WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) released the results of a new analysis showing that underserved and vulnerable communities do not have equitable access to care from COVID-19 Test to Treat sites, including lifesaving COVID-19 oral antivirals.
As of May 6, 2022, when APhA conducted the analysis, there were slightly over 2,300 Test to Treat sites yet there are over 70,000 community pharmacies in the country. The analysis found that only 22% (513) of Test to Treat sites are in the most vulnerable areas in the country as defined by the Social Vulnerability Index. Additionally, only 30% (< 700) of Test to Treat sites are in medically underserved areas of the U.S.
Although HHS has recognized the high level of training pharmacists receive by authorizing pharmacists to prescribe COVID-19 therapeutics, FDA’s emergency use authorizations for oral COVID-19 antivirals specifically exclude pharmacists as prescribers. As a result, the majority of pharmacies cannot serve as Test to Treat sites. These medications are being underutilized and sitting on pharmacy shelves, which unnecessarily increases health care costs and puts lives at risk.
APhA calls on the federal government to include our nation’s pharmacists as prescribers of oral COVID-19 antivirals to significantly increase equitable access to Test to Treat pharmacies by opening the door to communities that need it the most.
More information about APhA’s analysis can be found here.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff, and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work, while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients and their communities. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.