Editor, Times-Union:

Healthcare workers across the country are grappling with their response to COVID-19 and tirelessly working on our behalf to treat sick patients, all while putting themselves at risk of infection. Among these healthcare workers are your local pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. For many Hoosiers, there is a pharmacy located close by, making pharmacists one of the most accessible healthcare professionals.  

Your local pharmacist needs your help as they continue to serve you. Here are some ways that you can help protect them so they can continue to do their job:

• Many pharmacies now offer home delivery services.  Take advantage of this to avoid unnecessary trips in public.

• Many pharmacies have a drive-thru or offer curbside pick-up. If yours has one, use it instead of going inside.

If your pharmacy doesn’t offer delivery service or have a drive-thru, and if you are at an elevated risk of infection or have symptoms, have someone else pick up your prescriptions for you. Be sure to stand at least 6 feet away from staff.

Purdue University’s Center for Health Equity & Innovation has developed a resource to help the public understand prescription pick-up options that are available. This resource is available at www.indianapharmacists.org/covid-19-resources.

Finally, be wary of purchasing medication online. While your local pharmacist helps keep you healthy, criminals are exploiting fear and confusion for profit by selling fake preventions, treatments and alleged cures online. At best, these fake products are ineffective, at worst, they are deadly.  According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, a survey of over 2,000 online pharmacies revealed that 98% of them were illegitimate. There are safe pharmacies online, but make sure to use NABP to verify the pharmacy first at safe.pharmacy/buy-safely.

Pharmacists stand ready to continue serving patients, so let’s do our part to protect them.

Darren R. Covington

Executive Vice President

Indiana Pharmacists Association

Greensburg, via email