Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.
A new campaign from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is advocating for small business relief for pharmacies in the next COVID-19 legislative package. Called “Essential,” the campaign will use social media and grassroots advocacy to reach lawmakers.
Why It Matters
Community pharmacies have remained open throughout the pandemic, adapting their operations to provide essential services to patients. In April, results from an NCPA survey of around 510 community pharmacy owners found that 88% planned to apply for small business aid under the CARES Act. At the time, nearly half of those surveyed ranked their business’ financial health as somewhat or very poor.
Through its “Essential” campaign, the NCPA is looking to pharmacists and other small business owners to appeal to Congress to include key provisions in the next legislative package. These include:
- Liability protections for essential businesses to protect pharmacies from unfair lawsuits
- Expanding the Paycheck Protection Program to allow businesses that received loans to qualify for the Employee Retention tax credit and deduct eligible expenses
- Removing barriers to pharmacist testing, promoting immunization authority, and ensuring reimbursements for healthcare services pharmacists provide
- Providing hazard pay for essential workers
- Tax credits to offset the costs of safety measures such as personal protective equipment and increased cleaning and sanitation
Other healthcare news to know:
1. Consumers are increasingly embracing digitally based solutions for communicating with providers, according to CVS Health study. Drug Store News.
2. Nearly 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, a 5% increase from 2018, per CDC data. The New York Times.
3. The use of proton pump inhibitors may be linked to higher COVID-19 risk. Medscape.
4. The U.S. could be facing another health crisis as patients delay routine medical care and screenings due to the pandemic. Reuters.
5. A new bill aims to permanently expand the use of telehealth for seniors and Medicare beneficiaries. Fierce Healthcare.