As the world around us is changing due to COVID-19, in-house dispensing is more important than ever.
The novel coronavirus (a disease dubbed “COVID-19” by the WHO) has swept the world and led to stringent lockdowns and quarantine measures in countries on every continent.
One of many different coronaviruses (named such for their shape, which reminds researchers of the sun’s corona), COVID-19 causes severe respiratory symptoms, digestive symptoms and fever. The virus’ incubation period is currently estimated at 2-14 days, with only 1 percent of patients exhibiting symptoms 15 or more days after infection.
How In-House Dispensing Promotes Social Distancing
To combat rising infection rates and ensure that healthcare systems around the world are prepared to deal with a growing number of acutely sick patients, countries are urging their citizens to stay at home as often as they can afford to, and practice social distancing while out in public.
Some countries and regions have implemented stringent lockdown policies to prevent people from leaving their homes without an urgent reason, while other countries are implementing curfews and encouraging frequent handwashing and disinfecting at work.
Many are worried for the health and safety of their families, especially in people with chronic conditions where complications are more likely to occur. In an effort to protect the most vulnerable among us, more physicians should turn towards the practice of in-house dispensing to provide an additional outlet for critical medication, and help those most likely to struggle with the virus further avoid making an extra trip to the pharmacy. Doing so is critical, as the most vulnerable among us need as much time as they can get before treatment becomes necessary.
A spike in infections may cause an overload in countless healthcare systems across the world, as hospitals are limited in the number of patients they can treat within their ICUs. Slowing the spread of the virus will not stop the inevitable, but it will delay it enough to give healthcare systems the time and space needed to treat everyone. Therefore, it is important to practice social distancing, and to flatten the statistical curve.
Access To Needed Medications Remain Crucial
There is no vaccine or medication on the market meant to combat the novel coronavirus yet, which had been completely unknown to the medical world prior to this winter. While some doctors have reported success in some cases utilizing a variety of existing antiviral drugs, there is no accepted or proven treatment regimen for an infection. Several studies are underway, and several companies have committed countless hours towards a working cure.
But that does not mean that medication isn’t critical for many, especially the most vulnerable to the virus, who rely on medication to combat chronic conditions. However, access to such medication may be compromised in times of lockdown due to transport issues, lack of supply, and fear of infection.
Protecting At-Risk Patients
Patients who are most at risk are those with pre-existing heart conditions, respiratory issues, asthma, a history of heart disease, and diabetes. Other patients who may be compromised and must continue to fulfill their prescriptions include patients with weakened immune systems due to organ transplants, an autoimmune condition, or an overactive immune system in cases of IBD and other diseases.
The elderly, many of whom struggle with numerous chronic conditions, are also more likely to suffer from complications from an infection with COVID-19.
Retail pharmacies are an important part of the healthcare system, and continue to do an important job of being a hub for medication access – but in times of crisis where patients cannot afford to expose themselves or require the help of a trained medical professional who may better assist them and assuage their fears regarding how the coronavirus may affect their health given their medical history, in-house dispensing will become an important alternative that may save lives.
In-House Dispensing and the Most Vulnerable Among Us
Continuity of care is increasingly important, especially in uncertain times where those most vulnerable to COVID-19 must remain in contact with their physician and update them as soon as symptoms develop.
Just as we must remind ourselves and those younger and healthier to think of those who are neither, and to stem the spread of this disease through rigorous hygiene and a stay-at-home attitude, it’s important to work towards better ways to care for the most vulnerable by providing safer access to critical medication, including a safe alternative to the public pharmacy. The full scope and consequences of COVID-19 are yet to be explored, but we must prepare for the worst.
Here at Proficient Rx, we aid physicians, specialists, clinics, and hospitals in setting up and getting started with point-of-care and in-house dispensing, giving their patients access to the medication they need right within the comfort of their own office, without the need to check for stock in nearby pharmacies, and redirect patients to outside sources.
Proficient Rx is a provider of FDA-approved repackaged generic, brand, and OTC pharmaceuticals, helping healthcare providers become a one-stop-shop for medical diagnoses and effective pharmacological treatment. We understand the importance of keeping common medications in stock in such times of crisis and aim to help physicians provide their patients with a better service by helping them get easier access to life-saving medication.