Community, Health System Pharmacists Tackle New Roles During COVID-19 Pandemic

2020-10-08 15:57:00
Tags: retail,hospital,HSE,health systems,specialty pharmacy,coronavirus,pharmacy heroes

To celebrate American Pharmacists Month, Pharmacy Times spoke with several pharmacists about their experiences during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and how they have tackled its unique challenges.

Mayank Amin, PharmD, RPh, MBA, owner of Skippack Pharmacy, discussed how he met patients’ needs by delivering prescriptions to their homes, supporting the broader community, and dressing as a superhero to boost patients’ morale. For another community pharmacy perspective, Jennifer Zilka, senior vice president, Field Programs and Services, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, discussed how their pharmacy teams have come together to support communities and care for each other’s mental health during the pandemic.

Kathryn Samai, PharmD, BCPS, emergency medicine clinical pharmacy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, discussed some of the more practical challenges of the pandemic, such as shortages of personal protective equipment and planning for potential drug shortages.

“I definitely think this is going to be the strangest thing that’s ever happened in my career,” Samai said. “I know I’ll look back and just remember this was such a strange time.”

Finally, Steven C. Anderson, FASAE, CAE, IOM, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, talked about what’s next during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists will play a major role in distributing vaccines once they become available, Anderson said, adding that pharmacists are ready and prepared to take that step when it comes.