As we begin to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel with the authorization of two COVID-19 vaccines (and more on the way), I am inspired by continued dedication of pharmacy professionals. Throughout this ordeal, you have been firm in your commitment to serving your communities. And now, as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have been authorized to administer these vaccines in California and many other states, the immunization courses offered by CPhA are filled to capacity with pharmacy professionals eager to do their part.
We all see stories of pharmacists doing whatever they can to help. Whether it’s setting up flu shot clinics, coming out of retirement, or buying groceries for neighbors who are at higher risk, you have been unwavering in your support of your patients and your communities. In the pages of this journal, we see pharmacists and even pharmacy students and residents pushing research forward to better serve patients.
I am particularly interested in the article examining the CURES data reporting on the dispensing rates of opioids among pediatrics and young adults. The data is encouraging, and dispensing rates have declined since the requirements instituted by CURES. I had the privilege to serve on the Assembly Health committee for six years while in the CA legislature, and legislation relating to CURES came before us several times. It isn’t often that I am able to hear a report back on the results of legislation that was passed. This is a weakness in much of our law making as there is rarely a look back to see if the intentions of the legislation are fulfilled. This research reveals that while the prescription rates have declined, there is still work to be done, to identify the risk factors for continued opioid abuse in young people and that there is a benefit to policies that will target specific communities and regions where the problems are more persistent. This research and the other articles in this issue can help inform both improved health outcomes and public policy.
Thank you again for your unwavering commitment to serving your patients however you can through your practice, your community service, and your research.