Dr. Crystal Fuller Lewis, an alumna of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published on op-ed in The Hill on March 19 making the case for including independent and minority-owned pharmacies as part of a comprehensive community pharmacy-based COVID-19 strategy. She argues that including small independent pharmacies would increase the number and types of screening access points and potentially access to treatment, given that many pharmacies have expanded their practice to include blood pressure screening, flu and other vaccinations, and even co-located primary care clinicians.
Dr. Lewis writes: “Taking this idea a step further, the rationale for pharmacy-based COVID-19 screening also supports the capacity for pharmacists to create linkage to treatments readily available and forthcoming, which are likely to arrive much sooner than a vaccine. Currently available COVID-19 treatment includes fever reducers, supplemental oxygen, and respirators – all of which are safely stored in pharmacies and could easily be scaled up. “
She also notes that pharmacies are typically located within 5 miles for 95 percent of all Americans.
Dr. Lewis received her PhD from the Bloomberg School in 2000. She is currently an associate professor at NYU School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on March 27