Everything You Need to Know: London Drugs 2019-2020 Annual Flu Immunization Program

Getting the Flu Shot at London Drugs

All 82 London Drugs locations offer a convenient way for Canadians to receive their annual flu shot. Patients can call the pharmacy or book online to make an appointment. All locations also offer vaccinations on a walk-in basis when London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists are on staff.

Increasing Convenience to Increase Immunization Rates

Extended hours, appointments, as well as flexibility for walk-in patients has allowed London Drugs pharmacies to significantly improve ease of access to the flu vaccine with the goal of improving immunization rates. Now more than ever, busy Canadian families are taking advantage of pharmacies as an accessible and convenient alternative to public flu clinics, where they may have experienced long lines and wait times in previous years.

Nervous About Needles? New ‘ouchless’ flu shot option now available

With news that the flu vaccine won’t be available in nasal spray form for Canadians this year, London Drugs pharmacists hope that won’t deter people – especially children – from rolling up their sleeves.

To help reduce flu shot anxiety, London Drugs is offering an ‘ouchless’ option with a free application of Zensa Numbing Cream prior to administering the vaccination. Zensa is a Health Canada approved topical anaesthetic that desensitizes the skin in as little as ten minutes, lessening any potential pain experienced from a flu shot injection.

The goal of the initiative is to provide Canadians who may be fearful of the flu shot, especially children, with an option that may help quell their anxieties.

In BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, children ages five years and older can receive their flu shot at a pharmacy from a Certified Injection Pharmacist. In Manitoba, the flu shot can be administered to children seven years and older at the pharmacy. Zensa is safe for use on children ages 2 and up.

Need more reasons to get immunized? For every flu shot given at London Drugs, a lifesaving vaccine is donated to UNICEF

Simply by getting this year’s flu vaccine at London Drugs, you can play active role in helping to protect tens of thousands of children in other parts of the world from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases. For every flu shot administered at London Drugs this year, a lifesaving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to immunize children in other countries from illnesses such as tetanus, polio and measles.

The vaccination donation campaign is in partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), an online immunization advocacy and learning platform supported by the Province of British Columbia and administered by the Public Health Association of BC. Since 2016, I Boost Immunity has donated over 750,000 vaccines for children through UNICEF through various campaigns.

What to Expect During the 2019-2020 Flu Season

Pharmacist Agusia McGrath spoke on Global News Morning Calgary about what to expect during the 2019-20 flu season, the need to get vaccinated and the misconceptions surrounding flu shots.

Who Can Get Vaccinated at London Drugs

London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists can provide the flu vaccination to adults as well as children.

The injection regulations for pharmacists vary by province. Below is an overview.

When to Get Vaccinated at London Drugs

Getting vaccinated before flu season arrives gives the body the greatest chance to build up immunity to (protection from) the virus. Influenza activity in Canada typically begins to increase over the fall, and peaks in the winter months. Depending on the year, the peak may occur as early as fall or as late as spring.

To maximize your protection, get vaccinated annually as soon as the flu shot becomes available.

2019-2020 Flu Shot Launch Schedule

About the 2019/2020 Vaccine

Standard-Dose Vaccine

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine has been updated to protect against the viruses that health experts believe will be circulating during the upcoming season. The flu vaccine for 2019-20 includes immunization against both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza A virus strains and either one or two influenza B viruses.

Fluzone High-Dose

Note: Due to manufacturer delays, Fluzone High-Dose availability is delayed until early December. Call ahead to confirm availability.

The Fluzone High-Dose is specially formulated to provide better protection for people over 65. Compared to the standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines, the Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the antigen intended to create a stronger immune response (more antibodies) in older individuals, who generally respond at lower levels than younger individuals. The higher dose of antigen in the vaccine gives older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

Fluzone High-Dose is not currently publicly funded. It will be available for purchase at London Drugs at a cost of $75 when it becomes available.

Nervous About Needles? New ‘Ouchless’ Flu Shot May Ease Your Fears

With news that the flu vaccine won’t be available in nasal spray form for Canadians this year, pharmacists hope that doesn’t deter people – especially children – from rolling up their sleeves to receive a flu shot.

