One Million Vaccines Delivered through Pharmacy Program

The TRICARE Retail Pharmacy Vaccination Program administered its one millionth vaccine on October 28, 2012. Serving military families and veterans, TRICARE offers all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended preventive vaccinations in retail pharmacies, physicians' offices, and military clinics.

“The response has been phenomenal and we are excited to hit this milestone in such a short period of time,” said Rear Adm. Thomas McGinnis, director of the TRICARE Management Activity Pharmaceutical Operations Directorate, in a press release. “Vaccines are available at participating TRICARE network pharmacies at no cost. And with more network pharmacies than McDonald’s and Starbucks combined, there is really no excuse not to get vaccinated.”

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores applauded the TRICARE Retail Pharmacy Vaccination Program’s announcement. “We are pleased that the Department of Defense has expanded retail pharmacy’s role in administering vaccinations for TRICARE patients,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in a statement. “As the face of neighborhood healthcare, retail community pharmacies provide a number of patient services, including vaccinations, to help patients improve their health and reduce healthcare costs.”

NACDS seeks to protect such pharmacy access for TRICARE beneficiaries. NACDS urged members of Congress to forego pharmacy co-payment changes to the TRICARE program that would have placed significant financial burdens on its beneficiaries and threatened access to local community pharmacies, the group reports in the statement. In comments to a U.S. Senate panel, NACDS also emphasized to Congress the importance of finding ways to control spending while preserving patient pharmacy choice and access.

In addition to receiving vaccines through the TRICARE Pharmacy program, TRICARE patients can fill prescriptions at no cost through military pharmacies; at low or no cost through the Home Delivery program; or through a network of more than 57,000 retail pharmacies. To learn more about the TRICARE Pharmacy program go to www.tricare.mil/pharmacy.

For more details, visit www.tricare.mil/healthyliving or the Department of Defense’s new campaign OPERATION: Live Well, at www.defense.gov/home/features/2012/0812_live-well/.

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