H1N1 experience, coupled with the expansion of provider seasonal and non-seasonal immunization services in subsequent years, has left pharmacists well prepared to assist in the mitigation of this pandemic when a vaccine becomes available. 

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


FDA Drug Recalls: Why it Happens and What to do

As patients, we take prescriptions to improve our health, so it can be confusing and scary when our prescriptions are recalled. However, most of the time there’s no need for alarm, as the FDA actually recalls drugs on a weekly basis for minor reasons like adverse side effects, mislabeling and manufacturing defects. So, what should you do when your medication is recalled? Check out the tips below to safely navigate a drug recall:

  1. Get all the information

If your medication is recalled, don’t panic. Most recalls are initiated out of an abundance of caution to help keep the public safe. You may even hear about the recall before your pharmacist is able to reach out to you. If this is the case, it’s important to continue taking your medication until you speak with your healthcare provider, as some medications are critical for your health. By signing up for the FDA’s Recall, Market Withdrawals & Safety Alerts, you can stay informed on the latest prescription news and recalls.  

  1. Make an action plan

After finding out that your prescription is recalled, verify whether your exact medication is affected by looking at the manufacturer, lot number and expiration date. If you’re unsure where to find this information, reach out to your pharmacist for help. If your exact medication is recalled, your pharmacist may be able to get the same medication from a different drug company. After discussing with your doctor, be sure to properly dispose of the recalled drug by following the FDA’s Disposal of Unused Medicines instructions. Pro tip: Take the opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet of expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine!

  1. Start saving money

If your medication is recalled, it may be time to switch to an alternative medication. No matter what prescriptions you’re taking, be sure to utilize online tools to find the best possible price on your medications. Print out a free prescription discount card at 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

Pharmacists Can Now Test for COVID-19. What Does that Mean for Patients?

For many of us, a quick trip to the pharmacy is part of our weekly routine. It’s where we fill prescriptions, pick up essentials and even get a flu shot. While your neighborhood pharmacist is always available to answer questions about medications, did you know they can also provide health screenings like COVID-19 testing?

Pharmacists are often a patient’s first point of contact with a healthcare professional, and the pandemic has shed light on their expanding roles as caregivers. HHS Secretary Alex Azar, JD, believes that “pharmacists play a vital role in delivering convenient access to important public health services and information.”

As the pandemic continues, many pharmacies across the nation are ordering and administering COVID-19 testing under the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent authorization. With wide-spread community testing now available, more Americans, especially those in under-tested and vulnerable communities, can be tested faster, resulting in less contact with symptomatic individuals.

If you are experiencing early symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be tested, keep these precautions in mind:

  • If possible, schedule an appointment ahead of time to minimize your wait-time and exposure. Some pharmacies are even administering drive-thru tests!
  • Always follow social distancing procedures and wear a face mask.
  • Take everyday preventive steps like washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face.
  • Stay up-to-date on all your prescriptions to help maintain your overall health. Preserving your immune system is particularly important now, so that you can fight off any illnesses quickly. 

No matter what brings you to the pharmacy, be sure to utilize online tools to find the best possible price on your medications. Print out a free prescription discount card at 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

How to Stay Healthy and Active at Home During COVID-19

With social distancing measures in place, most Americans are staying at home for the foreseeable future to protect themselves and their communities. Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on your physical and mental health. Take this opportunity to learn more about the steps you can take to stay mentally and physically fit at home!

1. Get your steps in

There’s no doubt that staying at home has impacted our daily exercise. Don’t worry - with a little creativity, there are plenty of ways to stay active without the gym. The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. Try waking up early to take an online workout class, or take a neighborhood stroll at the end of the day. However you choose to move, make a commitment to be active daily to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

 2. Eat a balanced diet

Consuming a healthy and well-balanced diet is essential for your overall health. While you may have stocked up on junk food and sweets at the grocery store, it’s important to control your intake of foods that are high in fat, added sugar and salt. According to Harvard Health, certain healthy foods, like citrus fruits and fatty fish, have been shown to reduce anxiety and activate the release of serotonin and dopamine, which ultimately boosts your mood. Use this extra time at home to perfect your meal prepping skills, and make smart food choices.

3.  Prioritize your mental wellbeing

If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or disconnected, know that you’re not alone. It can be difficult to deal with changes to your daily routine and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. While everyone manages stress differently, the National Institute of Mental Health recommends limiting your screen time, virtually connecting with loved ones and taking time to relax.


 If you take medication, it’s important to continue taking your prescribed medication as directed by a Prescription discount programs like Community Cares Rx provide resources to help you save money on the prescriptions you need, including online tools to locate a pharmacy and research drug pricing and availability.

 To learn more about consumer prescription savings programs that deliver real results for pharmacies and the community at large, please visit




Maintaining Your Supply of Prescriptions During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to stock up on your medications. Getting a 3-month supply can help ensure proper social distancing and eliminate the need for multiple trips to the pharmacy, and give you one less thing to worry about in these stressful times. Stay stocked up so you can:

  1. Save money – In many cases, buying in bulk is cost effective. The same can be said for buying prescriptions in a 3-month supply versus a single month’s supply. A study by the University of Chicago Medical Center found that patients who bought 3-month supplies saved an average 29 percent in out-of-pocket costs for prescription medicines, and 18 percent after factoring in third-party payers. Drugstore delivery services are another useful, safe option. These pharmacy services allow for convenient delivery at a low or free rate. Pairing a prescription delivery service with a discount prescription program like Community Cares Rx will save you money and a trip to the pharmacy.
  1. Make fewer trips – Everyone could benefit from one less trip to the store as we practice social isolation due to COVID-19. Purchasing 3-month supplies of your prescriptions limits the number of visits to your pharmacy. At home delivery services are a great way to get your 3-month supply without leaving the comfort of your home. Drive-thru pharmacies are convenient choices for those who would rather make a trip to speak to a pharmacist or those who want to pick up their medicine on-the-go. Quickserv recommends drive-thru pharmacies for their accessibility to a range of patients. People who are unable to mobilize efficiently benefit from receiving their medicines via drive-thru window.
  1. Be prepared – Having a 3-month supply of your medicine on-hand keeps you ready for the unexpected. Business Insider recommends investing in a 3-month supply now and utilizing temporary waivers from insurance companies on single-month supplies. Don’t overstock, but have what you need, so you’re ready for the next several months of quarantine.

Keeping your necessary medications on schedule is vital. To learn more about consumer prescription savings programs, visit