NACDS offers state-level policy suggestions for addressing COVID-19

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Governors, state legislators and state associations representing pharmacies and pharmacists have received recommendations from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on ways to help assure patients receive the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These recommendations focus on enhancing patients’ access to pharmacy healthcare destinations, for needs related to COVID-19 and for other needs that should be handled by pharmacies given the current and overwhelming demands on other providers, said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

Anderson continued, “We have heard from state and federal officials alike that these recommendations are needed and welcomed. Governors and state legislators have requested input. Also, representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NACDS members in a conference call that pharmacies are critical to health and wellness. They encouraged pharmacies to focus on business continuity, patient health, staff health, and remaining in close communication and concert with state and local health authorities. NACDS’ recommendations address these and other important topics.”

NACDS’ recommendations, which states can pursue through executive orders, proclamations and declarations, relate to the enhancement of access to pharmacist-provided care and testing; to pharmacy viability; and to pharmacy operations, including credentialing and workflow.

The complete array of two dozen specific recommendations include, but are not limited to topics such as:

  • COVID-19 testing.
  • Initiating care for flu, strep and minor ailments.
  • Pharmacists’ ability to help overcome any drug shortages that may arise.
  • Vaccination access.
  • Strategies to maintain pharmacists’ health.
  • Reducing administrative burdens and barriers to care.
  • Billing infrastructure.
  • Eliminating DIR fees during this pandemic.
  • Pharmacy technician duties.
  • Permitting, licensure and central fill policies.
  • Prescription policies related to 90-day supply, early refill and emergency refill.

The recommendations for states complement an array of federal-level recommendations that NACDS provided to Congress and to the administration.

Members can click here to visit NACDS web portal to access COVID-19 information and resources.