COVID-19 Resources for Community Pharmacists

Texas community pharmacists are on the front lines of providing care and guidance to patients during the coronavirus crisis. Patients are counting on their local pharmacists and other health-care providers to share sound, factual guidance about the symptoms and spread of this disease.

Below are resources that can be helpful to pharmacists and patients as we continue to learn more about this pandemic. Please return often to this page for updated information and resources.

Texas Governor Issues Series of Executive Orders Effective Friday, March 20 at 11:59 p.m.

Texas State Board of Pharmacy Coronavirus Updates

Emergency Adoption & Procedures

White House 15 Days to Slow the Spread

Coronavirus Websites from Key Government Agencies & Associations

Do You Need Additional Help in Your Pharmacy from a Pharmacy Student?

We understand in other states some independent pharmacists are left to work alone because their staff are out with illness or lack of childcare. In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, Will Douglas, Texas House Republican candidate and pharmacist, has been working with schools of pharmacy, Texas State Board of Pharmacy, Texas Pharmacy Association and the Alliance to activate pharmacy students for pharmacies in need of additional staff.

The UT Tyler Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, in coordination with other schools of pharmacy, has developed a needs assessment survey for independent pharmacies to help match students with pharmacies Here is the link: Community Pharmacies - COVID-19

We understand TSBP is working on provisions for those pharmacies that don't have a preceptor. Please complete the survey if you have a need for additional help.

Best Practices for Community Pharmacists

NCPA has created a "Best Practices" chart explaining how patients with various levels of symptoms and risk should be approached: https://www.covidbestpractices.com

NCPA Town Hall Recording Posted

If you missed the Sunday evening NCPA Town Hall and want to review the presentations, you can download and listen to the recording.

Resources for Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration has created a webpage with resources for small businesses, including information about the waiver for hand sanitizer approval and about disaster assistance and loans available to businesses. You can also find updates on revised IRS deadlines for tax filing.

Insurers Encouraged to Waive COVID-19 Test Costs

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) are asking all health insurers and health maintenance organizations operating in Texas to take actions necessary to prevent, test, and treat coronavirus COVID-19 and report those actions to TDI. As part of this effort, TDI strongly encourages insurers to waive consumer costs for testing. For more information and how to report actions to TDI, visit the TDI website.

Express Scripts Suspends Desk Audits

Express Scripts, which suspended all network pharmacy field audits earlier this month, announced Monday that it was suspending desk audits as well. This suspension of claims audits does not apply to fraud, waste and abuse investigations or other exceptions that may be required by law. 

FDA Relaxes Hand Sanitizer Rules

The FDA announced last week that they will take no enforcement action against licensed professionals, like pharmacists, who make and sell hand sanitizer as long as they use high-quality ingredients and follow the FDA rules. Your patients need ways to mitigate their own risk and the normal distribution system is failing them. Here's a chance to calm their fears and demonstrate how community pharmacy can adapt in a crisis. NCPA has received multiple questions about this guidance, including how to obtain necessary ingredients and the allowance for flexibility in formulas. NCPA is seeking further clarity plus FDA has offered the following email address to pose specific questions:[email protected].

How Can Alliance Members Help?

  • Provide services (i.e. prescription delivery, drive through, curbside service) to allow patients and staff healthy while maintaining social distancing, thus minimizing disease transmission.
  • Consider providing your compounded hand sanitizer to police and fire stations to assist your community first responders.
  • If an outbreak is identified in your area, work with local health departments to see what you can do to assist. Once a vaccine is developed, independent pharmacies are perfectly positioned to aid in mass immunization. Have supplies ready for those immunizations.
  • Utilize collaborative practice arrangements to keep emergency rooms and clinics clear for truly meaningful cases.
  • Reach out to your legislators and encourage them to put measures in place to use pharmacists in point-of-care testing, such as flu or strep, which will aid prescribers in triaging patients for such future outbreaks.