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1.
BMJ Open ; 10(1): e033002, 2020 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455699

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Due to a high global incidence of unintended pregnancy, finding novel ways to increase the accessibility of contraceptive products and information is critical. One proposed strategy is to use the accessibility of community pharmacies and expand the role of pharmacists to deliver these services. This protocol reports the methods of a proposed scoping review of pharmacy-based initiatives for preventing unintended pregnancy. We intend to identify the range of interventions employed by pharmacists worldwide and their outcomes and aim to infer the value of task sharing for reducing certain access and equity barriers to contraception. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This protocol was developed with guidance from the Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology for Scoping Reviews. Reporting is compliant with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) protocols. The scoping review will be reported according to the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews. Seven electronic databases (PubMed, Ovid Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, Scopus and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) were systematically searched for relevant literature published in English from 2000, on 22 August 2019. Two authors will individually screen articles for eligibility in Covidence and data will be charted and reported using a tool developed for the purpose of this review. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Findings will be disseminated in publications and presentations with relevant stakeholders. Ethical approval is not required as we will be using data from publicly available literature sources. We will map available evidence across the breadth of studies that have been conducted and identify the effectiveness and acceptability of interventions.


Subject(s)
Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacies/organization & administration , Pharmacists/statistics & numerical data , Pregnancy, Unplanned , Female , Humans , Pregnancy
2.
J Manag Care Spec Pharm ; 26(11): 1468-1474, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200401

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Managed Care Programs/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data , African Americans , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cost Sharing , Drug Industry , Fees, Pharmaceutical , Female , Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Managed Care Programs/economics , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , Pharmaceutical Services/economics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
4.
Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med ; 12(1): e1-e4, 2020 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073587

ABSTRACT

The public sector primary care facilities in Cape Town serve a large number of patients with chronic diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prior to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, stable patients with chronic conditions attended the facility or support groups to obtain their medication. During the COVID-19 epidemic, these patients would be put at risk if they had to travel and gather in groups to receive medication. The Metropolitan Health Services, therefore, decided to offer home delivery of medication. A system of home delivery was rapidly established by linking the existing chronic dispensing unit system with the emerging approach to community-orientated primary care in the Metro. Medication was delivered as usual to primary care pharmacies, but then a variety of means were used to disseminate the parcels to local non-profit organisations, where they could be delivered by a city-wide network of community health workers (CHWs). Innovations included various ways of delivering the parcels, including via Uber, bicycles and electric scooters, as well as Google forms to monitor the success of the initiative. It was estimated that up to 200 000 parcels per month could be delivered in this way via 2500 CHWs. The new system was established throughout the Metropole, and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are further discussed. The initiative may prevent COVID-19 amongst people with comorbidities who would be at risk of more severe diseases. It may also have de-congested primary care facilities ahead of the expected surge in COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
Chronic Disease/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Community Health Workers , Humans , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , South Africa/epidemiology
6.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 61(2): e65-e67, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943268

ABSTRACT

Warfarin therapy requires maintenance of a therapeutic international normalized ratio (INR) and thus requires routine monitoring to ensure benefits of anticoagulation, while avoiding complications. As the pharmacist's role evolves from traditional medication dispensing towards direct patient care, many anticoagulation management services are pharmacist-managed. Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, healthcare providers were faced with re-evaluating anticoagulation management practices to minimize person-to-person exposure risk. Although being anticoagulated is not considered high risk for illness from the coronavirus, these patients are often of advanced age and frequently have multiple comorbidities, putting them at increased risk. Consequently, two hospital-based, pharmacist-managed outpatient anticoagulation management services developed drive-thru curbside clinics to continue providing care to warfarin patients. The services utilized universal COVID-19 precautions to conduct curbside appointments where pharmacists determined patient's warfarin therapy plan, scheduled timely follow-up, and provided dosing instructions. With the unexpected coronavirus outbreak, this immediate change to traditional anticoagulation management was essential for safe and effective anticoagulation therapy. Implementing a curbside clinic allowed for safe distancing while managing warfarin appropriately.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , International Normalized Ratio , Pandemics
7.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 1908-1912, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907109

