Cardinal Health is playing a pivotal role in getting the COVID-19 vaccine to communities via its participation in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. Victor Crawford, pharmaceutical segment CEO at Cardinal Health, spoke to Drug Store News about how the company is helping its customers get shots in patients’ arms in the communities they serve.
DSN: Tell us about the roadblocks and opportunities for retail pharmacies.
VC: COVID-19 vaccine quantities have been limited across the nation. In addition, the COVID-19 vaccines have different storage and handling requirements and restrictions. Pharmacies are being tasked with numerous reporting requirements to both state governments and the federal government. Our PSAO is working to alleviate as much of the administrative burden as possible so that our retail independent pharmacy customers can use their time to administer vaccines to their patients.
DSN: What do you suggest pharmacies do to maximize this rollout?
VC: The fact that the U.S. federal government has put its trust in retail independent pharmacies across the country is a testament to the caliber of our customers and partners. It has been a privilege to work alongside them as we all work to vaccinate our nation and ultimately get back to a semblance of normalcy and herd immunity.
In addition to helping patients access the vaccine, pharmacies can leverage their capabilities (and have) by offering COVID-19 testing, increasing their medication delivery capabilities and engaging in telehealth capabilities.
The pandemic has reinforced the importance of pharmacists as a critical member of the healthcare team. We strongly believe that as pharmacists ’ scope of practice and provider status expands, we will see pharmacists increasing their roles as providers for their patients.