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News & Press: Legislative and Regulatory News

5-8-2020 COVID-19 Update

Friday, May 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gabrielle Webster
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COVID-19 Pandemic – “News You Can Use in Pennsylvania”

Dear Colleagues,  

Welcome to today’s COVID-19 Pandemic PSHP News

The goal of the PSHP’s Leadership Team here is to continue to provide value without inundating you with unnecessary information that is also coming to you through other forums. Thank you all.


PA-DOH Survey Request – due TODAY - Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear Pennsylvania Hospitals, Healthcare Facilities, and Laboratories: 

Thank you all for the remarkable work you are doing to keep Pennsylvanians safe and healthy during these difficult times. 

As you may know, the Wolf Administration has developed and released a testing strategy. This strategy focuses on three pillars, which include: accessibility, availability, and adaptability. It is with the utmost importance that testing is accessible and available to every citizen who needs it. In order for this to happen, our first step is to understand what our current testing capacity is as a State and where our gaps are. To better understand this, we are asking each of your facilities to complete this short testing survey regarding COVID-19 specimen collection locations and laboratories who are testing. This survey will give us the information we need to understand where we need to increase specimen collection sites, what our overall testing capacity is, and what everyone's barriers are to better assist in these efforts. 

Please have one person from each facility complete this survey no later than today - Friday, May 8. 
We appreciate your time and dedication to ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to the healthcare they deserve. 

Sincerely, Rachel L. Levine, MD 
Secretary of Health Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Complete Survey Here.


ASHP - Ensuring Transparency of Remdesivir Allocation

May 7, 2020, ASHP sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging the Administration to take immediate action to ensure the transparent and orderly allocation of Remdesivir to our nation's hospitals. 

The current supply of Remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug that received emergency use authorization for patients with severe COVID-19 from the Food & Drug Administration last week, is being distributed by AmerisourceBergen based on direction from the federal government. 

ASHP is urging the Administration to make public its process for determining which hospitals will receive the drug, to communicate information about the drug allocations to all hospitals, and to provide as much information as possible on the timeline for commercial availability of Remdesivir, as well as how commercially-available product will be distributed. These measures are critical not only for Remdesivir, but also for all future treatments or vaccines developed for COVID-19.


Pennsylvania-State Board of Pharmacy

Meeting highlights from May 5, 2020, included:

1 – During the COVID-19 Pandemic those facilities in need of admixed 503a products per the FDA waiver and the PA-SBOP’s quick action created a process to meet regulation. A new “Partnership Form” was developed and will be utilized between the requesting hospital and the 503a facility that need urgent/emergent admixed drugs. This form was created to show a “partnership” and a real need between the two organizations and details that need, while preventing unsolicited requests from 503a companies for hospital business. The new FORM must be completed by both parties before submitting it to the SBOP for approval. The SBOP has assured us of a speedy approval process.

Request to Compound under the Food and Drug Administration’s Temporary Policy for
Compounding of Certain Drugs for Hospitalized Patients by Pharmacy Compounders not Registered as Outsourcing Facilities During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

2 – In anticipation of new COVID-19 vaccination(s) due out later this year, the issue of temporarily allowing P4-APPE students on rotation and who have completed all of the other requirements to apply for the immunization licensure post-graduation, the ability to administer vaccinations while under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist was discussed.  Because no such current regulation exists, this practice is not presently allowable nor can it be “waived.”  The Board and all others in attendance at this virtual meeting were all in favor of working on proposed temporary measures in preparation for this timeframe. This topic will be discussed in more detail with the Commissioner.


INTRODUCING PTCB ONLINE EXAM
DELIVERY for PHARMACY TECHNICIANS

For the first time ever, pharmacy technicians can take their PTCB exams online. PTCB is now offering online proctored exam delivery to make testing more widely available during COVID-19. This option allows technicians to take any PTCB credential exam online under the virtual supervision of a live proctor.

Administered on a secure platform, online PTCB exams have the same formats and completion times as exams taken at a test center.

It’s easy for technicians to schedule online exams or switch existing in-person testing appointments to online delivery. To test online, candidates need:

  • a computer with a webcam
  • a reliable internet connection
  • a quiet space where you can spend a few uninterrupted hours

More details HERE


INVITATION to PARTICIPATE
COVID-19 CHAMPS Study to examine data on physical and mental health and
well-being of workers potentially exposed to the virus

Villanova, PA, May 4, 2020 -- The M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University has launched the national COVID-19 Caring about Health for All Study (CHAMPS) of health care, first responder and service workers for the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing the health care needs of COVID-19 patients has had a tremendous impact not only on the lives of those delivering health care directly but on those who support that effort, from ambulance drivers to maintenance and housekeeping staff whose service has been essential to maintain the health care enterprise. All of them have one thing in common: they are at increased risk of exposure to the virus as well as disruption of their personal and social lives. The COVID-19 CHAMPS Study is designed to understand the immediate effects, as well as the long-term effects on their health, lives and careers. 

The objective of CHAMPS is to assess the short and long-term physical, social and behavioral health of all who were involved in supporting or delivering care for COVID-19 patients. It will also serve as a registry for future, hypothesis-driven sub-studies of behavioral and biological coping mechanisms and allostatic load (wear and tear on the body), as well as randomized clinical trials. Participants will be recruited throughout the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands) with outcomes followed longitudinally for 20 years.

This study will obtain data on the physical and mental health and well-being of workers potentially exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the course of their duties. Included are a broad range of occupations such as those working in the community (police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel, screening staff) as well as in permanent or temporary sites that care for patients (service staff, nurses, physicians and other health professionals).

More information and access to the COVID-19 CHAMPS Study is available HERE.


PSHP would like to thank all of our volunteer members who have assisted in supporting us and all of you  in addressing state-specific issues related to COVID-19 issues. Our leaders have continued to engage on your behalf with the PA Board of Pharmacy, the PA Department of Health, HAP, and the state medical organizations. PSHP is incurring additional expenses to support these efforts including staff from our association management firm in support of our daily messages. If you are not already a member of PSHP already please consider joining. Better yet, please engage as a volunteer including sharing suggestions or comments related to the state's COVID-19 response. 

Thank you for your active participation in the profession of pharmacy!   


Other suggestions or related issues?

To make this information meaningful, please provide us feedback on what you would like to see in this BLAST and all are invited to please contribute information to post by submitting your information to us via email. 

Disclaimer:  The information provided in these e-mail blasts is intended to be shared across all Directors of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania and our PSHP members for individual determination, to assist facilities with product and/or service alternatives (suggestions only) as appropriate for Peer Review.  It is not intended to be interpreted as a mandate or as a PSHP-supported modification nor as an acceptable regulation alternative.  For this the PA State Board of Pharmacy has the final authority.


Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists

PO Box 22520, Philadelphia, PA 19110
info@pshp.org | (978) 364-5097 | www.pshp.org


 

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