Implementation of a Pharmacy-Based Adult Vaccine Benefit: Recommendations for a Commercial Health Plan Benefit

AUTHORS: Kelly J. Ko, Rolin L. Wade, Hsing-Ting Yu, Ross M. Miller, Bruce Sherman, Jeff Goad

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SUMMARY:

BACKGROUND: Although vaccination rates in children exceed 90% in the United States, adults are vaccinated at far lower rates. In order to address this issue, additional community immunizers are needed, and pharmacists are in an ideal position to fill this void. 
 
OBJECTIVES: To explore issues and barriers related to implementation of a pharmacy-based adult vaccine benefit and develop recommendations supporting a pathway for benefit expansion. 
 
METHODS: A literature review on the current environment surrounding pharmacy-based adult vaccinations and structured interviews were conducted to inform an expert panel meeting using a modified Delphi process (pre/post survey). The goal was to develop recommendations on how to improve access to adult vaccines. 
 
RESULTS: Findings suggest employers play a key role in requesting changes in benefit design to include pharmacy-based vaccinations. However, the lack of consistent communication between pharmacists and primary care providers remains a significant barrier.
 
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy-based access to vaccinations improves patient access and benefits individuals and employers. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, pharmacists must be viewed within the broader context of preventative care, including pharmacy-based vaccinations.
 

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