In his State of the Union address last night, the president asserted that Americans who test positive for COVID-19 should be able to access oral antiviral treatments directly from their pharmacy.
Throughout the pandemic, ASHP has called upon the government to authorize pharmacists to test and treat for COVID-19. This authorization would allow more patients to initiate therapy within the time-sensitive window for antiviral treatment.
"To achieve the president's test to treat plans, the government should quickly remove the limitation on pharmacist ordering of oral antivirals and ensure that Medicare will reimburse pharmacists for clinical services related to ordering these important medications," said Tom Kraus, ASHP's vice president of government relations.
The president also called for Congress to increase funding for "prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery" for those struggling with addiction to opioids and to "get rid of outdated rules that stop doctors from prescribing treatments."
"ASHP applauds the government for recognizing the need to increase access to medications for opioid use disorder," said Kraus. "Congress should start by passing the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act to eliminate the federal barrier known as the X-waiver. This would significantly improve the ability of healthcare providers to prescribe MOUDs for patients who need them."