WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Pharmacists Association  (APhA) announced it has joined the newly launched Million Hearts Initiative, a coordinated approach to preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke in the U.S. Co-led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the initiative's goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes, over the next five years, by reducing the number of people who need treatment and improving the quality of treatment for those who need it.
Cardiovascular disease is a major health concern in America, causing 1 of every 3 deaths. With over 2 million heart attacks and strokes each year, cardiovascular disease causes an enormous loss of life and carries a huge financial burden for our country, accounting for about $1 of every $6 spent on health care. Hypertension and hyperlipidemia are primary contributing cardiovascular health risks. These two conditions combined affect more than 80 million Americans annually.
"The Million Hearts Initiative presents an opportunity for pharmacists to reach out to their patients with a range of pharmacy-based cardiovascular maintenance services," stated Thomas Menighan, APhA CEO and Executive Vice President. "The HHS, CDC and CMS have asked APhA pharmacists to be principal partners in this initiative, along with the AMA and the ANA, recognizing the important role we play in patient care. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to help manage blood pressure and cholesterol medication therapy and empower patients to take control of their cardiovascular health by adhering to their medication regimens. I urge pharmacists in every setting to partner with their patients and other healthcare providers to take action on the goals of this initiative."
As the public's most accessible health care provider, phar