COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has impacted the entire globe. This is a time that we must come together to help each other, support each other, and share information that will make this situation just a little more manageable. During this pandemic, PDS is here for our members, our communities, and the overall independent pharmacy industry.
Independent pharmacies have the chance to lead the charge and bring guidance, solutions and resolve for their patients and communities. As people continue to look for answers and ways to protect themselves and their families, PDS continues to compile resources and provide ideas and options so that pharmacies can help combat the spread of COVID-19 and support their communities. We are all in this together.
*Updated May 14, 2020*
An important update was released on May 13, 2020 that provides clarification around how SBA will review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request.
Even as some of the country starts to open, we are all still trying to navigate this situation. The last two webinars in our series have been focused on continuing to grow and improve your pharmacy during COVID-19. We discussed topics on how marketing looks different right now (but is still necessary) and best practices to lead your team and continue to drive success. The replays are available if you missed it.
*Updated May 5, 2020*
Advertising for your Pharmacy in the COVID Crisis
How are you letting your community know that you’re open for business during the COVID crisis? Leventhal Productions is a specialized advertising agency that has established itself in the independent pharmacy community and healthcare industry over the past 30+ years. Get in touch and let us help you spread the word that your pharmacy is open and ready to serve the community.
*Updated April 23, 2020*
*NEW* Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update
The first iteration of the Paycheck Protection Program was funded with $350 billion and ran out of money within 13 days. The only reason it took that long was because the banks had to get their portals and systems in place. The next round of funding that will be coming, is expected to run out of funds even faster.
If you didn’t get funded during Round 1, here is what you need to know to be ready for Round 2:
- If you have an approved loan that is not funded yet, there is nothing you need to do
- You can apply at a different institution with no penalties. Many members have expressed frustration with the “big banks” so you can move your application to another institution
- Review information on the available PPP and EIDL programs from the SBA
- Review HealthGrowth Pharmacy Solutions’ website for necessary documentation, application, and other important information
- Ensure your application is filled out completely and correctly and submit your application to the bank of your choice
- Once the next round of funding is approved, get a confirmation of approval from your bank
Proceed with Caution on Antibody Tests
(This is from our friends at NCPA but we wanted to share here in case you missed it). Companies selling SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are coming at pharmacies from all directions. Before you perform a test on a patient, verify that the test is deemed to be authorized for the CLIA-waived setting by checking the list of test kit manufacturers with an FDA emergency use authorization. There must be a “W” in the column titled “Authorized Settings” for any test to be performed in a CLIA-waived laboratory. This includes test kits that are part of a telehealth bundle. Pharmacies that purchase antibody test kits in anticipation of the product becoming authorized for use in CLIA-waived settings do so at their own risk.
*Updated April 16, 2020*
COVID-19 Testing and Resources
With the recent HHS announcement surrounding COVID-19 testing by pharmacists, we are sharing information and where to purchase testing kits. Please understand that PDS is only relaying information as it is developed, and during this pandemic time, pharmacies and pharmacists need to follow state and federal law while ensuring they are testing in accordance within all applicable guidelines.
Updated CLIA Certificate Waiver Requirements
As of 4/16/2020, it was announced that pharmacies will need a CLIA Certificate of Waiver in order to participate in testing: if you plan to offer COVID-19 testing in your store, you will need to have a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. For most, this is a very easy process. Fill out the application and mail it in to your state. The form is used for different types of labs, so NCPA has a short video to show you how a pharmacy would likely want to complete the form. You’ll find the video link near the top of the NCPA Coronavirus Information Page.
CLIA Testing Information
NCPA Guidance on Testing
*Updated April 9, 2020*
Rapid Test for the Detection of COVID-19
COVID-19 Rapid test kits are becoming available through different channels. This is not a diagnostic test, but a test to determine if the patient has developed antibodies against the infection.
