As the overall data on this illness continue to emerge, it will be important for health care providers to watch its impact on different populations and to serve as a source of reliable information for them.
Memorial day weekend, also known as the unofficial start of summer, has brought with it signs that in some areas of the country, at least, a return to normal may be on the horizon, as restrictions associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are slowly being lifted, even in areas of high COVID-19 activity.
Coverage of the pandemic in these pages has lessened to some extent compared with previous months, but our online content buttresses what has appeared in print, with compelling video interviews and access to resources for counseling patients. One online article focused on a recently conducted survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association that suggested that COVID-19 is likely changing for the long term how local pharmacies do business across the country.1
Although nearly three-quarters of the 315 pharmacist respondents said they did not offer point-of-care testing before the pandemic, 61% said they anticipated more pharmacies offering it for illnesses, such as COVID-19, in the future. More than half the respondents also said that they expect the pandemic to lead to an increased scope of practice that includes other health care services, in addition to dispensing medicine and immunizations.
As the overall data on this illness continue to emerge, it will be important for health care providers to watch its impact on different populations and to serve as a source of reliable information for them. For instance, the results of initial studies focusing on the growing COVID-19 pandemic illustrated milder indications in children. However, there has been a recent spike, with more than 200 children across 25 states and the District of Columbia developing confirmed and suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Most cases tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or antibodies for the virus.
Another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, looked at the impacts of COVID-19 on pregnancy. That study, Placental Pathology in COVID-19, noted maternal vascular malperfusion in the placentas of patients positive for the virus that causes Sars-CoV-2.2 It will be important for pharmacists to carefully monitor the flood of new information as it emerges, to counsel different populations, such as pregnant women. Women’s health is a focus of this issue of Pharmacy Times®, which features clinical talking points for female patients, including counseling points on contraception, hormone replacement therapy, and hypertension and menopause, in addition to continuing COVID- 19 coverage.
As COVID-19 continues to evolve, understanding the ramifications of the presentation of this disease is vital, and through the pages of this issue, alongside our digital offerings, such as educational interviews and webinars, we plan to continue to inform our readers by providing the latest information and tools to help keep pharmacists and patients remain vigilant.