The Pandemic Introduced a Generation of People Who Turn to the Pharmacy As Additional Access Point To Care


COVID-19 is helping to shape current pharmacy practice, including increased vaccinations, access to care, and better interactions with patients.

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA, Senior Manager, Clinical Pharmacy Oversight at Health Mart, Chicago, Illinois, joined Pharmacy Times at McKesson ideaShare 2023 in Las Vegas to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on propelling the role of the pharmacist as a health care provider. Hoffman-Eubanks also details the pharmacist’s pandemic response on vaccinations, especially with the introduction of H.R. 1770, and more.

PT Staff: How do you think the role of the COVID-19 vaccine program will impact future vaccinations?

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA: I think what we have seen is the role of pharmacy—and this is especially, I think, present today, with the introduction of the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services (ECAPS) Act of the 118th Congress, H.R. 1770—in helping with the pandemic and stepping up; being that frontline worker; [and] keeping their pharmacies open to make sure that patients had access to care. And through that we saw a progression of the importance of pharmacy (which has always been there) but just how we were able to step up. And we've had technicians taking on new roles where they were able to vaccinate, which was really helpful, and take care of our nation. So I think this absolutely will continue to help it expand and have that opportunity. And we are dedicated to making sure that we can strengthen the role that our pharmacies play in people's lives, and elevate the role of the pharmacy.

Technician- © pharmacytimes

Technician- © pharmacytimes

PT Staff: How could the pharmacist’s pandemic response propel their role as a healthcare provider?

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA: I think the value of the pharmacist has always been present. And when we think back, it's really important to have that relationship and our independent community pharmacies do this extremely well. They have those conversations, they talk with their patients on a day-to-day basis, they have the ability to share with them how they're able to be that destination for their health. And so what I think we're going to see that, and we were really already starting to see that [with] COVID-19. And just having a generation is [allowing] patients to start to come to their pharmacies for other services and things that maybe they wouldn't have thought of before (for the additional access point). And then we can come back and work with our health care providers and collaborate in new and innovative ways to help make sure that our patients are having the best outcomes possible.

PT Staff:

Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA: I think what's really important throughout the progression in the study is that we were able to do is just add to that scope of literature showing what pharmacists are capable of— [along with] their teams of student pharmacists and the technicians— and how they were really able to step up and really break down some of those medical access barriers that we see across the country. And I'm excited for the future. We're able to work with our patients on a day-to-day basis, and pharmacies do this wonderfully. And I think the sky's the limit with the future for pharmacy.

Related Videos
Pharmacist holding medicine box in pharmacy drugstore. | Image Credit: I Viewfinder -
Pharmacy Drugstore Checkout Cashier Counter | Image Credit: Gorodenkoff -
Testicular cancer and prostate cancer concept. | Image Credit: kenchiro168 -
Medicine tablets on counting tray with counting spatula at pharmacy | Image Credit: sutlafk -
Capsules medicine and white medicine bottles on table | Image Credit: Satawat -
Human cell or Embryonic stem cell microscope background | Image Credit: Anusorn -
Concept of health care, pharmaceutical business, drug prices, pharmacy, medicine and economics | Image Credit: Oleg -
Biosimilar pharmaceutical drug bottle on blue background. | Image Credit: Carl -
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.