Survey: Voters support measures to increase pharmacy's impact

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Survey: Voters support measures to increase pharmacy's impact

By Sandra Levy - 04/03/2020

More than 8-in-10 Americans see pharmacists as vital to fighting COVID-19 and managing conditions that could be overlooked as the burden on the healthcare system grows.  That's according to a Morning Consult survey commissioned by the National Association of Chain Drug Store and conducted March 26-28. 

“These results show that Americans know pharmacies and pharmacists are here to help. They also show that Americans want federal and state leaders to remove unnecessary barriers so we can be fully prepared to meet COVID-19’s escalating demands,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

NACDS released the data in a Sponsored Content Release sent to 150,000 Morning Consult newsletter subscribers across government, business and the media. The Sponsored Content Release also included NACDS’ open letter to all levels of government, which detailed urgent steps needed for patient care, as well as NACDS’ digital and television ad that captures the resolve of the people of pharmacy, of communities and of the nation.

The survey’s findings include:

  • Ninety percent said it is easy to access pharmacies — the most accessible healthcare destination tested;
  • Seventy-six perecent agreed that COVID-19 has shown that public health partners like pharmacies are important and barriers need to be removed, such as some government regulations that prevent pharmacies from being utilized to the extent possible;
  • After learning more about the role of pharmacists, 86% said pharmacists should be allowed to provide tests for COVID-19, and 86% say pharmacists should be allowed to provide a vaccine or other medication to protect against COVID-19, when developed; and
  • Eighty-one percent agreed that pharmacists have a role to play in helping patients deal with COVID-19, and 84% agree that pharmacists have a role to play in helping patients address colds and flu, minor ailments, and management of chronic conditions like diabetes. 

Regarding other recommendations offered by pharmacies amid COVID-19, 74% supported pharmacist-provided telehealth services; 77% supported allowing pharmacy technicians to handle more administrative tasks so pharmacists have more time for patient-care services; and 79% supported helping pharmacists make it easier to get medications through early and emergency refills.

The survey was conducted among a national sample of 1,995 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, educational attainment, gender, race and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.