To help reduce needle anxiety, starting this month London Drugs is pleased to offer a free application of Zensa Numbing Cream, prior to administering the flu shot. Zensa is a Health Canada approved topical anaesthetic that is safe for use on children ages 2 and up, and will desensitize the skin in as little as ten minutes for a pain-free flu shot experience.

The goal of the initiative is to increase immunization rates by offering an ‘ouchless’ flu shot experience for those who may be fearful of needles.

“We want to make sure there are no hindrances to people getting protection from the flu virus and Zensa should help; especially when it comes to individuals who may be nervous about getting the shot,” says Chris Chiew, General Manager of Pharmacy at London Drugs.

In BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, children ages five years and older can receive their flu shot at a pharmacy from a Certified Injection Pharmacist. In Manitoba, the flu shot can be administered to children seven years and older at the pharmacy.

Ready to get your flu shot at London Drugs? Learn more here.

7 Services You Might Not Know Your Pharmacist Offers

You might be used to visiting your local pharmacist to pick up prescriptions, but did you know there are many other ways your pharmacist can help maintain and improve your health? For many years, pharmacists have been taking on expanded roles in our health care system, working closely with patients, their families and collaborating with other frontline health care providers to deliver personalized, team-based patient care.

In celebration of World Pharmacist Day on September 25th, we’ve rounded up a list of 7 services you might not know your pharmacist offers, from travel vaccinations to smoking cessation consultations. As the most accessible health care providers, it’s easy to take advantage of these services conveniently at your local London Drugs pharmacy!

1. Medication Reviews

The theme of this year’s World Pharmacist Day is “safe and effective medicines for all”. Pharmacists play a crucial role in maintaining patient safety, improving medication adherence and reducing medication errors. One of the many ways they do this is by providing medication reviews. Through medication reviews, pharmacists provide personalized consultations to patients to examine and discuss issues around medication use, side effects, interactions, and anything else related to medication therapy, with the goal of ensuring safe and effective treatments.

2. Vaccinations and Immunizations

Certified Injection Pharmacists are able to administer vaccinations right at the pharmacy. If you haven’t taken advantage of this convenient way of getting vaccinated yet, you aren’t alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs, only four in ten say they have used this service before.

London Drugs’ Certified Injection Pharmacists can ensure you’re up-to-date with many vaccinations you require, and can administer vaccinations for pneumonia, tetanus, pertussis, shingles, and influenza.

Flu Shots

To make getting your annual flu shot as quick and easy as possible during flu season, you can see one of our London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists, who are able to administer flu shots to patients. Patients are encouraged to call the pharmacy to confirm availability of the flu vaccine and that an injection pharmacist is on staff. This is a convenient alternative to public flu clinics, where you may have experienced long lines and wait times in the past.

Travel and Vaccination Clinics

When you’re planning a trip abroad, ensuring you are up-to-date on the appropriate travel vaccines is important. Do you know where to get your travel vaccinations? Only one in three (35%) Canadians are aware that travel vaccinations can be administered by a pharmacist.

Travel and Immunization Clinics are hosted at many of our pharmacies to help prepare you for international travel. Pharmacists will review your immunization history and make sure vaccinations are up-to-date according to provincial, national and even international immunization programs. They can also suggest and administer additional vaccines depending on your planned travel activities, previous immunization history and the local conditions at many common destinations.

3. Emergency Prescription Refills, Prescription Renewals & Drug Modifications

Pharmacists make significant contributions to the quality of drug therapy and patient outcomes by initiating, monitoring and adjusting drug therapy. Traditionally in Canada, the authority to prescribe medications has rested with doctors but as part of Pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice in Canada, pharmacists in many provinces now have the ability to provide emergency prescription refills, renew or extend prescriptions, modify or adapt drug therapy, change drug dosage and even have independent prescriptive authority (in Alberta).

4. Diabetes Management Consults

The most important thing you can do to manage your diabetes is to form a partnership with your healthcare professionals. Our London Drugs Certified Diabetes Educators can assist patients through individualized Diabetes Management Consults. These customized one-on-one consultations focus on blood sugar testing, medication management, preventing low blood sugar, foot care, eating well and getting enough physical activity.

5. Healthy Heart Clinics

Pharmacists are playing a key role in the prevention of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, by helping patients understand their risk factors, emphasizing the importance of medication adherence and offering counselling to make important lifestyle changes.

