Essential services: Quantifying the contributions of America's pharmacists in COVID-19 clinical interventions

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 Nov-Dec;62(6):1929-1945.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2022.08.010. Epub 2022 Aug 18.


Background: As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the United States, America's pharmacists and their teammates expanded their clinical services to help their communities from every practice setting: community and ambulatory care, inpatient, long-term care, academia, public health, and many others.

Objectives: The objective of the study is to begin to quantify contributions of U.S. pharmacists in providing clinical interventions that mitigate and control the pandemic. These interventions span the gamut of diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and support, intervening patient by patient with vaccines, diagnostic tests, convalescent plasma, monoclonal antibodies, antiviral medications, and supportive therapies.

Methods: Review of published literature, relevant web pages, and queries to national and state professional pharmacy associations and government agencies.

Results: From February 2020 through September 2022, pharmacists and their teammates conducted >42 million COVID-19 tests, provided >270 million vaccinations (including 8.1 million COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care residents) within community pharmacy programs alone, and provided >50 million influenza and other vaccinations per year. Pharmacists plausibly accounted for >50% of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States. Pharmacists prescribed, dispensed, and administered an uncounted number of antibody products and antiviral medications, including care for 5.4 million inpatients and innumerable outpatients. Using conservative estimates, pandemic interventions by pharmacists and teammates averted >1 million deaths, >8 million hospitalizations, and $450 billion in health care costs.

Conclusions: Pharmacists and their teammates contributed to America's health and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing >350 million clinical interventions to >150 million people in the form of testing, parenteral antibodies, vaccinations, antiviral therapies, and inpatient care. The number of lives touched and people cared for by pharmacists continues to rise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • COVID-19*
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Role
  • United States


  • Antiviral Agents