NACDS discusses pharmacy's role in COVID-19 with HHS assistant secretary

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The NACDS board of directors recently took the case for pharmacy's role in responding to COVID-19 to Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health, Adm. Brett Giroir. The board met virtually with Giroir on July 8, in which they discussed various policies essential to pharmacy's COVID-19 response, particularly as the nation prepares a deployment strategy for COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

The meeting largely echoed the pharmacy legislative and regulatory priorities discussed during NACDS’ Virtual Board Fly-In on June 24, in which NACDS board members communicated the value of pharmacy to key leaders of the Trump administration and Congress.

Board members emphasized the need to eliminate remaining regulatory barriers that prevent pharmacists from fully engaging in the national response to COVID-19 — particularly in the areas of testing, treatments and vaccinations.

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, NACDS has remained connected with members of the executive and legislative branches.

As the fall approaches, NACDS is urging policy actions now in order to ensure pharmacists’ vaccination authority and to fully empower pharmacies and pharmacists to meet patients’ needs throughout the pandemic, such as scaling and sustaining COVID-19 testing and keeping patients on their medication therapies.

“We are appreciative to Adm. Giroir for the opportunity to discuss the ongoing — and irreplaceable — role of pharmacy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Leveraging community pharmacy is critical to the well-being of individuals and communities and to the national pandemic response. NACDS’ ongoing dialogue with lawmakers is key to dramatically expanding and maintaining patient access to care, and ensuring the rapid deployment of pharmacist-provided COVID-19 treatments and vaccines when available.”