SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Board of Trustees today called upon the state and federal governments to officially recognize pharmacists and pharmacy personnel as “front-line providers” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such status would compel the distribution of more personal protective gear and implementation of control measures to better protect pharmacy professionals, their patients, and the public.
“Ensuring consistent protection and control measures in all settings where pharmacists and technicians work is of utmost importance,” said Dr. Ken Thai, CPhA President. “Not only is it critical to ensuring the safety of the pharmacy workforce, but it is essential to the maintenance of vital public health services.”
A major advantage to having pharmacists involved in addressing this healthcare crisis is that pharmacies are easily accessible and are located in almost all communities across the state. The ability of pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations is a prime example of the positive effect when states expand pharmacists’ roles to include providing preventive medications. Now, more than ever, all providers must work together to address this overwhelming healthcare crisis.
“Due to their accessibility, pharmacists and technicians are the first healthcare professionals that most people go to with healthcare questions,” said Susan Bonilla, Chief Executive Officer, CPhA. “And in a rapidly fluctuating and uncertain situation as we are currently experiencing, pharmacy personnel are answering more questions from their communities than ever. However, there are currently no official protections in place to ensure their personal safety or support their ability to continue to provide patient care.”
In the meantime, CPhA calls for all “employers, manufacturers, distributors, health systems, and settings in which pharmacists and pharmacy personnel practice to immediately put into place protections, control measures, and procedures,” added President Thai. “This will not only ensure their safety, but is critical to ensuring they can remain on the front lines, protecting public health during this international pandemic.
The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the largest statewide professional association for pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the country. CPhA represents the pharmacy profession in all practice settings and promotes the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy.