Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) recently released guidelines outlining pharmacists’ roles in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The recommendations also aim to help pharmacy staff in community and hospital settings efficiently manage the coronavirus in the healthcare system.
Why It Matters
According to the FIP, community pharmacies are often the first point of contact for people with health concerns. This makes them key sources of advice and trusted information in both affected and unaffected areas. The guidelines provide essential information about the virus, including symptoms, lab testing, and preventive measures in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations for reducing transmission of respiratory illnesses.
In the U.S., officials emphasize that current risk for COVID-19 is low. However, the CDC advised Americans this week to plan for the possibility of more aggressive preventive measures as an increasing number of cases are reported around the world. These measures include travel restrictions and quarantines, which are already in effect, as well as possible school and workplace closures and public event cancellations.
Health officials continue to work toward developing a vaccine, but the effects of the outbreak are already far reaching from health and business perspectives. Officials have also warned about the spread of misinformation and possible scams related to the coronavirus. These occurrences drive home the importance of having trusted resources during health crises and the important role pharmacists play for their communities.
Other important healthcare news to know:
1. CMS’ proposed payment rule would create a new preferred tier for specialty drugs for Part D plans. FierceHealthcare.
2. Pharmacy DIR fees reached $9 billion in 2019. Drug Channels.
3. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans jumped 9.4% year-over-year. Axios.
4. Patients say prescription price transparency helps them afford their medications and increases satisfaction with and loyalty to providers. Drug Store News.
5. About 63% of Medicare beneficiaries in a new eHealth survey say they worry about surprise Medicare bills. PR Newswire.