Your local pharmacist is a crucial resource who provides access to modern medicine. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a spike in demand for access to medicine and medical-related data. This has put those in the medical field in a precarious spot, as every move they make could have serious consequences. The seriousness of this career is one of the many lessons Jesse Lyle Bootman sought to instill in students as a former professor of pharmacy, medicine and public health at the University of Arizona. It’s for these reasons that J. Lyle Bootman read with much interest a recent DrugTopics.com article on state-sanctioned COVID-19 tests administered by pharmacists. This is a truly a life-or-death matter and the bar has been set high.
According to the article, “authorized licensed pharmacists” got the green light this spring to use tests that had been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Not every state was prepared to follow through on this process, however. “In California, pharmacy, medical, and consumer groups lobbied Gov. Gavin Newsom and regulators for nearly six weeks before the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs eased restrictions that prevented most pharmacies from testing,” the article notes. New York’s governor had to issue his own executive order that cleared the path for pharmacists to administer these tests. Additional hurdles include funding, reimbursement and insurance policies.
An additional recent article from DrugTopics.com also notes that some tests for COVID-19 were producing too many “false negatives.” At the root of the problem were patients with low virus levels “during the earliest stages of an infection,” which meant their negative test results were simply incorrect. As an accomplished researcher, J. Lyle Bootman knows that it takes time to spot gaps in the process and outright errors. Fortunately, the results of this Johns Hopkins study include the call for improved tests that will “diagnose patients accurately and quickly, which will allow for better control of the virus’s spread.”
Having spent nearly three decades as the dean of The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, J. Lyle Bootman is no stranger to the complicated workings of this field of medicine. His current role as the senior vice president of a data-driven healthcare firm has only deepened his resolve to help all patients. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed so many shortcomings in our society; J. Lyle Bootman is committed to keeping pharmaceutical access off that list.