NCPA Urges Biden Administration to Consider Independent Pharmacies as Part of COVID-19 Strategy

January 26, 2021
Alana Hippensteele, Editor

Following the release of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response strategy, NCPA issued its support and urged the government to also consider engaging independent pharmacies in its implementation.

Following the release of the Biden administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued its support for the strategy and urged the government to also consider the need to engage independent pharmacies in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Small business neighborhood pharmacy has been engaged in the fight against the coronavirus from the start, jumping to action and installing plexiglass barriers, upping their delivery services, starting curbside pick-up, compounding hand sanitizer, and offering testing and, when possible, the COVID-19 vaccines. Similarly, the Biden administration is jumping quickly to work to join the battle, continue getting vaccines into people’s arms, and provide relief,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, PharmD, MBA, in the statement.

An NCPA survey conducted in August 2020 asked its members whether they plan to offer the COVID-19 vaccines when they become available, with 86% responding that they plan to.

Additionally, a majority of community pharmacies already have other vaccinations available for patients at their locations. Furthermore, many of these pharmacies are equipped to administer vaccines outside of their stores, such as at local businesses, long-term care facilities, community centers, places of worship, schools, factories, and prisons.

“We’ve shared with the administration how, when engaged by local health departments, community pharmacies are successfully battling the COVID-19 disease. As demonstrated in the success of vaccine rollout plans in places like West Virginia, Arkansas, and Alaska, small business independent pharmacies must be included in COVID-19 immunization strategies, whether federal or local, if those plans are to be realized,” Hoey said in the statement.

The statement also noted that NCPA’s more than 21,000 pharmacy members that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide are available and prepared to support the Biden administration in its efforts to vaccinate the country against COVID-19.

“We are eager to work with the new administration on these and other important initiatives and applaud its efforts thus far,” Hoey said in the statement. “NCPA and the more than 21,000 independent pharmacies stand ready to assist.”

REFERENCE

NCPA Applauds Biden Administration COVID-19 Strategy. Alexandria, VA: National Community Pharmacists Association; January 22, 2021. [email]. Accessed January 25, 2021.