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J Manag Care Spec Pharm ; 26(11): 1468-1474, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200401


The COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest pervading U.S. cities in response to the killings of George Floyd and other Black citizens at the hands of police are historically significant. These events exemplify dismaying truths about race and equality in the United States. Racial health disparities are an inexcusable lesion on the U.S. health care system. Many health disparities involve medications, including antidepressants, anticoagulants, diabetes medications, drugs for dementia, and statins, to name a few. Managed care pharmacy has a role in perpetuating racial disparities in medication use. For example, pharmacy benefit designs are increasingly shifting costs of expensive medications to patients, creating affordability crises for lower income workers, who are disproportionally persons of color. In addition, the quest to maximize rebates serves to inflate list prices paid by the uninsured, among which Black and Hispanic people are overrepresented. While medication cost is a foremost barrier for many patients, other factors also propagate racial disparities in medication use. Even when cost sharing is minimal or zero, medication adherence rates have been documented to be lower among Blacks as compared with Whites. Deeper understandings are needed about how racial disparities in medication use are influenced by factors such as culture, provider bias, and patient trust in medical advice. Managed care pharmacy can address racial disparities in medication use in several ways. First, it should be acknowledged that racial disparities in medication use are pervasive and must be resolved urgently. We must not believe that entrenched health system, societal, and political structures are impermeable to change. Second, the voices of community members and their advocates must be amplified. Coverage policies, program designs, and quality initiatives should be developed in consultation with those directly affected by racial disparities. Third, the industry should commit to dramatically reducing patient cost sharing for essential medication therapies. Federal and state efforts to limit annual out-of-pocket pharmacy spending should be supported, even though increased premiums may be an undesirable (yet more equitable) consequence. Finally, information about race should be incorporated into all internal and external reporting and quality improvement activities. DISCLOSURES: No funding was received for the development of this manuscript. Kogut is partially supported by Institutional Development Award Numbers U54GM115677 and P20GM125507 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, which funds Advance Clinical and Translational Research (Advance-CTR), and the RI Lifespan Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) on Opioids and Overdose, respectively. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Managed Care Programs/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Racial Groups/statistics & numerical data , African Americans , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cost Sharing , Drug Industry , Fees, Pharmaceutical , Female , Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Hispanic or Latino , Humans , Male , Managed Care Programs/economics , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology , Whites
Farm Hosp ; 45(2): 66-72, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134460


OBJECTIVE: The main purpose of this study was to analyze and compare three different medication delivery methods used by the outpatient care unit of a hospital pharmacy, namely health center collection, community pharmacy collection and home delivery. The secondary purpose was to compare the economic cost of those methods for the Spanish health service. METHOD: A failure mode and effects analysis was carried out to attain the primary objective. For the secondary objective, an in-depth analysis  was performed of the economic costs associated with each program using  a cost-minimization analysis. RESULTS: The failure mode and effects analysis resulted in scores of 184, 170 and 126 points for the health center collection, home delivery and community pharmacy collection programs, respectively. The economic evaluation, for its part, rendered estimated costs of €18,434.52, €11,417.08 and €7,986.52 for home delivery, health center collection and community pharmacy collection services, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study indicated that collection at the community pharmacy was the program associated to the lowest risk, most likely due to the crucial role of the pharmacist regarding the custody and preservation of medicines. As regards cost, dispensation at the community pharmacy was also associated with the lowest cost. Nevertheless, this finding was biased by the fact that, given the generous collaboration of pharmaceutical distributors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of transport and delivery to the pharmacy during the study period was zero. Further economic analyses are required to evaluate the costs of community pharmacy delivery and determine their impact on the public health system in cases where transport costs are different from zero.

Objetivo: El objetivo principal fue evaluar y comparar tres programas de entrega de medicamentos requeridos por los pacientes atendidos en las  consultas externas de farmacia hospitalaria: mediante centros de salud,  empresa de mensajería externa y oficinas de farmacia. El objetivo secundario fue analizar el coste económico desde la perspectiva  del sistema público de salud.Método: Se utilizó el análisis modal de fallos y efectos para el objetivo principal. El análisis económico se realizó mediante un estudio de minimización de costes.Resultados: Los resultados en índice de probabilidad de riesgo fueron 184 puntos para la entrega mediante centros de salud, 170 mediante mensajería y 126 mediante oficina de farmacia. El estudio económico mostró que actualmente el programa con menor coste económico fue la dispensación mediante oficina de farmacia respecto a mensajería y centros de salud (7.986,52 € versus 18.434,52 € y 11.417,08 €).Conclusiones: La entrega mediante oficina de farmacia tiene el menor índice de probabilidad de riesgo debido en gran parte al papel del farmacéutico en la custodia y conservación del medicamento. Respecto al estudio económico, también la dispensación mediante oficina de farmacia obtuvo el menor coste pero con una importante limitación: fue asignado un coste cero relativo a la empresa distribuidora y a la entrega del medicamento en las oficinas de farmacia por la colaboración altruista durante la pandemia. Si el coste fuese distinto de cero, serán necesarios nuevos estudios para evaluar el impacto económico el sistema público de salud.

Costs and Cost Analysis , Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/economics , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Spain
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 61(1): e35-e38, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-816605


BACKGROUND: Pharmacists are among the nation's most accessible and underused health professionals. Within their scope of practice, pharmacists can prescribe and administer vaccines, conduct point-of-care testing, and address drug shortages through therapeutic substitutions. OBJECTIVES: To better use pharmacists as first responders to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we conducted a needs and capacity assessment to (1) determine individual commitment to provide COVID-19 testing and management services, (2) identify resources required to provide these services, and (3) help prioritize unmet community needs that could be addressed by pharmacists. METHODS: In March 2020, pharmacists and student pharmacists within the Alaska Pharmacist Association worked to tailor, administer, and evaluate results from a 10-question survey, including demographics (respondent name, ZIP Code, cell phone, and alternate e-mail). The survey was developed on the basis of published COVID-19 guidelines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 screening and management guidelines, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy guidance, and joint policy recommendation from pharmacy organizations. RESULTS: Pharmacies are located in the areas of greatest COVID-19 need in Alaska. Pharmacists are willing and interested in providing support. Approximately 63% of the pharmacists who completed the survey indicated that they were interested in providing COVID-19 nasal testing, 60% were interested in conducting COVID-19 antibody testing, and 93% were interested in prescribing and administering immunizations for COVID-19, as available. When asked about resources needed to enable pharmacists to prescribe antiviral therapy, 37% of the pharmacists indicated they needed additional education or training, and 39% required access to technology to bill and document provided services. CONCLUSION: The primary barrier to pharmacists augmenting the current COVID-19 response is an inability to cover the costs of providing these health services. Pharmacists in Alaska are ready to meet COVID-19-related clinical needs if public and private insurers and legislators can help address the barriers to service sustainability.

COVID-19 , Emergency Responders , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Students, Pharmacy/statistics & numerical data , Alaska , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/economics , Professional Role , Surveys and Questionnaires
Am J Pharm Educ ; 84(6): ajpe8157, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646319


The administrative response to the coronavirus identified in 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for a variety of units housed in the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy is described. Continuity of operations, essential vs nonessential personnel, distance learning, online testing procedures for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, and the impact on development are discussed.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Education, Pharmacy/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Schools, Pharmacy/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Faculty, Pharmacy/organization & administration , Humans , Pandemics , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools, Pharmacy/economics