Since 14.11.2019, it is official. Pharmacists will face changes besides courier service, an adjustment for the use of vaccines. This change in the law goes hand in hand with the obligation to vaccinate against measles. What this means for patients and pharmacists, what further new regulations will come, and how best to deal with them, is the topic of the following blog article.
The Bundestag decided that children attending kindergartens or schools and adults working in these or similar areas must be vaccinated against measles from 2020. If this cannot be proven, there is a risk of severe fines of several thousand euros and a ban on the non-vaccinated person from using these public facilities.
Criticism with compulsory vaccination
Many criticize the law. They see it as problematic that there is only one combined vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella. That takes the individual’s freedom of choice. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, on the other hand, stressed that the health of children is exposed to unnecessary risks. His quote: “There is no fundamental right to rubella,” should confirm this.
Some vaccination opponents doubt, in principle, the effect of vaccines. We have summarized and discussed the most frequently mentioned myths: Vaccination myths unveiled.
Are pharmacists allowed to vaccinate soon?
Vaccinations, in general, will be allowed to be carried out by all specialized doctors (except dentists).
The annual flu vaccinations are likely to be carried out even by pharmacists. According to the draft law, the first pilot trials will be carried out soon. The ABDA supports the project; the medical profession sees it as problematic. According to the law, pharmacists should receive further training through doctors to carry out vaccinations correctly, detect/treat side effects and be able to advise high-risk patients against immunization.
The possibility of vaccination in pharmacies should, however, only be given for the flu virus. The model projects are now to be tested over several years and scientifically accompanied to prove their relevance. The desired result would be to increase the willingness to vaccinate and as a result of this protecting far more people against influenza infection every year.
The risk groups include people who are over 60 years old, suffer from chronic diseases or work in the medical and nursing fields. According to the Robert Koch Institute, an estimated 25,000 people died from influenza in the winter of 2017/2018. And that in Germany only!
How do other countries vaccinate?
In the USA, vaccinations have been carried out in pharmacies since the 1990s, which has led to a significant increase in the vaccination rate. A pilot project on prevention was also launched in pharmacies in France, with a positive result: the initially pessimistic expectations were exceeded. Pharmacists have now been allowed to vaccinate since October 2019.
As a result, doctors are relieved of their workload and can concentrate on sick patients. Besides, customers are made aware of further preventive measures as part of the vaccination. The pharmacist is developing into a kind of service provider and is moving away from the pure dispensing station for drugs. Such developments can also be seen in telemedicine and the change in courier services.
Multiple prescriptions for chronically ill people are on their way
The delivery service of the pharmacy as a standard service and telemedicine are trying to make everyday life easier for chronically ill patients. A life that is usually characterized by weekly visits to the doctor to obtain the medicines that are essential for survival. It is arduous and severely restricted.
Patients could replace the visit to the doctor with a video chat from time to time and the trip to the pharmacy with the efficient delivery to their home. This can make it possible to organize everyday life more freely.
One challenge remains
However, the issue of the cold chain remains problematic. Both the medications of chronically ill patients and the vaccines require permanent cooling. That can lead to considerable additional costs for all parties involved in storing and transporting the medicines.
Tec4med, as an innovative company, is confident about the upcoming changes. Our vision is to make work and life easier for patients and people working in the healthcare sector. The NelumBox helps people to deal with cold chain products.
If you require further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.