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has necessitated alterations to the delivery of healthcare services. Modifications include those made to improve patient and healthcare worker safety such as the use of personal protective equipment. Pharmacy services, specifically pharmacy transitions of care services have not been immune to change which have brought along their own set of unique challenges to consider. This paper discusses how COVID-19 has impacted the delivery of pharmacy transitions of care services with real world examples from Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Procedures implemented to minimize the spread and contraction of COVID-19 such as minimized patient contact and altered visitor policies have made it more challenging to obtain a best possible medication list the patient was taking prior to arrival to the hospital which has lead to an increased reliance on secondary sources to complete medication histories. Regarding discharge prescriptions, preference has shifted to the use of electronic vs. hard copy prescriptions, mail order, and utilization of med to bed programs and other hospital medication delivery services to limit patient contact in outpatient pharmacies. An improved effort to resolve medication acquisition issues prior to discharge utilizing patient assistance programs and other hospital programs to cover the cost of medications for COVID positive patients under certain circumstances has been seen. This paper highlights the important role pharmacists can play in providing effective communication, supporting continuity of care, and advocating for patient engagement and empowerment during transitions of care in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Transfer/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Communication , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Humans , Patient Discharge , Professional Role
8.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 61(1): e35-e38, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-816605

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
9.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 20(1): 913, 2020 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-810411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Novel Coronavirus is a global pandemic affecting all walks of life and it significantly changed the health system practices. Pharmacists are at the front line and have long been involved in combating this public health emergency. Therefore, the study was aimed to explore pharmacy preparedness and response to prevent and control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted in six pharmacies in Aksum, Ethiopia in May, 2020. We conducted six in-depth interviews with purposively selected key informants. Direct observation measures were made to assess the activities made in the medicine retail outlets for the prevention and control of the pandemic. Interview data were audio-recorded, translated and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was employed to analyze the data and OpenCode version 4.02 software was used to facilitate the data analysis. RESULTS: The thematic analysis has resulted in seven major themes. Good preparedness measures were undertaken to control and prevent COVID-19. Study informants had good knowledge about the pandemic disease and reported they had used different resource materials to update themselves. Preparing of alcohol-based hand-rub, availing finished sanitizers and alcohol, and advising clients to maintain physical distancing were the major counseling information being delivered to prevent the disease. Some tendencies of irrational drug use and false claims of COVID-19 were observed at the beginning of the pandemic. Interview informants had reported they were working with relevant stakeholders and appropriate patient education and support were given to combat the pandemic. CONCLUSION: The study revealed necessary pharmacy services has been rendered to all clients. However, availability of drugs and medical supplies were scarce which negatively affected the optimal delivery of pharmacy services. The government and other responsible bodies should work together to solve such problems and contain the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Health Services Research , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pharmaceutical Preparations/supply & distribution , Pharmacists/statistics & numerical data , Qualitative Research
12.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 1903-1907, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-759318

ABSTRACT

Across the globe, pharmacists on the frontline continue to fight COVID-19 and its continuously evolving physical, mental, and economic consequences armed by their knowledge, professionalism, and dedication. Their need for credible scientific evidence to inform their practice has never been more urgent. Despite the exponentially increasing number of publications since the start of the pandemic, questions remain unanswered, and more are created, than have been resolved by the increasing number of publications. A panel of leading journal editors was convened by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Pharmacy Practice Research Special Interest Group to discuss the current status of COVID-19 related research, provide their recommendations, and identify focal points for pharmacy practice, social pharmacy, and education research moving forward. Key priorities identified spanned a wide range of topics, reflecting the need for good quality research to inform practice and education. The panel insisted that a foundation in theory and use of rigorous methods should continue forming the basis of inquiry and its resultant papers, regardless of topic area. From assessing the clinical and cost effectiveness of COVID-19 therapies and vaccines to assessing different models of pharmaceutical services and education delivery, these priorities will ensure that our practice is informed by the best quality scientific evidence at this very challenging time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Pharmacy Research/organization & administration , Humans , Professional Role , Professionalism
14.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 60(6): e113-e115, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-731813

ABSTRACT

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many industries, including pharmacy, rapidly expanded the use of telecommuting workers to assure business continuity and address social distancing needs. Advances in electronic health records and telepharmacy over the past 2 decades enabled pharmacy leaders to easily adapt their practice models to allow for telecommuting alternatives during the pandemic. While these changes were generally intended to be part of the short-term response, the sustained expansion of telecommuting within the pharmacy profession merits further exploration. Documented experience with telepharmacy and telehealth indicate a wide array of clinical and operational pharmacist activities that could be conducted by telecommuters. In addition, experience with telecommuters in other industries suggests potential benefits ranging from improving pharmacists' work-life balance to mitigating postpandemic financial burden. Health care organizations should consider integrating part-time telecommuter pharmacists into contemporary practice models to address other frontline issues and facilitate ongoing expansion of clinical pharmacy services to meet emerging patient needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Professional Role , Telecommunications/organization & administration , Electronic Health Records , Job Satisfaction , Pharmaceutical Services/trends , Pharmacists/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Telecommunications/trends
15.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 1913-1919, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-726844

