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DEERFIELD, Ill. — As officials across the East Coast closely monitor the approach of Hurricane Sandy, Walgreens and Duane Reade on Saturday offered several preparation tips to ensure uninterrupted access to prescription medications.
For evacuees, Walgreens suggested that consumers leave first and refill later at a pharmacy close to their evacuation area. "This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t needlessly delay your evacuation," Walgreens advised.
Walgreens also advised patients to take a waterproof bag with all current medication — even if the bottle is empty. "The information on the prescription label will help the pharmacist refill your medicine once you arrive at your destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions," Walgreens noted.
And patients should keep a written record of their current prescriptions in a valuable papers file. "If you’re taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information," the retailer noted. "Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile."
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, smartphone users can now register for Walgreens mobile applications to order prescription refills while on the go. Customers with smartphones also can utilize Walgreens prescription refill-by-scan feature by scanning the bar code on their pill bottle with their phones.
Walgreens also is a member of ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As a member, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.
And Walgreens collaborates with Rx Response, an initiative of the biopharmaceutical supply system, to help ensure patient access to medications following a natural disaster.