During our one-on-one 45-minute Healthy Heart Clinics, patients have the opportunity to sit down with a London Drugs Patient Care Pharmacist for a customized screening and evaluation. The pharmacist screens for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, random glucose and blood pressure, and can determine a 10-year cardiovascular risk factor based on those measurements. They also discuss with the patient how to lower their risk and improve heart health, which include recommendations for changes to their diet, fitness routines or lifestyle. As a collaborative health care provider, the pharmacist may also contact a physician, in order to recommend changes to the patient’s medications, or further medical intervention.

6. Smoking Cessation Consultations

Trying to quit smoking? Your local pharmacist can be a convenient support resource. During a one-on-one smoking cessation consultation, a London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator will:

  • Discuss practical tips and advice to help you reduce/quit tobacco
  • Develop a personalized quit plan to help you stop smoking

In BC, pharmacists can also offer the BC smoking cessation program for nicotine replacement.

7. Hepatitis C Screening Clinics

Hepatitis C Screening is just one example in which our pharmacists provide Point of Care Testing to patients. Point of care testing refers to any medical test or screening that is performed outside of a lab or clinic. The testing happens at a place where the patient is receiving care (such as a pharmacy), making it a convenient option for the patient.

This innovative and potentially life-saving hepatitis C screening is available at select London Drugs locations. Patients can undertake a simple finger prick test at the pharmacy to check if they have been exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) at some point in the past. The test, called the OraQuick HCV rapid antibody test, is more than 99% accurate at detecting HCV antibodies and provides results in 20 minutes.

In cases of a positive result, pharmacists refer patients to their family doctor for a diagnostic lab test. Pharmacists provide initial counselling regarding the potential diagnosis and education about the ability to cure HCV.

You can find out which locations offer hepatitis C screening here.

 

There are even more ways that your pharmacist can help you maintain and improve your health! Just visit them at your local London Drugs pharmacy to learn how.

STI Outbreaks and Antibiotic-Resistance Prompt Safe Sex Reminder from Pharmacists

London Drugs pharmacists are providing free condoms on World Sexual Health Day, September 4th

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise in Canada as illustrated by several provincial outbreaks over the last year in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as a significant surge in BC. The increases are a result of multiple factors including inconsistent condom usage as well as antibiotic resistance which has made some of the most common STIs, such as gonorrhea and syphilis, more difficult to treat.

Now more than ever, because of antibiotic resistance and the increasing prevalence of STIs, pharmacists are sending a timely reminder about the importance of safe sex.

London Drugs pharmacies will be providing free condoms as part of World Sexual Health Day on September 4th.

It’s part of an effort both to encourage safe sex practices and to highlight the role pharmacists can play in helping individuals make informed choices about their sexual health – from aiding in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, to providing information about the best contraceptive options, and reviewing symptoms with patients, recommending STI screening or referring to doctors when necessary.

“There is still a lot of stigma surrounding the topic, but if we look at sexual health as simply a part of overall health, we can create a more open, accepting environment. No one should be afraid to ask questions about their health,” says London Drugs Pharmacist, Lily Liang.

Pharmacists are easily accessible without an appointment and they are used to discussing a wide range of topics, including sexual health. Private counselling booths and consultation rooms are available at most pharmacies for added confidentiality and discretion.

In recent years, London Drugs has expanded their sexual health offerings to include more than just traditional prophylactics with the addition of personal lubricants, massagers and other intimacy products. Order-online-pickup-instore, self-checkouts, and home delivery options at London Drugs make purchasing these items convenient and discrete.

Free Durex condoms will be available until supplies last at all London Drugs pharmacies on World Sexual Health Day which is observed annually on September 4th in an effort to promote greater social awareness on sexual health.

Win a Lansinoh SmartPump

The Lansinoh Smartpump is the smart choice for busy moms!

The latest addition to the Lansinoh family of pumps uses Bluetooth technology to connect seamlessly to the Lansinoh Baby App.  Lansinoh’s SmartPump breast pump provides time-saving pumping efficiency without causing pain or discomfort. Three customizable pumping styles and eight different suction levels allow selection of the perfect settings for comfort and maximum milk production. It’s perfect for busy moms.
  • Connects to your smartphone and the Lansinoh Baby App for tracking, reminders, expert tips, and more.
  • Hygienic, closed system prevents mold and bacteria.
  • BPA and BPS free.

