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Which states empower pharmacies to meet COVID-19 demands?

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WASHINGTON – For the third time since the COVID-19 crisis began, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) this week urged governors to remove barriers to pharmacy patient care that stand in the way of full preparedness for the pandemic. Now, online maps created by NACDS show actions taken by states – and remaining critical needs – to help keep patients on their medications, to help keep pharmacies operating, and to empower pharmacists to provide care to those affected by COVID-19 and other illnesses.

“In prior emergencies and in normal times, pharmacies and pharmacists have shown they are here to help. They are here now in the face of this pandemic, five miles from 90 percent of Americans. Patients need all levels of government to remove barriers that prevent the full empowerment and responsiveness of pharmacies to meet the escalating needs of people and communities,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson.

An NACDS website dedicated to COVID-19 response includes a series of maps that display the state-by-state status of action on a sample of NACDS’ key recommendations. Separate maps show:

• states’ overall progress to foster safe and efficient pharmacy operations and patients’ access to care;

• empowerment of pharmacists to use their expertise to change patients’ medications to address any shortages;

• the authority of pharmacists to provide COVID-19 testing;

• the ability for pharmacies to enhance remote processing of certain functions related to filling prescriptions;

• waivers related to various licensing requirements; and

• waivers of signature requirements for delivered prescriptions – to foster social distancing.

NACDS in March issued an open letter to the White House, to Congressional leadership, and to governors regarding urgent needs to help pharmacies and pharmacists meet the needs of those affected by COVID-19 and by other illnesses that otherwise could go unmanaged given the pandemic. The open letter contains detailed recommendations that NACDS has urged since the focus on COVID-19 intensified.


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