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Adventure Awaits: How to Make Your Summer Travel Plans Healthy and Fun

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on vacation. Even on island time, you can get enough sleep, eat a variety of nutritious foods and come prepared with first-aid supplies and medications. Let’s take a closer look at how you can have a vacation to remember, all while prioritizing your health:

Rest Up!

While some people can easily fall asleep on a plane, others have a hard time. Taking melatonin or drinking chamomile tea before your flight can help you combat jet lag and get some rest in the sky. Before you close your eyes, position a travel pillow at your neck so that you don’t sleep with improper alignment and wake up sore. In addition, avoid ingesting large amounts of alcohol and caffeine, which can disrupt your sleep schedule. Pro tip: Having plenty of water on hand will help you stay hydrated and refreshed.

Monitor the Menu

On vacation, you’ll likely be dining out for most of your meals. Be on the lookout for dishes that incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have access to a kitchen, you can still buy the fixings for sandwiches and salads and store them in your hotel mini fridge. When you’re out and about for an entire afternoon, pack healthy snack options that travel well, like nuts and apples, to keep your energy up.

Put Your Safety First

You never know when simple first-aid supplies will come in handy. Packing items such as insect repellent, antibacterial wipes, bandages and ibuprofen will guarantee that you are prepared for any minor mishap. If you take routine medications, experts at Health Matters recommend packing them in your carry-on bag in the event that your checked luggage gets misplaced. Traveling international? Be sure to check the guidelines for any vaccinations required before entering the country.  

No matter where your travels take you, managing your health and medications should never get in the way of your adventures. With the Community Cares Rx prescription discount program, you are guaranteed easy and affordable access to your medications with the help of online pharmacy locators and price comparison tools.

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

Soak Up the Sun: Three Ways to Safely Enjoy the Sunny Weather

June 20 marks the first day of Summer! While the sun may feel great on our skin, it is important to take steps to protect our skin from sun damage. Here are three tips that you can use to make sure that you are safely enjoying your fun in the sun:

Take a break

Did you know that UV rays can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes, and that most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to UV rays? According to the American Cancer Society, the sun is at its strongest from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Instead of staying outside for an entire afternoon, escape indoors for short periods of time to break up your UV ray exposure. If you’re unsure how strong the sun is, try the shadow test: If your shadow in shorter than you are, the sun is at its strongest.

Apply Sunscreen

The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that daily use of sunscreen reduces your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40% and melanoma by 50%. In addition, applying sunscreen helps prevent skin wrinkles, sagging and age spots. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it is broad spectrum to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Even on a cloudy day, UB rays can penetrate through the clouds.

Cover Up

Wearing sun protective clothing is a great way to limit your exposure to UV rays. This type of clothing carries an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) that communicates how much of the sun can be blocked by wearing the fabric. Similar to the SPF levels in sunscreen, the numbers for UPF (ranging from 15 to over 50) indicate how protective the clothing is and what fraction of the sun’s rays can pass through the material to your skin. Remember, UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand, snow, or pavement, so keep your hat and sunglasses nearby.

 Protecting your skin and taking care of your body are important all year. When you open a Community Cares Rx prescription discount card, you are guaranteed to have easy and affordable access to the medications that you need all year long using 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/.

 

 

 

How to Prioritize Your Mental Health While Working from Home

Over the course of the past year, the pandemic has forced the world to change routines and establish a “new normal.” The transition to remote workspaces has proven challenging for some, with professionals disconnected from in-person collaboration and everyday social connection. May is National Mental Health Month, so it’s the perfect time to revisit and improve your work-from-home habits:

Get Up and Get Moving

Sitting at a desk and starring at screens all day can be mentally draining. Setting aside time for a quick workout to break up the workday is a great way to keep your skills sharp and your mind focused. According to the Mental Health Foundation, regular exercise improves your self-esteem, sleep and concentration. Health professionals recommend engaging in 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Take your morning calls on a neighborhood stroll or incorporate a standing desk into your routine.

Stay In Touch  

Video calls have been a saving grace for many remote workers. Scheduling face-to-face calls to discuss new ideas and collaborate on projects is a great alternative to in-person communication. Plus, fostering connections in the workplace stimulates happiness, reduces stress and inspires positivity. However, it’s equally important to be mindful of ‘Zoom fatigue’ and recognize when you need a break from the camera.

Establish a Work-Life Balance

When working from home, it is easy for your professional life to blend with your personal life. Overexerting yourself, also known as burnout, is linked to the development of depression and anxiety. It’s important to log off your computer at a reasonable hour and dedicate time to the selfcare activities that help you de-stress, such as cooking, watching television or meditating. If possible, set up a designated workspace to help create boundaries between your work and home life.

While stressful at times, working from home also has its perks, including more family time, access to healthy food and furry friends at our feet. These benefits help boost our mood and improve our mental health.

Whether you are returning to the office soon or continuing to work from home, if you are prescribed medication for a mental health condition, it’s important to follow your treatment plan to maintain your mental wellbeing. The Community Cares Rx prescription discount program makes managing your medications easy and affordable by giving you access to online pharmacy locators and price comparison tools.

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

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/.  

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/.  

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.

 

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.