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Latest news and updates about the Medicare and pharmacy industries.

June 12: Pharmacies Will Continue Operational Changes After Pandemic

Posted on June 12, 2020 by Amplicare Team

Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.

Editor' Note: The Weekly Roundup will take a break next week to celebrate Juneteenth.

The Story

Community pharmacies plan to continue operational changes made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new NCPA survey. The survey of 315 pharmacy owners and managers was conducted between May 18 and May 25.

Why It Matters

According to the results, nearly 75% of those surveyed said they did not offer point-of-care testing before the pandemic. However, sixty-one percent expect more pharmacies to continue to provide this service moving forward. Additionally, 56% expect pharmacist’s scope of practice to expand to include more healthcare services while 52% say more neighborhood pharmacies will administer immunizations.

As far as operational changes, a majority of pharmacy owners (82%) said they expected to continue to offer curbside delivery and expanded delivery services at their pharmacies. Other top changes they expected to stick include increased online presence or social media advertising (37.5%), plexiglass protections in-store (59%), changes to front-end layouts (32.1%), and changes to the inventory receiving process (22.4%). Sixty-one percent expect staff to continue to wear masks, gloves, and personal protective equipment after the pandemic. 

As the pandemic continues, its full impact on U.S. healthcare is yet to be seen. However, this NCPA study is a good indication of community pharmacists’ expectations once the crisis ends.

Other healthcare news to know:

1. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy issued nearly 50,000 temporary licenses for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Drug Topics.

2. The Colorado Senate passed a bill authorizing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense PrEP and PEP medications. Drug Store News.

3. Treating COVID-19 could cost private insurers up to $547 billion from 2020 to 2021, according to an updated report. Fierce Healthcare.

4. Easing lockdown restrictions, which saved millions of lives, is risky, says two international studies. Reuters.

5. A new poll shows Americans are still more likely to prefer the private sector, rather than the government, drives healthcare innovation. AP News.

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