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S5, Ep 2- Pharmacies and Public Health: Breaking Down Barriers to Pharmacy Vaccination

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In this episode of Healthcare Matters, Dr. Robert Popovian and Ben Blanc take a deep dive into GHLF’s latest vaccine study with guests Dr. Wayne Winegarden, Senior Fellow in Business and Economics at the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and Director of PRI's Center for Medical Economics and Innovation, and Esteban Rivera, Associate Director of Data Science and Economics at GHLF.

Together, they delve into the study, which underscores the pivotal role pharmacists play in vaccination efforts and the urgent need for regulatory reform. They discuss how pharmacies enhance vaccine access and affordability, especially in marginalized communities, the challenges posed by regulatory barriers, and suggest ways to reform these barriers to improve vaccination rates.

Tune in to explore how pharmacies can play a pivotal role in public health through streamlined vaccination processes.

Among the highlights in this episode:

03:04: Dr. Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF, discusses a statistic by the Center for Disease Control that nearly 60% of all flu vaccines were administered in pharmacies in the latest flu season, emphasizing the significant role pharmacists play in combating preventable diseases

03:53: Dr. Popovian explains the reasons behind GHLF’s new report on pharmacy-administered vaccinations, including previous findings on access in low-income communities and the preference for pharmacy vaccinations post-pandemic

06:18: Dr. Winegarden discusses the study's groundbreaking findings, particularly the complex and burdensome state regulations around vaccinations and their health and economic implications

09:10: Esteban Rivera elaborates on the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating patients at pharmacies compared to physician offices and highlights the equitable benefits of increased vaccine accessibility at pharmacies

10:24: Dr. Winegarden provides an example of the RSV vaccine to illustrate specific cost savings and health impacts of pharmacy versus physician office vaccinations

13:27: Esteban Rivera discusses the complexity of regulatory pathways for vaccination, emphasizing the need for simplification to reduce costs and improve accessibility

14:26: Dr. Popovian gives examples of states that have either streamlined or erected barriers for pharmacist immunization, particularly highlighting the negative impact on underserved communities in New York

16:16: Dr. Popovian advocates for state-level regulatory reform to grant pharmacists the same authority to immunize as physicians, stressing the importance of accessibility and convenience for patients 

18:24: Dr. Popovian shares some final thoughts

To access the full report, go to:

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Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF:

Ben Blanc, Associate Director, Digital Production and Engagement at GHLF:

A podcast series produced by Ben Blanc.

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