SSRS EVP Eran Ben-Porath Co-authors Alternative Methods for Antiviral Distribution Article

“Pharmacist Views on Alternative Methods for Antiviral Distribution and Dispensing During an Influenza Pandemic”

Fieldwork, data management, and statistical analyses were conducted by SSRS

“Antiviral drugs are likely to be a frontline countermeasure needed to minimize disease impact during an influenza pandemic. As part of pandemic influenza preparedness efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in coordination with state health departments, has plans in place to distribute and dispense antiviral drugs from public stockpiles. These plans are currently under review and include evaluation of the benefits of commercial distribution and dispensing through community pharmacies. To ensure this alternative distribution and dispensing system is viable, it is critical to assess pharmacist acceptability and to understand the pharmacist perspective on dispensing these antivirals during a response. In this study, we examine community pharmacist reactions to the proposed alternative antiviral distribution and dispensing system using a nationally representative survey of pharmacists. Overall, pharmacists were highly receptive to this alternative system and voiced a willingness to participate personally, and most thought their own pharmacy would participate in such an effort. This was true across pharmacists with different personal and professional backgrounds, as well as those in different pharmacy settings. However, sizable shares of pharmacists said they were worried about facing shortages of the antivirals, the risk of exposure to disease for themselves and their families, managing their usual patients who need their prescriptions filled for medications other than antivirals, keeping order in the pharmacy, and potential liability concerns. These findings should be interpreted as an indication of acceptability of the concept, encouragement for the next steps in alternative distribution and dispensing system design, and a guide to potential barriers that may need to be addressed proactively”