ABSTRACT

The delivery of healthcare including the provision of pharmacy services globally is highly regulated internationally in order to protect public health and welfare. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated the need internationally to amend the model of regulation in order to ensure that people were able to continue to access a range of healthcare services in a timely and effective manner. Many of the changes introduced to the regulation of pharmacy services in Ireland have been replicated in other countries. These include the introduction of electronic means to transmit prescriptions and other orders for medications, relaxing the legal restrictions in place controlling the emergency supply of prescription only medicines and more fully utilizing the professional competency of pharmacists by empowering them to use their expertise and judgment to support their patients accessing the healthcare services that they need. Many of the regulatory changes that have been introduced to support the COVID-19 public health emergency effort are ones that pharmacists have previously sought to enable them provide a more effective and expanded model of pharmaceutical care to their patients. Accordingly, many pharmacists will want these regulatory changes to be retained and further expanded in the aftermath of the COVID-19 public health emergency in order to extend their scope of practice and support them in the care of their patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Legislation, Pharmacy , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmacists/organization & administration , Clinical Competence , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Ireland , Pharmaceutical Services/legislation & jurisprudence , Pharmacists/legislation & jurisprudence , Professional Role , Public Health
19.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 60(6): e95-e99, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-701882

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues its course in 2020, telehealth technology provides opportunities to connect patients and providers. Health policies have been amended to allow easy access to virtual health care, highlighting the field's dynamic ability to adapt to a public health crisis. Academic detailing, a peer-to-peer collaborative outreach designed to improve clinical decision-making, has traditionally relied on in-person encounters for effectiveness. A growth in the adoption of telehealth technology translates to increases in academic detailing reach for providers unable to meet with academic detailers in person. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has used academic detailing to promote and reinforce evidence-based practices and has encouraged more virtual academic detailing (e-Detailing). Moreover, VA academic detailers are primarily clinical pharmacy specialists who provide clinical services and education and have made meaningful contributions to improving health care at VA. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and physical isolation orders, VA academic detailers have continued to meet with providers to disseminate critical health care information in a timely fashion by using video-based telehealth. When working through the adoption of virtual technology for the delivery of medical care, providers may need time and nontraditional delivery of "evidence" before eliciting signals for change. Academic detailers are well suited for this role and can develop plans to help address provider discomfort surrounding the use of telehealth technology. By using e-Detailing as a method for both familiarizing and normalizing health professionals with video-based telehealth technology, pharmacists are uniquely poised to deliver consultation and direct-care services. Moreover, academic detailing pharmacists are ambassadors of change, serving an important role navigating the evolution of health care in response to emergent public health crises and helping define the norms of care delivery to follow.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Clinical Decision-Making , Computer-Assisted Instruction , Evidence-Based Medicine , Information Dissemination , Interprofessional Relations , Pharmaceutical Services/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/standards , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
20.
Aust J Gen Pract ; 49(8): 530-532, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691741

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable and older people with chronic and complex conditions have self-isolated in their homes, potentially limiting opportunities for consultations to have medications prescribed and dispensed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article is to describe initiatives to ensure ongoing access to medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. DISCUSSION: Cooperation between wholesalers and purchase limits in pharmacies have helped to ensure supply of essential medications. Therapeutic substitution by pharmacists is permitted for specific products authorised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Prescribers are permitted to issue digital image prescriptions, and implementation of electronic prescribing has been fast-tracked. Expanded continued dispensing arrangements introduced during the bushfire crises have been temporarily extended. Pharmacists are permitted to provide medication management reviews via telehealth. A Home Medicines Service has been introduced to facilitate delivery of medications to people who are vulnerable or elderly. Anticipatory prescribing and medication imprest systems are valuable for access to end-of-life medications within residential aged care.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Drugs, Essential/supply & distribution , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Medication Therapy Management , Pandemics , Pharmaceutical Services , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Electronic Prescribing , Humans , Medication Therapy Management/organization & administration , Medication Therapy Management/trends , Multiple Chronic Conditions/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmaceutical Services/organization & administration , Pharmaceutical Services/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/trends
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