NCPA recognizes front-line pharmacists with new video

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The National Community Pharmacists Association has released a new video featuring CEO Doug Hoey, in which he salutes community pharmacists on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Hoey applauds the pharmacists for being a safety net for their communities and thanks them for their hard work.

“Community pharmacists are retooling their practices to make sure there’s social distancing, they’re expanding home delivery, adopting curbside service, compounding hand sanitizer, and answering questions from anxious patients — they’re filling a public health void,” Hoey said. “And they need a thank you. So if you have a chance, thank your community pharmacist for all the hard work they are doing in their communities.”

NCPA also recently released a new nationwide analysis of pharmacies revealing that there are millions of Americans whose only option is a local independent pharmacy, something policymakers and suppliers must keep in mind as they make their battle plans for COVID-19, NCPA said.

The data showed 14,866 zip codes in the United States with at least one retail pharmacy. In 3,057 of those zip codes, or 20.5%, the only pharmacies are independently owned pharmacies.

“Community pharmacies are the last link in the healthcare chain closest to the patient, and in many communities, independent pharmacies are the primary healthcare source,” Hoey said. “In many cases, patients see their pharmacist more frequently than they see their doctors. That’s especially true right now.”

Hoey said pharmacists need personal protective equipment, point of care testing kits when they’re available, and relief from the exorbitant clawback fees they must pay insurance companies to dispense medicine. "And they need regulatory and financial relief,” he said. “Independent pharmacies are the patient safety net for millions of Americans, and we must ensure that they have what they need to fight this pandemic and be there in the future for patients."