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COVID-19: Pharmacy News & Resources

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PioneerRx Tools + Best Practices

If your pharmacy offers curbside pickup or a drive-thru option, PioneerRx has some best practices that, if followed, should make your patient experience better.

Having the proper signs to guide your customers is important for maintaining a steady flow of curbside pickups. Visit our Curbside Signage page to order your own signs – customized with your pharmacy’s phone number.

Use our delivery app to plan routes and process payments as more customers are staying home. Data is synced directly to your system.

Use the drive-thru app to process transactions in your drive-thru or for curbside pickup.

HIPAA secure two-way messaging allows you to be in constant contact with your patients when they need you without them coming into the pharmacy.

Text your patients and allow them to respond back– all from your PioneerRx pharmacy system. You can stay connected with your patients while reducing disruptions from constant phone calls.

Shareable Resources

General COVID-19 Information

Best Practices & Resources for Pharmacists

AHFS Database for Drug Trials & Shortages

Username: Password: covid-19

Keeping Your Pharmacy Sanitized

Coronavirus Newsfeed
and Pharmacy Regulations

Handpicked and Continuously Updated By Our Team

April 3, 2020 – Chinese researchers report that over 50% of infected people had the virus in their stool. Some patients experience nausea and diarrhea, suggesting the GI tract is an alternate route for infection. This new information will help researchers understand how to track and test those who are infected.

Source: Pharmacy Practice News

April 3, 2020 – NCPA recently hosted a webinar led by accounting experts Ollin and Scotty Sykes of Sykes and Co., who thoroughly explained all the provisions of the CARES Act that support small businesses. Learn how to improve your cash flow and see what new resources are available for financial assistance. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

Free CE Opportunity

15 on COVID-19 pt. 4

April 2, 2020 – Part 4 of APhA’s COVID-19 webinar series explores possible connections between ACE-inhibitors or ARB medications and the novel coronavirus. The webinar is designed for both pharmacists and technicians and is free to members and non-members. Take course four here!

Source: American Pharmacists Association

Free CE Opportunity

15 on COVID-19 pt. 3

April 2, 2020 – In part 3 of their COVID-19 webinar series, APhA covers facts and myths related to NSAIDs and the novel coronavirus. The webinar is designed for both pharmacists and technicians and is free to members and non-members. Take course three here!

Source: American Pharmacists Association

April 2, 2020 – Melissa Francis of Fox Business interviews NCPA CEO Doug Hoey about the state of independent pharmacies during the COVID-19 crisis. Hoey describes how independent pharmacies compete with chains through delivery and compounding, as well as patient care. He also warns of the U.S. dependence of active pharmaceutical ingredients coming from other countries, such as China. 

Source: Fox Business

April 2, 2020 – The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has developed a new program to help facilitate temporary authorization for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to practice in another state. The program – NABP Passport – conducts license verifications at no cost to the applicant or to the board of pharmacy. There are currently over 15 states that utilize the program, and the number continues to grow. 

Source: GlobeNewswire

April 1, 2020 – RxSafe has released its new product, ViralGuardRx™, a protective barrier that allows pharmacists to safely transfer prescriptions at the point-of-sale. The shield is copper-lined and blocks free airflow, reducing the risk of disease transmission between the pharmacist and the patient. 

Source: Patch

April 1, 2020 – Eldahmy Wellness Pharmacy has just received a shipment of COVID-19 test strip kits which can detect the virus in a patient’s blood. The test takes only 5-10 minutes to get a result, and is highly accurate. Eldahmy Pharmacy is helping patients by giving the test for free or at the cost they paid, depending on a patient’s financial situation. 

Source: ABC News 10 San Diego

April 1, 2020 – The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for Bodysphere’s COVID-19 testing kit. The two-minute testing kit can be administered only by medical professionals and uses antibodies in blood to determine current or past infection with a 91% clinical specificity rate and 99% clinical sensitivity rate. Biosphere claims it will have millions of test kits produced and distributed within weeks. 

Source: Mass Device

April 1, 2020 – The FDA created the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) to research and bring new therapies to sick patients as quickly as possible. The FDA is collaborating with government partners, researchers, and developers to create protocols. 

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

April 1, 2020 – The DEA is allowing Schedule II substances to be prescribed orally by-phone in situations where an electronic or paper prescription is not possible. Pharmacists must do their best to verify a patient’s situation, but prescribers can still ultimately decide whether an oral prescription was warranted.

Source: American Pharmacists Association

March 31, 2020 – The Commissioner of Public Health in Massachusetts issued a Pharmacy Practice Order for retail pharmacies. The order allows for licensed pharmacy technicians to remotely process prescriptions, pharmacists and technicians licensed in other states to receive the same licensure to practice in Massachusetts. The order also allows for emergency refills and central filling. 

Source: Health Law Diagnosis

March 31, 2020 – The FDA has issued an emergency authorization for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, commonly used as treatment for Malaria, to now be used as experimental treatments for COVID-19. This approval process has been fast-tracked because it was determined that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. 

