Linked to EAHP Statements
Section 1 - Introductory Statements and Governance: Statements 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
Section 4 – Clinical Pharmacy Services: Statements 4.1, 4.2
Section 5 - Patient Safety and Quality Assurance: Statements 5.4
Section 6 – Education and Research: Statements 6.4, 6.5
ACPE UAN: 0475-0000-21-033-L05-P. A knowledge-based activity.
In spring 2020 the world was struck that a ‘simple’ viral outbreak in China could take worldwide proportions and our society was not prepared to handle it. Little was known about this new enemy and its epidemiology. There was no vaccine and our classic pharmacological arsenal was inadequate to respond properly.
Researchers, pharmaceutical companies and financers worldwide joined forces to find a potential cure and to develop a vaccine. Over 1,500 existing molecules were tested as a potential candidate for therapy. These old drugs and compounds were tested in the lab in order to evaluate if these fit for repurposing. Some of them were tested clinically (eg. hydroxychloroquine, favipiravir, azithromycin, …) with differing outcomes. Also new therapies (eg. convalescent plasma) were tested. Next to antiviral agents, also supporting drugs such as dexamethasone, intensified anticoagulation and immunomodulators were investigated. Our understanding of the virus and the insights in treatment changed quickly and is still increasing.
New therapies in new physiopathological conditions of the patient lead to new drug interactions and the need for therapeutic drug monitoring. The hospital pharmacist has an active role in the check of appropriateness of therapy and reporting of adverse drug events as well as in writing the IMPD for clinical trials with covid19-medication. Next to pharmacotherapeutic support, also logistic hurdles such as timely provision of medication and hand alcohol, management of drug shortages, … had to be taken to manage the covid19 pandemic.
Together with measures as physical distancing, hand hygiene, the proper use of personal protection equipment and lab-testing these new therapeutic insights must help us until an effective vaccine is available.
In this session we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the disease, antiviral and supportive treatment and the development of a vaccine, as well as the way to get there. We do this from both the virologist’s and hospital pharmacist’s perspective.
After the session, participants should be able to:
- understand the epidemiology and characteristics of covid19;
- describe the current antiviral and supportive treatment for covid19;
- discuss the mode of action, efficacy and safety of current covid19 vaccines.
Education need addressed
The covid19 pandemic brings a lot of new challenges and a new reality. To respond timely and properly to the hurdles, the hospital pharmacist must understand the epidemiology and characteristics of this infection and must be able to discuss the pharmacological issues of the new treatment options and must be able to assess the efficacy and safety of current covid19 vaccines.
Keywords: Covid19, vaccine, antiviral agents, viral infections, anticoagulation, critical care, inter-professional, pharmaceutical care.