To keep you better informed about the biggest trends and developments affecting medication management and adherence, here are 10 of the most significant news reports published in October 2020. Highlights include a call for provider status for pharmacists, the role of telepharmacy, vaccine guidance and recommendations, COVID-19 and ebola treatments, and American Pharmacists Month.
1. Provider Status for Pharmacists: It's About Time
Debbie Weitzman, president of pharmaceutical distribution for Cardinal Health, makes the case that "there has never been a better, or more important time, to grant provider status to pharmacists" in a column for Pharmacy Times.
2. Evaluation of Telepharmacy Services in Light of COVID-19
New research published in Telemedicine Journal and e-Health finds that, "Telepharmacy can be used as a tool to reduce the burden on the healthcare system and improve drug dispensing safety in community pharmacies."
3. Keeping Up With Pharmacists' Changing Scope of Practice Amid COVID-19
An article in the American Journal of Managed Care shares highlights from a panel discussion concerning changes in the healthcare landscape occurring due to COVID-19 pandemic, particularly around pharmacists' scope of practice and which of those changes are likely to persist following the health crisis.
4. Pharmacy Interns and Techs Who Meet HHS requirements Can Administer Childhood, COVID-19 Vaccines
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) reports on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that expands the immunization authorities of state-licensed pharmacy interns and "qualified" pharmacy technicians during the public health emergency for purposes of administering childhood vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines, and COVID-19 tests.
5. Influential Group Recommends That Pharmacists Receive Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccine
APhA reports on a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine special committee tasked with developing a framework for the allocation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine stating that pharmacists should be in the first group to be vaccinated along with physicians, nurses, and other providers.
6. Trends in Healthcare Innovation, Policy, and Medication Management: Q&A With Dr. Gregory Downing
Healthcare innovation and public policy expert Gregory Downing, DO, PharmD, PhD, discusses trends and developments in areas including medication management, innovation, and public policy.
7. Pharmacists' Contributions to Hypertension Control Go Beyond Dispensing, Surgeon General Says
A new report from the Surgeon General highlights pharmacists' value in treating, controlling, and preventing hypertension and obstacles to their participation in these efforts, reports APhA.
8. Targeted Outreach Can Increase Use of Mail-Order Pharmacies By People With Diabetes
Research by Kaiser Permanente published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine indicates that an outreach campaign directed at patients with type 2 diabetes can encourage them to use mail-order pharmacy services and improve medication adherence.
9. FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first treatment for COVID-19 requiring hospitalization — the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds). FDA also approved the first treatment for the Ebola virus — Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn), a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies.
10. Cureatr Celebrates Pharmacists During American Pharmacists Month
In celebration of American Pharmacists Month, Cureatr's Director of Clinical Pharmacy Operations Rose Abraham, PharmD, identified some of the most significant and recent recognitions, contributions, and progress made by pharmacists.