To enter share your lifehack for new and expectant moms here!

Lansinoh Smartpump Facebook Contest Terms & Conditions

Contest is open to all residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who, as of the date the prize draw is made: (i) have not won a London Drugs contest since August 28, 2018; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as of August 28, 2019; (iii) are not employees of London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization (if any), or any family member living with any such employee.

No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person. Entries must be received no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on September 2, 2019. London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected. All entries become the property of London Drugs Limited and will not be returned.

One (1) winner will be randomly chosen (see dates below) in Richmond, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received per contest. To win, selected entrants must correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question and must sign London Drugs’ declaration and release confirming compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize(s) as awarded, releasing London Drugs from liability in association with the contest and prize and consenting to the use of their name, photograph, voice and statements for promotional and publicity purposes.

There will be one (1) prize consisting of a Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump. Approximate total prize value $299.99

See details and contest date below. Prizes must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. Prizes will be awarded at the closest London Drugs location to contest winners.

Contest dates – Wednesday, August 28, 2019 – Monday, September 2, 2019, 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Draw date – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Only one prize may be won by any one person and household. In the event that any selected entrant incorrectly answers the skill-testing question or is otherwise unwilling or unable to comply in full with these rules, a new entry will be drawn.

Selected winners will be contacted by Facebook Messenger. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the winners do not respond then they will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the winners still do not respond within 3 days of the second notification, a new winner will be chosen in the same manner until a winner is successfully contacted.

The chances of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the judges in respect of all aspects of this contest including, but not limited to, eligibility of entries and correctness of answers given to the skill-testing question, are final.

London Drugs and their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization, and their respective agents are not liable to an entrant in any manner relating to the contest or the awarding and use of the prize(s).

This contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering the entrant consents to the collection of all personal information included on their entry and agrees to the use and disclosure of such information by and between London Drugs, an independent judging organization, and their agents. The winner(s) also agrees to the collection, use, and disclosure of their name, entry, photographs, voice, and statements for London Drugs’ publicity purposes without further compensation. All personal information collected from entrants will be used only for the purposes of administering the contest and for marketing and promotional purposes as contemplated by these rules; under no circumstances will any personal information be sold or rented to third parties. All personal information collected by London Drugs will be kept in accordance with the privacy policy of London Drugs, which can be viewed at www.londondrugs.com, and in accordance with all applicable privacy laws.

The right is reserved by London Drugs to terminate this contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the contest, and/or these rules in any way, should any cause beyond the reasonable control of London Drugs or its agents affect the proper administration thereof.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

 

 

August is National Drug Drop-Off Month: Tips for Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your medicine cabinet, now is the time to dig out those old pill bottles. In support of the second annual National Drug Drop-Off Month, this August London Drugs is joining Drug Free Kids Canada to encourage all Canadians to secure their prescriptions and return all unused or expired medications to pharmacies.

As communities throughout the province grapple with the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, this month-long campaign highlights the problematic use of prescription drugs by teens and emphasizes the need for safe disposal to reduce the instances of abuse, overdoses as well as accidental poisonings.

While our pharmacy accepts unused medication for safe disposal every day, National Drug Drop-Off Month reminds us that everyone has a role to play in reducing the potential harms of prescription drugs on our communities.

Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing of unused and expired medications at the pharmacy is a simple way we can all help reduce the potential harms of prescription drugs. Many prescription medications, over-the-counter products and health supplements remain in medicine cabinets and kitchen drawers long after their expiry date, while others are simply unused. Properly disposing of these drugs as well as medical sharps is important not only for the safety of loved ones but also for the environment.

 Follow these helpful tips for cleaning out your medicine cabinet

 

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. Whether intentional or accidental, ingestion of these prescription drugs is a very real risk to the health of our communities. Once you’ve collected your unused and expired medications, find your closest London Drugs location to drop off them off for safe disposal.

