A Whirlwind of Change Paves Way for Pharmacy’s Future

Drug Topics Journal, Drug Topics January 2021, Volume 165, Issue 1

Apart from COVID-19, there are several other industry trends taking root that will likely have a transformative effect on the profession in years to come.

Much of our focus over the last year has been on the ongoing battle with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its effects on pharmacy.

Nine months following the early stages of the pandemic, the FDA approved 2 COVID-19 vaccines under emergency authorization. Before New Year’s Day, millions of Americans had received the vaccine, including frontline pharmacists and health care providers and nursing home patients, our most vulnerable citizens.

These past 9 months have told a story of heroism, innovation, and precise science, performed under unbelievable pressure. Let’s not mince words: The US and the world must appreciate the role of the pharmaceutical industry—the investigators, health care professionals, and business leaders—who are rescuing the world from COVID-19. It’s the medical breakthrough of our lifetime.

As new vaccines continue to roll out and the first wave of vaccinations begins, pharmacists will be tasked to help with massive immunization efforts over the course of the next year.

A session at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist’s (ASHP) Midyear 2020 Clinical Meeting and Exhibition, which was held virtually December 6-10, 2020, highlighted the pharmacist’s important role in these COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Read the article to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines’ development processes and how to address vaccine hesitancy. You’ll also find more coverage from the meeting throughout the issue, including updates on asthma management and top policy priorities for health-system pharmacists as we head into the new year.

Apart from COVID-19, there are several other industry trends taking root that will likely have a transformative effect on the profession in years to come. Between an expanding scope of practice, increasing acceptance of virtual health, and breakthrough advancements in medicine, there is no shortage of topics to discuss. Read our cover story to find out more.

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, also gives insight into some of the most highly-anticipated FDA approvals expected for 2021. Stay up-to-date on these impending treatments across therapeutic areas including COVID-19, oncology, migraine, and more.

For our career-minded pharmacists, Drug Topics® editorial advisory board member Mohamed Jalloh, PharmD, BCPS, discusses how pharmacists can build career skills for the future of pharmacy. As Jalloh writes in his commentary, “Every pharmacist dreams of a great purpose in their pharmacy career. However, many often feel frustrated with the current employment market.” Read on to learn how pharmacists can adapt their skills to keep up with an evolving profession and take advantage of future employment opportunities.

As we look back at 2020 and ahead to 2021, the Drug Topics® team wishes all of our readers a happy new year.

Thank you for reading,

Mike Hennessy Sr

Chairman and Founder of MJH Life Sciences™