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In a presidential Coronavirus Task Force briefing, NACDS affirmed the indispensable role of pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Coronavirus Task Force briefing held at the White House yesterday, Richard Ashworth, chairman of the board of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and president of Walgreens, expressed the association’s commitment to facilitating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing by pharmacists through public-private partnerships.1
“As a pharmacist, I’m really proud to be part of this profession,” Ashworth said during the briefing in the Rose Garden. “And not just Walgreens pharmacists and pharmacy employees, but all of them, across grocery, mass, independents. You’re really doing what you should be doing and what you went to school for: to help patients, counseling them on their medicines, and helping them understand the problems that we’re facing.”1
As of Monday, more than half of states in the United States have begun breaking down barriers to assist pharmacists in having the ability to order and administer COVID-19 tests. The trend was set into motion by the Administration’s guidance, which was released on April 8, and state government implementation, to lift federal and state laws that have limited pharmacists’ ability to conduct testing.1
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes the novel COVID-19 has infected more than 1,004,908 Americans as of this article’s publication.2
“Pharmacy is right here in it with everyone, together in the community, and we look forward to being part of the testing like we are now; serology, whatever that might look like in the future; and eventually treatment when the vaccine does come,” Ashworth said.1
Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, NACDS president and chief executive officer, said, “As testing supplies become more and more available, the scale that pharmacies and pharmacists can bring to this situation will be key. You will see pharmacies partnering with employers in mobile testing locations to help Americans get back to work. You will see similar facilities reaching out to underserved and social vulnerability communities. Essentially, you will see pharmacies and pharmacists doing for COVID-19 response what they have done for a long time on a host of health and wellness issues.”1
1. Pharmacy Front and Center at White House, Front and Center in Service to Nation with Other Healthcare Heroes. News Release. NACDS; April 28, 2020. https://www.nacds.org/news/pharmacy-front-and-center-at-white-house-front-and-center-in-service-to-nation-with-other-healthcare-heroes/. Accessed April 28, 2020.
2. Coronavirus Resource Center. Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. Accessed April 28, 2020.