Your pharmacy can offer the benefits of:
· Rapid serology test for SARS-CoV-2
· Detects IgM and IgG antibodies
· Results in 10-20 minutes
· Telemedicine consult included
The COVID-19 Rapid 10-minute test kits are also still available for pre-order through Drugstore2Door. Results are available in 10 minutes and are 98.6% accurate. Drugstore2Door has provided additional test information for you to learn more.
The COVID-19 POC test kit is NOT a take home test kit, and the FDA has specific guidelines for pharmacists to follow.
- A Pharmacist must screen (see CDC guidelines) for an active virus infection before a test may be administered
- The testing sites can be inside, drive-thru or set up outside
- Screening and test results must be documented and reported
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program Application is now available. This program authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. We encourage you to speak to your financial advisor and take advantage of this opportunity.
PPP Interim Final Rule *NEW*
*Updated March 30, 2020*
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed Friday by the House. The act makes small businesses with 500 or fewer employees eligible for emergency grants and a forgivable loan program. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for small businesses to keep employees on the payroll and open for business. The legislation helps small business pharmacies’ employees as well, which is important as they are serving on the front lines of care during this pandemic. NCPA created a summary of the relevant provisions to help independent pharmacies.
*Updated March 23, 2020*
Donate to First Responders
PCCA has developed four simple steps for the donation of hand sanitizer to first responders. This is an amazing way for local pharmacies to give back to their communities!
Webinar: Pharmacy Financial Health in Time of Crisis
With this pandemic, high demand, inventory turns, and changes in operational procedures are all impacting your pharmacy. This webinar features tips and advice from PDS financial experts about maintaining your pharmacy’s financial health.
COVID-19 Solutions to Help Your Pharmacy
We are focused on ways to help you keep your pharmacy and your patients healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our most recent webinar featured solutions to help you better serve your patients and communities. Discover products to help combat the spread the virus, and direction on where to find high-demand disinfectants, test kits, and more.
*Updated March 20, 2020*
Updating Your Store Policy During COVID-19
It is important that during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, independent pharmacies have guidance about new, short-term store policies. We have created a store policy document that many of our members are already implementing in their stores. We hope this will help give you some organizational structure and procedures in a time when things are constantly changing. Please feel free to use some or all of it and adjust according to your specific business needs.
*Updated March 18, 2020*
Special Edition Webinar – COVID Disinfecting Agents and Where to Buy
Sourcing hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning supplies is getting harder by the hour. PDS has vetted and found some suppliers that will have many high demand products available. Watch the following webinar to learn more.
- Hand Sanitizers
- Tuzistra Cough Syrup
- 1st Defense Nasal Screen
We have compiled information related to COVID-19. Please see below for resources related to operations, procedures, sanitation, best practices, and policies.
- Cold vs. Flu vs. Coronavirus
- CDC Coronavirus Center
- CDC Testing for COVID-19
- NCPA Coronavirus Information
- NIH COVID-19 Guidance
Medication or Supplement Information
- Chloroquine Phosphate for the Treatment of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia
- WHO Recommended Hand-rub Formulas
- FDA Temporary Compounding Strategy for Hand Sanitizer
- Elderberry: Cytokine Storm?
- Hand Sanitizer Toolkit
- NABP State Boards Update
- CPESN Community Pharmacy Best Practices
- NCPA Coronavirus Information
- COVID-19 Resources for Pharmacists
- Pharmacy Times Coronavirus Resource Center
- FIP Coronavirus Information
- APhA Coronavirus Information
- Medscape Clinical Practice Guidelines *NEW*
- State Boards of Pharmacy Updates *NEW*
Pharmacists will play a key role in access to healthcare during this outbreak. PDS suggests that you familiarize yourself with your state’s statutes that become enacted during declarations of health emergencies. These statutes often times allow you to refill prescriptions without doctor authorization or temporarily broaden your scope of practice. The best resource is your SBOP website along with your state pharmacy association.
For PDS members, log into PDSadvantage to find the applicable resources in the Knowledge Library that can help you navigate this difficult time such as access to product opportunities and financial resources. Please contact your Performance Specialists and Coaches – they are here to answer your questions and address your concerns.