Pharmacists play critical role in preparing patients for flu season

August 8, 2011

Pharmacies can play a valuable role in helping patients prepare for the upcoming flu season. That includes administering influenza vaccinations, according to results of a public-private partnership campaign in Palm Beach, Fla. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores highlighted the results of the partnership in a report it co-authored that was published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Pharmacies can play a valuable role in helping patients prepare for the upcoming flu season, including through administration of influenza vaccinations, according to results of a public-private partnership campaign in Palm Beach, Fla. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) highlighted the results of the partnership in a report it co-authored and published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

The partnership included the Palm Beach County Health Department, Palm Beach County Pharmacy Association, and several local pharmacies. The initiative reinforces the message that pharmacists are an integral part of the nation’s “first-line resource” for health and wellness and can extend the reach of public health initiatives.

“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacy plays a critical role in the healthcare delivery system,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Pharmacists in all 50 states can administer the flu vaccine to patients, offering yet another important opportunity for patient-pharmacist interaction. The success of this program provides additional support for efforts to further expand the age ranges and types of vaccinations for which pharmacists have authority. It also demonstrates yet again the unsurpassed value of pharmacy in improving patient health and lowering healthcare costs.”

Similar public-private collaborations between health departments and community pharmacists have potential to improve individual and family readiness, increase access to trained and trusted professionals, and strengthen overall preparedness and community resilience.