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Community pharmacies were established throughout Covid and were definitely changed

With 19 locations Across the Milwaukee area, Hayat Pharmacy provides care to people who provide quality health care. For Hashim Zaiba, a pharmacist and owner, quality health care is not about providing medication; it is the removal of barriers that affect the health of their community. Hayat pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, an Arabic word meaning “life,” visit patients in their homes, and the group speaks more than 20 different languages ​​and dialects collectively. During these visits, which Zaibak calls “Medication Therapy Management,” or MTM, pharmacists educate patients about their medical conditions, provide alternative methods of health management, provide antipsychotic medications, and ensure that patients take medications as prescribed.

It’s a more involved version of attention than might be expected from community pharmacy, from chains like CVS and Walgreens to grocery stores like Kroger, to mass retailers like Walmart, independent for small businesses on the street. But although the perception of pharmacies as a commodity — and pharmacists shuffling pills from large bottle to small bottle — has remained unchanged for decades, the landscape has changed in recent years, especially after Covid-19.

Today’s community pharmacists administer vaccines, manage chronic diseases, provide birth control, optimize medication regimens, and in some cases evaluate genetic markers in personalized medicine to name a few services. Unfortunately, the availability of these offerings varies from state to state and from community to community type. Professionally, community pharmacies have been advocating for better services for decades, often through legislative initiatives to identify pharmacists as legal health providers, as well as to expand the role of the pharmaceutical technician.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent actions, such as the PREP Act, changed the law for the practice of medication. Almost overnight, pharmaceutical technicians, under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist and with the appropriate training, were authorized to vaccinate children over 3 years of age in children and to give Covid-19 vaccines in October 2020. The PREP Act continues to change practice; An amendment in August 2021 extended permission for pharmaceutical technicians to give the flu vaccine to patients of any age, similar to Covid-19 vaccines. Lawmakers saw community pharmacies as a way to fill more and more health care gaps. The pandemic closed several health practices and opened the door for pharmacies to enter.

Hayat Pharmacy is among the many providers that are using this extended license to better serve their communities. In May 2020, it established a new clinical service: testing services – specifically, Covid-19 projections. Zaibak personally made the projections to show staff and patients the importance of this work. In the initial interview for this piece, Zaiba came out to test patients, now for the Delta variant.

When the vaccine became available, Hayat Pharmacy expanded. It has an electronic registration system, but the communities served by Hayat take little technology; so most of these early vaccinations went to sick patients. Hayat Pharmacy focuses on caring for the elderly, the sick and the ill-equipped, and has delivered more than 50,000 vaccines to Milwaukee residents. After the teenage vaccines were allowed, the first dose at the pharmacy was given to Zaiba by his son.

As the role of community pharmacy has evolved, so has its financial model. Distribution of medications is a growing loss in pharmacies; in some states, the responsibility for distributing medications has shifted to pharmaceutical technicians, even though they are still under the direct supervision and supervision of a pharmacist. Community pharmacists are probably overpriced to give only medications; the entry level is a doctorate. Automation and technology help patients get medication, and pharmacists like Zaiba are well placed to know what patients need to do.

Optimizing medications — ensuring the right dose, controlling adverse drug reactions, and recommending specific therapy — are ways for a pharmacist to improve patient quality and care. It can also lead to indirect savings in health care costs. Expenditures related to morbidity and mortality associated with non-optimized medication therapy totaled approximately $ 528.4 billion in 2016 in the U.S. Long-term care, hospitalizations, and other negative outcomes, with incorrect dosing, care gaps, and so on. they cost more medication than themselves. Paying how the use of medication, as the Zaiba group does on home visits, may be more important than paying for the medication itself, and creates a different financial model outside of the distribution of medications.

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