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Take Time to Reflect on National Pharmacist Day

This National Pharmacist Day, take the time to reflect on how pharmacists have stepped up during the pandemic.

January 12 is National Pharmacist Day: It’s a day to celebrate all that pharmacists do to care for their communities. It’s no secret that pharmacists are the most accessible health care profession with most Americans living within 5 miles of a community pharmacy.1

This National Pharmacist Day, Drug Topics® wants to take a step back and reflect on how pharmacists stepped up in the pandemic to provide care, test, and eventually vaccinate. It’s safe to say that the pandemic has led many in the public to understand just how important their local pharmacy and especially pharmacist is to their health.

Some highlights over the past almost 3 years of the pandemic, pharmacists were responsible for so many things including:

  • Pharmacists started to be granted the power to vaccinate against COVID-19 when a vaccine was available in June 2020 with the US Department of Health and Human Services expanding it nationwide in September 2020.
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  • Easier and more accessible forms of COVID-19 testing became available through pharmacists in July 2020.
  • Pharmacists used the pandemic to reconsider ways to address social determinants of health and their impact on other health crises.
  • Pharmacists addressed the challenge posed by controlled substances and managing drug diversion during the pandemic.
  • Surveys showed that many patients preferred getting their COVID-19 vaccinations at the pharmacy, rather than mass events. As a result, more than 296.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered at pharmacies as of December 29, 2022.2
  • The test-to-treat initiative and the power to prescribe Paxlovid to patients, with some exceptions, expanded pharmacists’ scope of practice in 2022.

When the world changed in March 2020, pharmacists stepped up. You tested millions. You vaccinated millions. You rapidly shifted to provide curbside, delivery, and other services when patients didn’t want to face potential exposure. You showed why pharmacists are an integral part of health care.

So, this National Pharmacist Day, take a bow.

References

  1. Berenbrok LA, Tang S, Gabriel N, et al. Access to community pharmacies: a nationwide geographic information systems cross-sectional analysis. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 Nov-Dec;62(6):1816-1822.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2022.07.003.
  2. The federal retail pharmacy program for COVID-19 vaccination. Resource. CDC. Reviewed December 29, 2022. Accessed January 12, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/retail-pharmacy-program/index.html

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