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Supporting Economic Growth Among Community, Retail Pharmacies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pharmacy Times interviewed Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly M. Schulz and Ulyana Desiderio, director of Biohealth and Life Sciences in the Maryland Department of Commerce, on how growth in the health care and biotech industry can support economic revitalization during and following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among community and retail pharmacies.

After spending some time in the Maryland legislature, Schulz found that talking about health care was a critical part of making policy decisions for constituents and residents across the state, she explained. In her work in the legislature, Schulz found that Maryland, in particular, has a strong pharmacy community, with approximately 1300 pharmacies in the state in 2009.

“Locally, and I'll just say anecdotally, there's a significant increase in wanting to go to the neighborhood pharmacy because you get a little bit of that individual attention. You may have less crowds in those types of stores, and I think that there's generally an overall level of comfort that you have with [community pharmacies],” Schulz said. “I think that there's no other opportunity than for that industry to grow because of the type of accountability that we need for those professionals to have and the relationship that we as individuals need to have with them. And so, I see that considerably [progressing] moving forward.”

Schulz additionally discussed what kind of work the COVID-19 Small Business Task Force in the state of Maryland has been doing to support small businesses during the pandemic, as well as some of the ways in which small businesses, such as community pharmacies, have been supported by the COVID-19 Small Business Task Force. Continue Reading


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