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Pharmacies urge removal of more barriers to patient care now

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WASHINGTON — NACDS this week praised recommendations by the Trump Administration to state governors on how to empower healthcare professionals to meet Americans’ needs amid COVID-19. NACDS urged the Administration and the states to remove more barriers to assure pharmacies and pharmacists are fully ready for the escalating demands of the pandemic.

steve anderson

Steven Anderson

In a letter to the nation’s governors, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, asked for “assistance to extend the capacity of the healthcare workforce to address the pandemic.”

Several of the state policy changes that Azar urged are consistent with NACDS’ March 24 open letter to the White House, to Congress and to the governors, and with a detailed letter to the governors. They include allowances for health professionals to work across state lines; for telehealth; for scope of practice; for licensure requirements; and for waiving of signatures during pharmaceutical deliveries.

“NACDS appreciates these recommendations to our governors from Secretary Azar and the Trump Administration, as they would reduce some barriers to patient care that jeopardize preparedness and effectiveness in pandemic response,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson.

“Yet this is a critical time, and anything less than a total approach from all levels of government will limit the ability of healthcare professionals to meet the impending demand of the American public during this crisis.”

“Our nation will not be able to fully ‘bend the curve,’ nor re-launch the economy, without leveraging pharmacies and pharmacists – the healthcare destinations and professionals serving within five miles of most Americans. When a point-of-care test, treatment and vaccine for COVID-19 are readily available, it will be essential to leverage the accessibility of pharmacies and pharmacists. Pharmacies and pharmacists also have a tremendous role to play for patients with other conditions and illnesses suffering beside an overwhelmed healthcare delivery system. We are doing what we can now for our patients, communities and nation, and we want and need to be able to answer the call as demands rise.”


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