  1. Check expiration dates and remove products that are expired.
    Pharmacists recommend cleaning out your medicine cabinet annually since virtually every medication – from vitamins, to prescription medications, to over-the-counter products – have expiry dates. Keep in mind that some products can expire before the date on the label once opened. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist.
  2. Remove any medication not in its original container.
    If you can’t remember what a medication is for or who it was for, get rid of it. As much as possible, keep your medication in its original packaging. Mixing different medications in the same container or storing them outside of their original packaging increases the likelihood of accidental overdose or poisonings.
  3. Place unwanted and expired drugs in a clear plastic bag.
    Medications in blister packs and forms of liquid and cream medications can also be included in the plastic bag.
  4. Drop off your unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at any London Drugs.
    These medications will be safely incinerated, preventing them from being abused, entering landfills or the sewer system. London Drugs also recycles medication bottles, lids and medication vials. Please be sure to remove personal information by taking off the label.
  5. You can bring your medications to the pharmacy year round.
    Unwanted and expired drugs are accepted every day at any London Drugs location. Instead of flushing pills or throwing medical sharps in the garbage, bring them to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Approved sharps containers can also be purchased to dispose of medical sharps.

Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. Whether intentional or accidental, ingestion of these prescription drugs is a very real risk to the health of our communities. Once you’ve collected your unused and expired medications, find your closest London Drugs location to drop off them off for safe disposal.

 

Sun Safety Tips to Know Before You Head Outside this Summer

Now that summer is officially here, you may be tempted to hit the pool, beach or a patio to soak up some of that summer sun. Before you do though, it’s important to make sure you’re protected from the sun’s harmful rays. In the video below, Patient Care Pharmacist Mike Athanassakis shares some helpful tips for sun safety and care, including why tanning really isn’t good for you, and how much sunscreen you should be applying.

Sun Safety Tips to Follow

Everyone needs to be proactive about protecting themselves from sun damage, by wearing sun-shielding clothing and sunglasses in addition to being cautious about the length of time spent in the sun, with frequent reapplications of sunscreen.

If your sunscreen is a cream, lotion, or gel, use at least 2 tablespoons of product. Regardless of what type you use, even a stick or a spray, make sure you apply sunscreen evenly to all areas of exposed skin. And apply a lip balm with sunscreen on your lips, too. Sunscreen naturally rubs off through perspiration and activity, so reapply at least every 3 to 4 hours, and after 40 minutes if you’ve been in the water.

In addition, try to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. The UV index in Canada can be 3 or higher during those times – the higher the index, the higher the risk of sun damage.

While applying sunscreen and staying out of the sun during peak times is a good start, there are several factors that still may be keeping you from adequately protecting yourself from severe sunburns or rashes, including sun-sensitizing medications, and inferior sunscreen products.

Misleading High SPF Values

SPF 50 Sunscreen

It’s not enough to simply be applying sunscreen. You should consider the efficacy of the sunscreen products you choose.

Two-thirds of sunscreen products offer inferior protection or contain worrisome ingredients, according to researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Their research found that claims of high SPF values are on the rise and can mislead people into thinking they are entirely protected from sunburns and long-term skin damage.

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. However, don’t let a very high SPF value fool you – the SPF value on product labels only indicates the level of UVB protection, so it’s critical that you also look for the label ‘broad spectrum’. That will ensure you are protected from both harmful UVA and UVB rays. And look for the label ‘water resistant’.

Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection help prevent sunburns which can result from ultraviolet B rays, as well as shield the skin from possible melanoma and skin ageing which can result from ultraviolet A rays.

Sun-Sensitizing Medications

There are other factors to consider as well, like prescription medications, which can put you at high risk of sunburns or rashes while you’re out enjoying the sun.

Commonly-used prescription medications – including antibiotics such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin, sulfa-containing drugs in some diabetes and heart medications, and acne treatments such as Accutane and Retin-A –can make the skin more vulnerable to sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn, and in some cases, make the skin photosensitive. This photosensitivity can cause photoallergic or phototoxic reactions to the sun’s UV rays, in the form of painful and itchy rashes, or even blisters and sunburns.

Check with your pharmacist to find out if any of your medications could make your skin more prone to damage with increased exposure to the sun. If your pharmacist determines your medications are sun-sensitizing, they can provide advice to reduce your likelihood of a reaction.

Discover London Drugs’ wide range of suncare products online, or visit your local London Drugs to talk to a pharmacist about how to best protect yourself from the sun this summer.

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