Professional Practice


Professional Practice

Information relevant to pharmacy practice such as expanded roles of pharmacists, advancements in pharmacy practice, professional resources to share with patients or enhance practice knowledge and more.

Gottlieb urges federal government to surge vaccines to Michigan

Washington — Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, faulted the Biden administration for declining to send more vaccine doses to Michigan as the state experiences a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, saying the federal government should adapt its current vaccination strategy to surge vaccine doses and resources to virus hot spots.

"It's a request that's been made for weeks now, and I think we should have done it weeks ago," Gottlieb said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "It's never too late to do it. And it's not just additional vaccine, but it's the resources to actually get the vaccine into arms."

In recent weeks, Michigan has become the new epicenter of the pandemic, leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases by a wide margin, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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Michigan’s Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind

Outbreaks are ripping through workplaces, restaurants, churches and family weddings. Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. Officials are reporting more than 7,000 new infections each day, a sevenfold increase from late February. And Michigan is home to nine of the 10 metro areas with the country’s highest recent case rates.

During previous surges in Michigan, a resolute Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down businesses and schools as she saw fit — over the din of both praise and protests. But this time, Ms. Whitmer has stopped far short of the sweeping shutdowns that made her a lightning rod.

“Policy change alone won’t change the tide,” Ms. Whitmer said on Friday, as she asked — but did not order — that the public take a two-week break from indoor dining, in-person high school and youth sports. “We need everyone to step up and to take personal responsibility here.”

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Marketers adjust to pharmacist’s expanded role in COVID-19 era

When COVID-19 forced the shutdown of doctors’ offices across the country last spring, community pharmacies remained open — and pharmacists stepped up, taking on more patient counseling, immunizations and testing. And as COVID-19 vaccines have become more widely available, pharmacies — and pharmacists — have played a critical role in their distribution.

“Society is realizing that pharmacies are literally saving the world with immunizations,” notes Scott Knoer, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). “The access point of the community pharmacy is very significant.” 

The medical marketing community has finally taken notice. While pharmacists have long been an important audience, their increasing responsibilities and rising profile as healthcare providers have made them an even more crucial group for marketers to reach, not to mention busier than ever before.

The resulting shift has prompted marketers to experiment with new channels as they try to cut through the noise. As they do so, questions have emerged as to whether pharmacists’ expanded scope of care, and subsequent increase in contact with patients, will outlast the current crisis. Either way, many consumers are unlikely to ever again view their local chain pharmacy as a mere convenient destination for M&M’s and paper towels. 

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Overworked, understaffed: Pharmacists say industry in crisis puts patient safety at risk

From the moment Marilyn Jerominski walks into her pharmacy every morning, her time is in demand. As pharmacy manager of a busy 24-hour Walgreens in Palm Desert, California, she is responsible for the safety and accuracy of the thousands of prescriptions the store dispenses every week.

"There's so much stress," Jerominski said. "You're not only running to the drive-thru but to the front, to the vaccination station to give a vaccination, then to the phone. ... It's almost impossible for any human to keep that momentum day in and out."

It wasn't always that way. When she began working as a pharmacist 13 years ago, it was a very different environment, Jerominski said. There were more staff members and more time to counsel patients about their medications. These days, she is exhausted and often overwhelmed, worried about making a mistake when someone's health is on the line. She is far from alone.

Jerominski is one of an estimated 155,000 pharmacists working at chain drugstores who, over the past decade, have found themselves pushed to do more with less. They're working faster, filling more orders and juggling a wider range of tasks with fewer staff members at a pace that many say is unsustainable and jeopardizes patient safety. Now Covid-19 vaccinations are raising new concerns about what will happen if they aren't given enough additional support for yet another responsibility.

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Small Pharmacies Are Crucial to Vaccine Distribution. But It Could Cost Them.

Michigan Pharmacist in National News

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