Long-term care facilities that receive pharmacy services from CVS Health should have sufficient access to a COVID-19 vaccine, once one is ready, executives stated Wednesday morning.
“We are well positioned to administer COVID-19 vaccines, once they become available, through our community presence, as well as onsite with our return ready and long-term care solutions,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, Omnicare’s parent company, during a second-quarter earnings call.
Drugmakers have stated that a vaccine could be ready for distribution at the end of this year or in early 2021. President Donald Trump has also previously suggested that LTC residents and workers would be expected to get top priority once it becomes available.
CVS executives also highlighted the company’s recently launched diagnostic testing program for seniors in long-term care facilities. The program uses point-of-care rapid testing.
“Testing and treatment of seniors in nursing homes continues to be critically important in protecting one of our most vulnerable populations, and for both return ready and long-term care testing,” Merlo said.
“Through the end of July, we administered approximately 2 million COVID-19 tests, with the vast majority scheduled digitally as a result of our highly adaptable consumer-centric digital health strategy,” he added.
Executives also noted that the pandemic has “substantially affected” Omnicare and the company’s long-term care presence overall.
“As you look at the industry challenges, we’ve seen admissions down about 20 percent and some facilities continuing to not accept new patients, but not be shut down per se,” said CVS Health Vice President and CFO Eva Boratto.
The company reported that total revenues for its retail/LTC segment increased by 1% for the quarter, but the increases were partially offset by continued reimbursement pressure, the impact of recent generic introductions, lower front store revenues and decreased long-term care prescription volume.