Empowering Pharmacists – and COVID-19

As the nation's most accessible health care professionals — and through telehealth — pharmacists are being empowered to provide critical patient services; however, this work is not without risk, which also needs to be addressed. PQA members are advocating for and supporting pharmacists as our health system’s medication experts. They are:

  • Recommending policies to: authorize test-treat-immunize; ease operational barriers to address workforce and workflow issues; address shortages and continuity of care; and reimburse for services and remove barriers
  • Highlighting best practices to ensure the safety of pharmacists, while leveraging their experience and skills to meet the needs of patients
  • Establishing guidelines to limit COVID exposures and protocols for pharmacists and pharmacy staff, who have had contact with infected patients

PQA Members in Action

  • American Pharmacists Association is urging the COVID-19 White House Task Force and appropriate agencies to adopt several policies and measure that will best utilize the role of pharmacists in COVID response efforts through both press releases and educational webinars. APhA education offers modules to train pharmacists and health care workers proper methods for testing for COVID-19 in a safe and accurate manner. Some of the policy recommendations include authorizing test-treat-immunize, ease operational barriers, address shortages and continuity of care, and reimburse for services and remove barriers.
  • American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists is hosting a series of webinars designed to highlight the role of pharmacists in COVID, specifically addressing pharmacists’ leadership in planning, response, and mitigation.
  • National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations maintains a list of state-by-state action related to COVID, and how pharmacies are impacted.
  • National Association of Chain Drugs Stores has provided recommended model language for states when addressing expanded patient care and measures for pharmacy continuity throughout the duration of COVID.
  • National Community Pharmacists Association have issued best practices for community pharmacy’s response to CVOID-19 in partnership with Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network, created a protocol for how community pharmacies should operate in accordance with recommended federal safety standards, and lays out proper precautions in the event a local practitioner is exposed to a patient with COVID.
  • Pfizer has outlined a preparedness plan in the event of a supply chain disruption, while also increasing production, shifting demand to the most critical products, and authorizing overtime to meet patient needs.
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has announced that they will now permit licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests authorized by the FDA.

This list is far from exhaustive and will be updated periodically. We welcome additional online and publicly available resources that our members would like to share. You can email suggested links to us at [email protected].

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