Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.
Editor’s Note: The Weekly Roundup will take a break next week to observe the 4th of July. Have a safe and happy holiday!
The CDC is encouraging healthcare professionals to continue to administer routine vaccinations during the ongoing pandemic. In an update to its guidance, the agency highlighted the importance of the flu vaccine ahead of the upcoming flu season.
Why It Matters
Administering vaccinations is one of the many ways pharmacists help maintain the health of their communities. However, recent social distancing and lockdown measures led to a decrease in immunizations amid concerns about COVID-19 infections. Last month, the CDC expressed concerns that this reduction could lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles.
The CDC’s updated guidance would see routine vaccinations continue through the pandemic in order to protect communities and reduce the potential strain on healthcare systems. The agency does recommend delaying vaccinations for those with suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus and provides guidelines to safely administer vaccines. In addition to guidelines for routine vaccinations, the CDC also highlighted additional considerations for flu vaccines, for which pharmacies are already anticipating increased demand. Specifically, essential workers, including pharmacy staff, people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and those at high risk for flu complications should ensure they receive the flu shot.
Other healthcare news to know:
1. The American Pharmacists Association has created a task force to address issues of racism and discrimination in the pharmacy industry. Drug Store News.
2. Medicare Advantage plans miss the mark on effective communication with members, according to a new study. J.D. Power.
3. Georgia’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would tighten regulations on PBMs. The Newnan Times-Herald.
4. A new poll shows U.S. adults are concerned about the potential for increased drug costs due to the pandemic. Drug Topics.
5. The American Medical Association is asking federal lawmakers to step in to reform prior authorization. Fierce Healthcare.