Particularly in underserved areas, independent pharmacies have become the health care hubs for their communities, making them ideally positioned to bridge gaps in health care access.
Independent community pharmacy represented 35% of all retail pharmacies in the United States in 2019, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2020 NCPA Digest report.1
Particularly in rural and underserved areas, independent pharmacies have become the health care hubs for their communities, making them ideally positioned to bridge gaps in health care access. While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) underscored disparities regarding access to care, supplies, and mortality in minority communities, pharmacy has only scratched the surface in addressing the factors that lead to these disparities.
On page 14, our cover story delves into how pharmacy professionals are serving minority populations to address these health care disparities and improve outcomes. In a series of interviews, we learn from pharmacy owners about what it means to provide culturally competent care and build trust with members of minority communities.
As Drug Topics’® Editorial Advisory Board member Lakesha Butler, PharmD, BCPS, says in this month’s issue: “Patient-provider trust is critical when serving communities of color.”
Additionally, February is American Heart Month. Individuals with diabetes are especially at greater risk of developing heart disease. On page 20, Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, discusses the prevention of heart disease and how pharmacists, as part an interdisciplinary team, can play an important role in helping patients with prediabetes or diabetes reduce their risk. You can also read more on this topic in our dedicated Heart Health resource center on drugtopics.com.
Immunizations are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a renewed interest in vaccinations. This issue also discusses how pharmacies can effectively promote their immunization programs for important non-COVID vaccinations, as well as leveraging social media.
For health-system pharmacists, we dive into some of the top COVID-19–related medication safety errors occurring in hospitals amid the pandemic. The Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) offers best practice recommendations around potential risks associated with infusion pumps, drug shortages and importation, and drug labeling changes.
Continue to visit drugtopics.com for up-to-date information and timely pharmacy news.
Thank you for reading,
Mike Hennessy Sr
Chairman and Founder of MJH Life Sciences™