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FDA Announces Flexibilities for Compounding by Outsourcing Facilities
Click the link above for an FDA announcement on flexibilities for compounding by outsourcing facilities


ASHP Opens Access To Critical Care Pharmacy Specialty Resources
Click the above link for open access to ASHP's Critical Care Specialty Pharmacy resources.

ASHP CEO Blog: Update on Activities During and in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
In his new blog post, ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz addresses the COVID-19 pandemic and ASHP's efforts to support you in your important patient care efforts.


TOOLS & RESOURCES

Supporting Pharmacists During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since January, ASHP has been tracking the rise of COVID-19 and ensuring that our members have the information and resources to respond to this public health emergency, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

We invite you to join Eric Maroyka, director, Center on Pharmacy Practice Advancement, and Vicki Basalyga, director of the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists, for the latest episode of the ASHPOfficial podcast, in which they discuss COVID-19 and the growing impact to members. 

ASHP COVID-19 Resource Center
ASHP’s COVID-19 Resource Center is updated regularly with tools and quick links to evidence-based information and guidance, serving as a central online repository to provide you with helpful resources such as:

  • Guidance for healthcare professionals
  • Sample list of potential pharmacy public health roles at the local or state level
  • Infection prevention and control checklist
  • Free member access to the Pharmacy Competency Assessment Center modules on emergency preparedness and infection prevention 
  • Drug Shortages Resource Center 
  • Guidance on usage of face masks versus respirators  
  • Links to COVID-19 information hubs from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, World Health Organization (WHO), and others
  • Links to academic journal collections
  • Links to healthcare organizations’ COVID-19 resource centers, including resources for patients
  • “ASHP in the News,” a collection of news articles quoting ASHP experts  
For 15 Americans who boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Tokyo in January, an extended stay in Omaha, Nebraska, wasn’t on the planned itinerary. But they ended up at the University of Nebraska Medical Center — thanks to the presence on the ship of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
To bring attention to the well-being of pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians during the COVID-19 response, ASHP encourages members to refer to WHO guidance. Recommendations include advising management if you are experiencing signs of undue stress or mental health challenges that require support interventions; maintaining appropriate working hours with breaks; providing access to mental health and counseling resources; and enabling team-based cooperation. Additional well-being and resilience resources can be located at wellbeing.ashp.org     

TAKING ACTION

On March 6, 2020, the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act” became law.  In addition to providing healthcare agencies with more money to address the COVID-19 outbreak, it also loosens existing telehealth restrictions in order to enhance patient access to care services. However, the waiver of the existing rules is relatively narrow – it is restricted to existing patients and it does not open up telehealth billing to new practitioners. Learn more about the implications of these changes in ASHP’s issue brief.
Recommendations for Policymakers
ASHP members have already sent more than 500 emails to elected officials asking them to support our recently developed white papers, “Pharmacy Readiness for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Recommendations for Policymakers.” 

We are asking Congress to address shortages of drugs and medical supplies, reimburse pharmacists for patient care services provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and provide resources for clinician readiness and resilience. Our recommendations to state policymakers include authorizing pharmacists to provide immunizations, order testing, and initiate antivirals once an effective therapy is identified to treat COVID-19.  

We thank all those who have already taken action, and ask that you share these documents with your peers and contact your representatives if you have not already done so.

Coming Soon
ASHP will be releasing the results of its COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Survey next week, a survey that will be administered periodically, to gauge potential supply chain disruptions and shed light on the urgency of the situation to government officials, the media, and the offering of guidance to our members. 
 
A COVID-19 Planning Checklist for hospital and health-system pharmacies is also being developed for emergency preparedness and response considerations and is expected to be released later next week.
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