CVS – Another Voice: A New York pharmacist pleads for health care affordability | Opinion
As a clinical pharmacist for Coram Healthcare Corp. of Greater New York, a CVS Health company, I work hard to ensure my patients know they can rely on us as part of their health care team.
The work we do is a labor of love and I am proud to support our community’s health, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which has upended the lives of many New Yorkers.
Nationwide, CVS Health is proud to have administered 30 million Covid-19 vaccines. Because of the trust we have earned in the communities we serve, 93% of people who received their first vaccine dose come back to us to receive their second dose. In 2020, we stood up more than 8,000 flu vaccination clinics in assisted living facilities, yet another virus that annually claims tens of thousands lives.
I am among 1,500 specialty pharmacists at CVS Health who play an integral role in helping individuals manage complex conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and HIV. Specialty medications for these conditions and others are expensive, with monthly costs that can easily rival the cost of rent. Specialty medicines accounted for more than half of all drug spending in 2020.
Patients managing these conditions need our compassion and care. We spend time with patients to confirm adherence, answer questions and manage any side effects. We help patients navigate any prior approval processes so they can start quickly on the medications they need. We combine a caring, personal touch from nurses and pharmacists with digital tools to support patients at all meaningful points in their care. The range of services we offer goes beyond the capabilities of many retail pharmacies.