As health systems across the nation focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to deliver excellent care and service to patients with chronic conditions presents a challenge.
Patients still need help to afford their medications. Many are concerned about continuing to take immunosuppressants and require additional counseling to stay adherent to their treatment. Others can’t refill their prescriptions due to drug shortages.
Fortunately, a health system’s specialty pharmacy team can provide the support patients require to manage their conditions and therapy regimens. Pharmacists and liaisons can ensure continuity of care by:
- Calling patients to provide counseling and monitor adherence,
- Supporting patients in between appointments, especially when appointments are canceled or delayed due to coronavirus,
- Staying up-to-date on the latest information about drug shortages,
- Partnering with providers to identify alternative treatment options when patients’ medications aren’t available,
- Coordinating delivery of refills so patients stay adherent and stay home, and
- Finding additional financial assistance so patients can afford their medications.
To effectively provide care during this crisis, pharmacy leaders and practitioners must stay up-to-date on current COVID-19 guidelines and information. We have compiled the following list of resources to make this task easier:
Patient Care Information
- American Academy of Dermatology: Coronavirus Resources
- Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD): Articles on Coronavirus
- Gastroenterology & Hepatology
- American Association for the Study of Liver Disease: COVID-19 Resources
- American College of Gastroenterology: COVID-19 and GI
- Infectious Disease
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines: Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV
- Infectious Disease Society of America: COVID-19 Resource Center
- American Academy of HIV Medicine: Considerations & Suggested Practices for Ambulatory HIV Specialty Care During COVID-19 Pandemic
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: Provider and Practice Recommendations
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: COVID-19 Patient Care Information
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JJCCN: how to Manage Cancer Care During COVID-19 Pandemic
- American College of Rheumatology
- Food and Drug Administration: Update on Patient Access to Certain REMS Drugs during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Drug Shortages Information
- ASHP: Current Drug Shortages
Financial Support for Your Patients
- Healthwell Foundation: Coronavirus Ancillary Costs
- Healthwell Foundation: Resource List
Educational Resources for Your Patients
- Cancer: American Cancer Society – Common Questions About the New Coronavirus Outbreak
- Cystic Fibrosis: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – COVID-19 Community Questions and Answers
- Liver Disease: American Liver Foundation – Your Liver and COVID-19
- CDC: What people with HIV should know
- National Institute for Health: Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, What IBD Patients Should Know about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Multiple Sclerosis:
- National MS Society: What You Need To Know About Coronavirus
- National MS Society: Disease Modifying Treatment Guidelines for Coronavirus
- Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Arthritis Foundation: Coronavirus and Arthritis: What You Need to Know
- Arthritis Foundation: Hydroxychloroquine Shortage Causing Concern
Other Relevant Resources
- American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP)
- American Pharmacists Association: Pharmacists’ Guide to Coronavirus
- National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) COVID-19 Resource Center
- 340B Resources & Updates
Articles & News
- Advice for Helping Patients & Providers Access Therapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Trellis Rx
- COVID-19 and the Impact on 340B, Blue CPA
- Medicare Cost Report Filing Extension, Blue CPA
- Specialty Pharmacy Compliance during the COVID-19 Pandemic, JDSupra
- CVS Caremark takes steps to protect supply of medicines potentially useful for COVID-19 treatment, Drug Store News
- Extending current PA criteria by 90 days to allow members to refill most medications without renewing an existing PA.
- Waiving commonly used early refill limits so members can refill most 30-day prescription maintenance medications earlier than usual.
- Setting quantity limits for medicines potentially useful in treating COVID-19, including hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, one protease inhibitor and albuterol inhalers. Members who already take these medicines for approved uses will be able to bypass the new quantity limits.
We will continue to update this list as the situation evolves over the coming days. You can access additional information and insights in our COVID-19 Health System Specialty Pharmacy Resource Center. If there are other resources you recommend we add, please contact us.