Source: Forbes

March 31, 2020 – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has waived certain licensing regulations and CE requirements for pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy technician trainees, in an effort to quickly get additional staff in pharmacies. This removes the delay of renewing a license for those who are ready and willing to help.

Source: NBC News DFW

March 30, 2020 – President Trump has extended the voluntary national shutdown to April 30th in response to the continued increase in COVID-19 cases. State and local governments may have stricter and longer guidelines in place. The guidelines recommend against public gatherings and nonessential outings such as to restaurants, bars, shopping, and leisure travel. It is also recommended that persons in high risk groups stay at home, and that anyone able to stay home do so. 

Source: Chicago Tribune

March 26, 2020 – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that will allow pharmacists to dispense up to 60 days worth of emergency prescription refills. It will also allow for the dispensing of government-approved COVID-19 treatments.

Source: Detroit ABC 7 News

March 26, 2020 – Listen to this webinar hosted by NCPA to learn how to make the appropriate preparations in your pharmacy to ensure staff and patient safety, and establish emergency protocols in case someone gets sick. Also hear from attorneys Jeff Baird and Brad Howard on ways to ensure your pharmacy’s legal safety during this time. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 25, 2020 – NPTA is hosting a free global CE webinar exclusively for pharmacy technicians. The course will cover clinical information, recommendations, and treatment medications. There are several time slots to choose from, but each is filling up quickly. Register today!

Source: National Pharmacy Technician Association

Free CE Opportunity

15 on COVID-19 pt.2

March 25, 2020 – Part two of the APhA free CE sessions to pharmacists and technicians (both members and non-members) to provide education on COVID-19. Topics include the clinical course of COVID-19, mortality rate, cause of death, transmission, and risk factors. Take course two here.

Source: American Pharmacists Association

Free CE Opportunity

15 on COVID-19

March 25, 2020 – APhA is offering free CE sessions to pharmacists and technicians (both members and non-members) to provide education on COVID-19. Take the first course here.

Source: American Pharmacists Association

March 25, 2020 – The latest summary of COVID-19 testing options for pharmacies.

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 24, 2020 – Penn. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is facilitating the use of telemedicine by lifting restrictions on out-of-state pharmacy assistance and remote supervision.

Source: Pharmacy Times

March 24, 2020 – This past Sunday, NCPA hosted a teleconference addressing the latest changes in legislation as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Making an appearance was Rep. Buddy Carter who touched on upcoming issues that will hopefully pass in the next bill including relaxing DIR fees, provider status, and waiving signatures for home delivery. NCPA urges everyone to reach out to your congressman. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 23, 2020 – The Office for Civil Rights announces that they will not impose penalties for HIPAA noncompliance during the COVID-19 national emergency. This means that health care providers may use audio or video technology to communicate with patients during this outbreak, even if the technology platforms do not comply with HIPAA Rules.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

March 23, 2020 – This document outlines four recommendations when prescribing drugs used to treat COVID-19 patients to maintain patient health and safety, and to prevent drug shortages caused by hoarding and over-prescribing.

Source: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

March 21, 2020 – Although there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of COVID-19, the CDC has provided information on drugs such as Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine, and others.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

March 21, 2020 – Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter, along with 35 congressmen, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging for support in gaining provider status for pharmacists. This would allow pharmacists to test and treat for flu, strep, and other minor ailments. 

Source: Letter from Rep. Buddy Carter

March 20, 2020 – NCPA has compiled an in-depth list of the regulation changes needed in order to enable pharmacies to aid in the COVID-19 crisis. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 20, 2020 – NCPA CEO Doug Hoey sent an email to NCPA members updating them on the strides community pharmacists are making during this time of crisis. He informs on the current legislature and provides tips on how pharmacies can still thrive. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 17, 2020 – Gov. Andy Beshear signs an executive order expanding the prescribing rights of pharmacists in Kentucky. Pharmacists can fill 30-day prescriptions, even if they are unable to contact a patient’s prescriber. They can also operate temporarily outside of their permit area for COVID-19 assistance efforts.

Source: Pharmacy Times

March 17, 2020 – On behalf of community pharmacies, NCPA CEO Doug Hoey sent a letter addressed to Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force. The letter outlines ways that community pharmacies are uniquely positioned to help in the COVID-19 pandemic and requests changes in government regulations to allow pharmacies to operate without restrictions. 

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 16, 2020 – After President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13th, the response plan outlined an allocation of funding to expand telehealth services.

Source: Becker’s Hospital Review

March 16, 2020 – Update on FDA guidelines for pharmacists producing their own hand sanitizer.

Source: National Community Pharmacists Association

March 13, 2020 – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis instructed the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to expedite the licensing of medical professionals from other states applying for a Colorado license including pharmacists, nurses, and doctors. DORA is also working to give pharmacists the authority to test for COVID-19 patients.

Source: Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

March 11, 2020 – The Florida Senate passed an expanded practice bill to allow pharmacists to test and treat patients for flu, strep throat, and chronic conditions. The bill is awaiting approval by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Source: Miami Herald

March 10, 2020 – Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is working with health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing costs, and is pushing to expand telemedicine services and modify prescription/refill regulations for pharmacists. 

Source: Connecticut Official State Website