Exciting News Everybody.
Pharmacists Are Very Accessible.
And Covid-19 Is Very Catchable.
When you add those 2 facts together, Sometimes you come up with big problems.
Pharmacists to the rescue. Officially, starting on this past week on July 6th, 2022, Pharmacists now may prescribe under special conditions and special criteria, Paxlovid by prescription to the patient when the patient has confirmed Covid. And what better professional to monitor and check for drug interactions and any precautions concerning Paxlovid. What great news.
discuss the announcement by the FDA that approves pharmacists’ prescriptive authority for the COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid. what did the announcement from the FDA on Paxlovid entail exactly, and what are the implications of this announcement?
pharmacists, as of this week, can now prescribe Paxlovid under the specific protocol, again, this was a not something that was written into the law, but it was actually written out of the FDA rule that excluded pharmacists, an information and document that, that they might be able to prescribe Paxlovid, again, within a specific window for patients who are COVID-19 positive.
Now, pharmacists today are doing some testing themselves, but this also means that a patient could walk right up and say, ‘I'm positive. Here's my test, and would you mind could you prescribe Paxlovid.’ That initiates essentially an evaluation by the pharmacist to determine whether or not that is effective. Such a big win for pharmacists, but more so for patients.
We expected this whenever Paxlovid EUA was approved months ago, and it was a shock to everyone that the FDA excluded pharmacists at the time
JULY 6, 2022 The PHARMACIST ROLE IN PAXLOVID THERAPY FOR COVID-19. As potential patients need to know, the FDA has issued emergency authorization (“EUA”) for Pfizer’s Paxlovid, an oral antiviral, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric patients.
On July 6, 2022, the FDA amended the Paxlovid EUA to state:
PAXLOVID may also be prescribed for an individual patient by a state-licensed pharmacist under the following conditions:
O Sufficient information is available, such as through access to health records less than 12 months old or consultation with a health care provider in an established provider-patient relationship with the individual patient, to assess renal and hepatic function; and
O Sufficient information is available, such as through access to health records, patient reporting of medical history, or consultation with a health care provider in an established provider-patient relationship with the individual
patient, to obtain a comprehensive list of medications (prescribed and non-prescribed) that the patient is taking to assess for potential drug interaction.
Right now, this allows pharmacists to be able to prescribe for COVID during the public what we're already seeing is both small market, mid-market, and large market—pharmacies are now engaging in planning on providing the same level of care for strep, the flu, and even RSV at times as well, as long as those state and federal regulations are met. So we're seeing a mass adoption right now of pharmacy to say, ‘We can help here.
Here are the rules and everyone must follow the rules and law entirely. First and foremost, you must have a positive covid-19 test. You must have your
Pharmacists make a difference. Not only in many states can pharmacists test, but now they can treat. And that, as a patient, is key because as we're talking about trying to improve health equity in the rural, suburban, and even honestly, in the urban spaces, we need pharmacists,
health emergency, but we need federal and state legislators to make that permanent.
9 out of 10 Americans today live within 5 miles of a pharmacy
Again, if a pharmacist is going to stop what they're doing, evaluate the patient, gather lab data, including kidney function, and liver function, speak with other providers, at times, connect with the patient and do a full interview, gather the prescription fill history, they have to have a way to be reimbursed for that, otherwise, we will not see the adoption that we're all hoping, and it flies in the face of the pharmacist in solving the challenge of health equity.
So, we have to be able to have that conversation with payers. So this crossing the Rubicon
The second thing that this forces a conversation with labs and pharmacies coming together. So, for the very first time, we have, again, the largest material needs ever for lab and pharmacy to connect that we've seen in our industry to date.
I would say that technology plays a key role here, we need to be able to take disparate data, and be able to tee it up for the pharmacists within their workflow. I think about the patient who walks into the pharmacy today, seeking a Paxlovid prescription. That pharmacist has just seen a patient to fill a prescription, the patient after that was the patient who needed a vaccination, and now I'm here to be able to serve that patient for Paxlovid, but now I need disparate data that's not in my system, I need to go get lab data.
So again, it's absolutely vital that my documentation, my communication with providers, my communication with lab updates, again, that's required by state and federal authorities, in this lab itself, like the test data again, I need that altogether. So technology is going to play a key role here if we're going to operationalize this on a scale that's necessary to meet the demands of America.
The last thing I would say is that, again, this is something that we're doing in partnership with physicians. We, as pharmacists, love our physician teams, and again, by no means is this pulling from them as we've seen in the reaction from the AMA. We respond to that and say, ‘We love our physicians.’ Again, we're here to be able to address together those health equity problems, and we'll seek to solve those together.
I fundamentally believe that this is taking our pharmacists back to their first love which is helping patients and engaging patients in a way that improves health outcomes as well. Our goal as pharmacists is to help our fellow citizens and improve their healthcare in the best and safest way possible to the best of our ability.