Industry groups are taking note of leadership in New York and Florida. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association both separately applauded New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, particularly his executive order authorizing New York’s small business independent pharmacies to serve as COVID-19 testing collection centers.
“Gov. Cuomo has taken game-changing action with his executive order authorizing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests," said NACDs president and CEO Steve Anderson. "We look forward to working with him on its implementation.”
NCPA CEO Doug Hoey said, “We are deeply grateful to Gov. Cuomo for enlisting independent pharmacies in the fight against the pandemic. Local pharmacies in New York and every state have been fighting for the authority to do testing because they know their patients, their communities and the country needs them to have that capacity. We strongly urge other states to follow Gov. Cuomo’s leadership.”
Hoey also said that independent pharmacies have been serving on the front lines since the crisis began, including expanding home deliveries, drive-through service and curbside service, as well as compounding hand sanitizer for first responders and their patients.
Anderson said that Cuomo's action builds on the Department of Health and Human Services’ April 8 guidance and bipartisan efforts to reopen America.
"Specifically, Gov. Cuomo’s executive order removes remaining regulatory barriers to testing. Already, some NACDS members have helped to pioneer COVID-19 testing in New York through a public-private partnership. Gov. Cuomo’s executive order now will make it possible for more of these heroic, highly educated and uniquely accessible healthcare professionals to help defeat this insidious disease and restore New York’s economy," Anderson said.
"Front-line pharmacists have contributed mightily in other ways as well, helping to care for patients with other illnesses as heroes in hospitals and other settings cared for those affected by COVID-19," he said, urging patients to follow information about availability and procedures when they are announced rather than rushing out for a test immediately.
Cuomo wasn't the only state leader that NACDS recognized recently for efforts to allow pharmacists to more fully join the fight against COVID-19. Anderson also lauded Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for helping to remove barriers so pharmacies and pharmacists can help to meet people’s health-and-wellness needs.
“Building off a recent effort to allow pharmacists to test and treat for flu and strep in Florida, the Governor took another important action by directing the state’s surgeon general to allow licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests. Ultimately, this action should allow pharmacies and pharmacists to effectively ramp up testing to ensure Floridians’ health and to help reopen the state’s vibrant economy,” Anderson said.