Pharmacy News

Medicaid programs in five states make moves to pay pharmacists for COVID-19 services

Good news from Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, and New Mexico: CMS has approved their proposed state Medicaid plan amendments (SPAs) to recognize pharmacists and some pharmacy professionals as “other licensed practitioners,” or OLPs, who are eligible to be paid for COVID-19 services. There’s a catch—the changes are temporary and will disappear when the federal government retracts its declaration of a public health emergency (PHE). They do, however, present opportunities to make pharmacists’ OLP designations permanent.

AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is safe, 79% effective in late-stage U.S. trials

U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca is preparing to seek FDA authorization in the coming weeks for its COVID-19 vaccine, which late-stage U.S. trials found to be 79% effective in preventing symptomatic disease. Researchers determined it was 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalizations.

U.S. rushes to expand COVID vaccine eligibility in a 'race against time'

The race is on to achieve universal COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in the United States by the May 1 deadline set by President Biden.

Amazon to offer telehealth service to other U.S. firms this summer

Although its health care venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase dismantled last month, 3 years after starting, Amazon is still trying to carve out a niche for itself in the market. The company is taking Amazon Care telehealth nationwide this summer and plans to open it up to other companies.

Pharmacists can improve health equity as AMA paper points out

AJ, an 85-year-old man who is presented in a new case and commentary paper in the February 2021 issue of AMA Journal of Ethics, experiences food insecurity, limited access to health care services, poor health literacy, a language barrier, and a lack of social support—all issues that pharmacists routinely see. AJ’s case highlights the role of social determinants of health in a patient’s health outcomes.