236032 Collaborative Efforts of a Retail Pharmacy and local Health Department to Deliver Free Vaccines to Adults

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nancy Hecox, PharmD , Deartment of Pharmacology, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, Yakima, WA
Objective: To find an innovative solution for the uninsured and underinsured in the Yakima Valley who need immunizations and vaccinations but cannot afford nor access these services. Setting: Tieton Village Drug is an independently owned pharmacy providing customary prescription services, durable medical equipment, Free Vaccine for Children (VFC) vaccinations, occupational and travel vaccines, malaria prophylaxis, and a full service travel clinic. Practice description: Two pharmacists in this location provide a variety of clinical services (in addition to medication management and dispensing duties) that include off-site immunization clinics in businesses, schools, impromptu clinics, the local Mission, day care centers, senior citizen centers, long term care facilities, state fairs, boardrooms, treatment centers and nursing homes. All services are met on demand during regular pharmacy hours as well. Practice innovation: A program (now called the VFA, Free Vaccine for Adults) was designed in collaboration with the Yakima Health District and Tieton Village Drug. Somewhat modeled after the Federal VFC program, free vaccine was obtained through two foundations; AmeriCares® and the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program®. All parties entered into signed contractual agreements where the Health District acts as the overseer to Tieton Village Drug, the direct provider of services. This is the first program in the United States to allow a pharmacy access to free vaccine for the uninsured and underinsured. Results: The VFA program began on January 1, 2011. One thousand doses of tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccine from AmeriCares® have been received and will be given in the month of February 2011 to all childcare workers in the Yakima Valley to prevent the spread of pertussis. The Merck VPAP program began on the same day, supplying the pharmacy 500 doses of Human Papillomavirus quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil®). Other Merck vaccines are replenished at no cost on a monthly basis as the doses are administered. Conclusion: As health care's most accessible practitioner, the pharmacist has a unique opportunity to advocate public health initiatives. The VFA program is one solution for the current lack of care available to the uninsured and underinsured who cannot afford or access preventative immunizations, which should reduce healthcare expenditures. This program fulfills our goals of providing accessible inexpensive health care to the Yakima community. The VFA should be easily incorporated into a de novo pharmacy practice or an existing pharmacy immunization clinic and has the potential for universal uptake in pharmacies.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the benefits of a collaborative practice agreement with a local public health district, an independent pharmacy and pharmaceutical industry. Identify key elements in the contract that enables the procurement for fee Vaccine for adults that are unisured or underinsured. Design a comperable project fro universal uptake in your area

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the clinical supervisor at the Retail Store and innovator of the VFA program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.