Independence Blue Cross sponsors 'Ask the Pharmacist' seminars for seniors

PHILADELPHIA — A lot is said about how pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals, and one health insurer is taking advantage of this by sponsoring a series of special seminars for elderly people.

Independence Blue Cross said it would sponsor the "Ask the Pharmacist" seminars throughout the Philadelphia area about potential medication risks to help safeguard their health. Questions seniors frequently ask pharmacists concern how medications are taken, what kinds of foods and other drugs they should avoid when taking certain medications, whether generics are available and which Medicare Part D plans they should use, IBC said.

The seminars are part of the insurer's free Wellness Program Education Series, which previously covered nutrition and fall prevention. Nearly 40% of people age 60 years and older take five or more medications, and about one-third experience serious side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It's more important than ever for people of all ages to be active participants in their own health care, but especially for senior who are highly vulnerable to medication errors," IBC VP Medicare sales and marketing Robert Smith said. "Older adults may find they have questions about the medicines they are taking or some confusion about where to go with concerns on topics ranging from medication side effects to what drugs are covered under their prescription plan and how to enroll in Medicare Part D."