ARLINGTON, Va. – A recently published National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation research project underscores the power of public health and community-based, pharmacy partnerships when it comes to tackling critical health priorities and improving patient health outcomes.
The NACDS Foundation-funded study — “Implementation and Evaluation of a Collaborative, Pharmacy-Based Hepatitis C and HIV Screening Program” — analyzed the impact of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening in community pharmacies. It found that patients at increased risk of HIV and HCV benefit from community-based pharmacy screening and linkage to care.
Enhanced access to screening helps effectively link patients – previously unaware of their status – to treatment and resources, and improves their treatment course. Early detection and linkage to treatment are critical in promoting improved health outcomes across a variety of conditions.
Conducted from July 2015 through August 2018, the study was led by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The research included more than 60 pharmacies that administered nearly 1,500 HIV or HCV tests across three U.S. regions. The manuscript was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease Journal on December 8, 2022.
“The screening of patients at risk for chronic diseases and other illness is critical for prevention,” said NACDS Foundation President Sara Roszak.“We continue striving to shorten the distance for patients to achieve better health, and this study further illustrates an innovative care model that is helping to accomplish that goal. The project benefited from unique collaboration among principal investigators from academia and CDC technical experts. Together, they teamed up to implement a new care model across more than 60 pharmacies and to deliver care to more than 1,100 at-risk individuals.”
The NACDS Foundation prioritizes forward-thinking, patient-centered projects that address gaps in healthcare access, especially in vulnerable and underserved communities. Additionally, the NACDS Foundation seeks to explore new care delivery models that will transform the most pressing public health issues through dissemination of research projects.
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