North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Health

March 23, 2009

Pharmacy offers bone tests

By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News




Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects millions of Americans over the age of 50.

However, a local pharmacy has initiated a program that will assess the risk of the disease to north Jefferson County residents for free.

Ryan Budisalich, a Pharm D intern at The Pharmacy in Mt. Olive, is performing bone density tests Tuesday through Friday until March 31. The cost is free, but Budisalich, a student at Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, is asking those who take the test to fill out a short survey as part of a research project on the disease.

“You could certainly call osteoporosis an epidemic, so people should keep a watch on their bone health,” he said. “It’s a preventable disease, but a silent disease. We’re hoping to raise awareness and help people in the process.”

The test itself is relatively simple, he said. All that is required is for a person to put their heel in a machine to obtain a risk level for the disease. Budisalich will be assisted by Donna Fassina, an employee at The Pharmacy.

This test measures bone mineral density, and is an approved Medicare screening device. Anyone with an abnormal test result should follow up with their health-care provider for additional testing and possible treatment, Budisalich said.

Walk-ins to take the test are welcome, but it would be preferable if those interested can call ahead, Budisalich said. Additionally, The Pharmacy may also call on customers who are taking Osteoporosis or thyroid medication.

“This is an opportunity to get it done free, which is great,” he said.

To make a bone density test appointment, call The Pharmacy in Mt. Olive at 631-1201. For additional information about osteoporosis, visit the National Osteoporosis website at www.nof.org or see your health care provider.

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