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COVID-19 response needs pharmacist empowerment

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Three-in-four voters agree government must remove barriers to patient care.

WASHINGTON –More than eight-in-ten Americans see a vital role for pharmacists in helping patients deal with COVID-19, and with illnesses that could be neglected in an overwhelmed healthcare system, according to a March 26-28 survey by Morning Consult commissioned by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

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NACDS’ Steven Anderson

“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 Steven Anderson.

NACDS released the data in a Sponsored Content Release sent to an influential audience of 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 – detailing urgent steps needed for patient care – and NACDS’ digital and television ad that captures the resolve of the people of pharmacy, of communities and of the nation.

Among the survey’s findings:

• 90% say it is easy to access pharmacies – the most accessible healthcare destination tested;

• 76% agree 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% say 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;

• 81% agree 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% support pharmacist-provided telehealth services; 77% support allowing pharmacy technicians to handle more administrative tasks so pharmacists have more time for patient-care services; and 79% support 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.

 


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