Our thoughts to those affected by Florence, our thanks to the pharmacists serving them

Heavy rain from Tropical Depression Florence is pounding the Carolinas, southwest Virginia, and southern West Virginia. Tragically, as of this writing, 32 people have lost their lives. Countless more have lost their homes, their electricity, and their peace of mind. Thousands have evacuated drenched cities, where roads and bridges have become impassable. Rain and flooding are expected to continue for several days, and parts of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and Washington, DC, are also at risk.

The anguish is unimaginable, and APhA sends its sympathy and support to them.

Pharmacists play an important role in both emergency preparedness and coming to aid those in the midst of these difficult times.

In advance of Florence’s landfall, CVS Health reached out to patients by text message and e-mail to urge them to refill their prescriptions. CVS Health's PBM put into effect a plan to allow one-time 10-day emergency refills for plan members in affected areas.

Walgreens is allowing pharmacists in areas in under a state of emergency designation to refill medications up to a 30-day supply without requiring a prescriber’s refill authorization for any non-controlled substance. The chain proactively staged temporary mobile pharmacies to be deployed to pharmacies that sustain damage or are unable to open. Walgreens has also staged emergency power generators that can be deployed to pharmacies that have lost power.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are providing prescriptions and immunizations during the storm and its aftermath. Mobile pharmacy units are serving patients in affected areas.

Hundreds of local community pharmacies have stepped up as well. Their relationships with their patients and communities make them powerful providers of care and assistance. We will continue to tell the stories of their contributions in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

APhA is so grateful to those pharmacists who have risen to the occasion and helped their patients in dangerous conditions.

  • Visit the United Way of South Carolina website to donate to verified charities.
  • Donate to Red Cross. Red Cross has also had to cancel blood drives in areas affected by Florence, so those of you outside the flood zones are encouraged to give blood.
  • You can find many more ways to help here and here.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims. Our salute and praise go out to the heroic first responders, volunteers, and charities who have come to the rescue of hurting people.