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

HHS on Wednesday issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to expand access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available.

AstraZeneca halted large, late-stage global trials of its coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday because of a serious suspected adverse reaction in a participant, the company said. It is not yet known whether the reaction was directly caused by the company's vaccine or was coincidental.

A letter signed by APhA and 12 other pharmacy organizations urged the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to prioritize the COVID-19 vaccination of pharmacists and pharmacy staff and to prominently include pharmacists in plans for the allocation and distribution for the COVID-19 vaccine. The letter was addressed to a NASEM special committee tasked with developing an overarching framework to assist domestic and global policymakers in planning for equitable allocation of vaccines against the virus.

A group of drug companies competing with one another to be among the first to develop coronavirus vaccines are reportedly planning to pledge that they will not release any vaccines that do not follow rigorous efficacy and safety standards.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends systemic corticosteroids to treat patients with severe COVID-19. Based on a WHO-sponsored meta-analysis published in JAMA, COVID-19 patients appeared to benefit substantially from treatment with systemic corticosteroids.

More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to the American Medical Association.

HHS has released the Rural Action Plan, the first HHS-wide assessment of rural health care efforts in more than 18 years. The action plan provides a blueprint for the agency to strengthen departmental coordination to better serve the millions of Americans living in rural parts of the country.

CDC has asked public health officials around the country to prepare to distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine as early as late October or early November.

New guidance from FDA details actions that drug makers can take to reduce or prevent the presence of nitrosamines in their products.

A new Gallup poll found that many Americans might be reluctant to receive a coronavirus vaccine, even if the vaccine were FDA approved and available at no cost. Specifically, 35% of Americans would not get a free, FDA-approved vaccine if it were available today, according to the poll released August 7.