Important pharmacy news and late-breaking industry information updated daily.

What information can you offer your patients asking about their ACE-Is and ARBs amid the pandemic? Do these medications increase the risk of severe complications or mortality from COVID-19? Should patients currently taking these medications be transitioned to other agents?

Pharmacists will be included in legislation creating a tax holiday for health professionals and first responders who continue to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation, the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations (HEROES) Act of 2020, initially did not include pharmacists as beneficiaries, but after a request from the APhA Government Affairs team, bill sponsor Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) added pharmacists to the list. 

As U.S. hospitals confront a surge in coronavirus cases, they are also beginning to report shortages of critical medications—especially those needed to ease the disease's assault on patients’ respiratory systems.

FDA on Wednesday ordered that manufacturers immediately pull all prescription and OTC ranitidine (Zantac) medications from the market. The decision is the latest step in the agency's ongoing investigation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, in ranitidine drugs.

In the latest step of an investigation that began with a voluntary recall in September, FDA announced on April 1, 2020, that it is now requiring manufacturers to remove all prescription and OTC ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. The agency said that ranitidine should no longer be prescribed—though patients with current ranitidine prescriptions should discuss alternative treatments before stopping the drug—or available for OTC use.

The Trump administration on Tuesday gave its most dire assessment to date of the coronavirus pandemic, predicting a best-case scenario of 100,000 to 240,000 fatalities in the United States. The U.S. death toll approached 4,000, with approximately 800 Americans reported dead on Tuesday alone, the highest number of daily deaths yet.

On March 25, APhA, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA), responded to the brief that the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the association that represents PBMs, filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Rutledge v PCMA.

There is scant evidence that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, alone or in combination with azithromycin, are effective treatments for COVID-19—but in the face of uncertainty and encouragement from President Trump, many health professionals have seized on their use. As pharmacies across the country have been flooded with fill requests for the drugs, troubling pharmacists and potentially contributing to shortages, pharmacy, medical groups, and state boards have taken a stand against the phenomenon.

Stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures are contributing to rapid drops in the numbers of fevers recorded in states across the country, according to new data from the medical technology firm Kinsa Health. At least 248 million Americans in at least 29 states have been told to stay at home.