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5 Ways Your Pharmacy Can Participate in Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Last updated Apr 5, 2024 | Pharmacy Management, Pharmacy News

April is the month of Parkinson’s Awareness and it is imperative to spread awareness and advocate for patients suffering from the disease.

According to the NIH, approximately 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinsons, but given that many individuals go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed the actual number is likely much higher, with some experts estimating that as many as 1 million Americans have PD.

The Parkinson’s Foundation has a theme for the month of April and this year’s theme is “The ABCs of PD”. Each alphabet letter stands for an aspect of the disease to educate the population on the symptoms of PD and how to address them. Below we are sharing ways your pharmacy can learn more about how to participate in Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

1. Educate Your Staff on Parkinson’s Disease

Pharmacists are a constant in the lives of patients living with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers are going to be frequent customers at your pharmacy, so it is important for your staff to understand the disease they’re faced with and the medications used to treat it. 

When it comes to symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, most “ticks” or motor fluctuations associated with the disease develop as medications wear off, so these patients understand the importance of medication adherence to the highest level. Patients with PD are also prone to more hospital visits which can lead to trickier management of medication doses as while they’re hospitalized complications can arise. Overall, it is imperative for your pharmacy staff to be aware of the special medication needs of your PD patients at all times.

A great resource for your pharmacy staff to review during the month of April is the Parkinson’s Foundation website. This site offers detailed pages about ways to properly care for your patients with PD and other invaluable guides such as the Parkinson’s Care Summary for Health Professionals and a Medication Form for your patients to fill out prior to a pharmacy visit. During Parkinson’s Awareness Month, they even have a web page dedicated to everything you need to know about the disease. Check out the ABCs of PD here.


 2. Become Familiar with the Stages of Parkinson’s

The best way to learn about Parkinson’s is to be able to recognize the disease. Whether you have new patients who are exhibiting symptoms or a loved one who you see struggle daily, it is important to know the early signs that can lead to an early diagnosis and treatment. This webpage breaks down the 10 early signs of Parkinson’s Disease and would be a great resource for your team to become familiar with.

3. Utilize Your Pharmacy’s Social Media and Website

Highlight Parkinson’s awareness through your pharmacy website offerings or on your social media platforms during the month of April. This toolkit created by the Parkinson’s Foundation has a social media template you can follow to get started, along with other ideas to spread awareness online. This year’s theme is the ABCs of PD, so they will be sharing an alphabet letter each day of the month with a different fact about Parkinson’s – your pharmacy can do this too if they would like! The foundation is calling for all to either share their posts or to post your own ABC. With it being so accessible to connect to patients virtually, utilizing social media is a fantastic way to spread awareness of PD to a wider audience. Also, be sure to tag the Parkinson’s Foundation in any post or use the hashtag #ABCsOfPD so they can share your information as well. 

4. Create Front-of-House Marketing Materials

Spread the awareness within your community and store through front-of-house materials like pop-ups or counter displays. A quick fact or statistic can go a long way and reach others who are visiting your pharmacy. 

If you offer Medication Therapy Management or other occupational therapy programs, this is a great time to highlight these at FOH as they can be very beneficial in helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease. For example, the “O” in the #ABCsOfPD stands for Occupational Therapies because it is important in slowing the progression of the disease along with maintaining a strict medication schedule. 

5. Do Something Special for Your Patients with Parkinson’s 

Whether you greet your patients with Parkinson’s with a special welcome this month and let them know you’re supporting them or you offer something in your store with a purchase of their medication, doing something special for these customers will go a long way. These patients deal with a lot of complications on a daily basis and the medications they get from your pharmacy are what help them regain normalcy in their lives. Doing something special is just another way to keep your customers happy and coming back.

In Conclusion

We hope through this blog you are able to bring awareness to Parkinson’s Disease during the month of April. Whether it is in person at your pharmacy or online via social media, utilizing your platform to share educational resources and insights will go a long way in educating your community and customers about this disease. 

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