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New Loyalty Program
The company is launching ExtraCare Advantage for DiabetesTM, a loyalty program that offers savings and rewards for the purchase of over-the-counter diabetes-related products. People with diabetes and their caregivers can sign up for the program, which allows them to apply the discounts they earn toward the purchase of almost any product in CVS stores. Participants also receive a monthly e-newsletter with tips on saving money for diabetes drugs and managing the disease.
The program is an extension of the ExtraCare loyalty program that the company launched in 2000 and now has 64 million members. Rewards are paid quarterly to members in the form of "ExtraBucks," which can be used like cash to buy in-store products.
People with diabetes who would like to sign up for the program should visit their local CVS pharmacy or register online at www.cvs.com/diabetes.
Free A1c Tests
The company is also offering free A1c blood glucose tests at select locations through June 12 or while supplies last. The tests, sponsored by Bayer Diabetes Care, are being offered on a walk-in basis at the MinuteClinic locations found in many CVS/pharmacy stores. (The tests are not being offered at MinuteClinics in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, nor Pennsylvania.)
The A1c test has become a standard diagnostic tool for determining the existence of diabetes or pre-diabetes in test takers. Unlike blood glucose meter readings which can produce anomalous or sporadic results, the A1c tracks the amount of glucose in the blood over a 90-day period. This more extended reading allows doctors and healthcare providers to get much more accurate picture of a patient's blood sugar profile.
CVS/pharmacy estimates that people with diabetes incur medical costs that are almost 2.5 times greater than those for people who don't have the disease. One result, the company says, is that 29 percent of people with diabetes will go 12 or more months without filling a diabetes drug prescription due to the cost.
To help people with diabetes lower costs, the company advises the following:
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