ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association today reiterated to vice president Mike Pence and members of the administration’s Coronavirus Task Force how community pharmacy is ready and willing to assist with fighting the pandemic, as well as allowances needed in order for small business neighborhood pharmacies to continue to provide life-saving assistance to patients in this time of emergency. This follows a March 2 letter sent by NCPA to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ top emergency preparedness official offering community pharmacy’s assistance.
NCPA recommendations include allowing independent community pharmacists to test for COVID-19; provide home delivery services; test for influenza and strep; and vaccinate for influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19, once a vaccine is developed. However, in order to remain viable and keep doors open to provide continued access and care, NCPA emphasized that independent community pharmacists need an immediate suspension of all pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees that pharmacy benefit managers assess on pharmacies. These post point-of-sale claw backs are wreaking havoc on the business operations of community pharmacies. NCPA’s full list of recommendations and needs can be found here.
NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA, said, “Community pharmacies are open and ready to assist with ongoing efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Unleashing our capabilities and utilizing our relationships with patients are the best ways to communicate and engage with rural and underserved communities in particular, as independent community pharmacists are trusted, well-established health care providers. We urge Vice President Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force to tap into the full potential of community pharmacy as part of the administration’s response to this national emergency by empowering pharmacies to realize their full potential and allowing them to shed administrative burdens restricting patient care.”