Operating in Extraordinary Times

April 2020 - Vol. 17 No. 4 - Page #1

If you are reading this, perhaps you have taken a few moments in the effort not to be overwhelmed. As a health care practitioner, you have opened your eyes each day of the last several weeks to a new world almost entirely. As the COVID-19 virus has staunchly plotted its pernicious course across the globe, we have seen how devastating both the virus and the rumor of the virus can be to everyday life. In the grand scheme, facts and figures become distorted and the fear of panic can beset the firmest minds. As trained scientists and practitioners of health care, pharmacists are in a unique position to help guide the response and support other front-line clinicians in the fight against this virus, as well as the fight against the disinformation inherent in a pandemic.

To say this particular virus has intruded into reality is an understatement, but the fact remains that confronting, managing, and defeating a wide range of maladies has been an everyday challenge for pharmacists and other clinicians from the beginning of the practice of medicine; the war against smallpox begat the very first vaccines, likely predating the established innovations of Edward Jenner by centuries. The same systems and structures created to combat influenza, hepatitis, HIV, and many others are being directed at COVID-19. Yet we are in the midst of a medical crisis not seen in several generations and this necessitates the ability to adapt.

In discussing the situation with a member of our editorial advisory board, we learned that their pharmacies, like many others, are expanding the number of staff members that are performing their roles from home. Such positions include denials management, certain section leaders (rotating to ensure on-site presence), and other clinical roles that employ a virtual health component. These efforts are ongoing.

There is a slogan in the US Marine Corp that essentially defines what is rendered by their training, which are the abilities to Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. In recent weeks, this motto should be applied to front-line health care workers as well. At Pharmacy Purchasing & Products, we will continue to do everything in our power to support you.

Together we can,

R. Mitchell Halvorsen


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