The Future of PQA With New CEO Micah Cost
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Micah Cost, PharmD, MS, who was recently selected as the new chief executive officer of Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), on his plans for the future of the organization and the continuing importance of ensuring the safe and effective use of medications today.
The discussion included the mission of PQA, the ways the organization supports the field of pharmacy, Cost’s background in medication use quality, and the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on medication use quality in pharmacy.
Cost explained how despite everything that happened this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and health care providers stepped up at every point to face the challenges head-on.
“So, our term ‘health care heroes’ really applies here,” Cost said. “I mean we've really seen health care shine in a way that uses regulatory flexibilities, uses telehealth to get patients care where they are. We've seen our pharmacies specifically step up and do [COVID-19] testing, we've seen our pharmacists roll out [COVID-19] vaccinations—those are happening right now. And what it's doing is it's taking the care to where the patients are rather than forcing the patients to go where they might not feel comfortable.”
Cost explained further that pharmacists are finding new and unique ways to make sure that patients never face a disruption in their medication and continue to have access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So, our hope is that once we go back to normal, there will be no ‘back to normal,’ it will become a new normal of this is where the pharmacist fits into care, this is how pharmacy can play an active role in preventive health, immunizations, and testing, and all these services that patients feel comfortable going to see their pharmacist for,” Cost said. “I just could not be prouder of the pharmacy community and really the health care community for stepping up and helping whenever they were needed most.”