What We’re Reading: FDA Warns Most Americans Will Get COVID-19; California Universal Health Care Proposal; High Level of Trust in Pharmacists

The FDA emphasized the need to focus on hospital functions and other essential services; a proposed single-payer health care bill passes the California Assembly; a report found that 80% of patients and 90% of providers trust their pharmacists.

FDA Commissioner Warns Most Americans Will Get COVID-19

According to Janet Woodcock, MD, acting commissioner of the FDA, most people are going to contract the COVID-19 virus. As reported by The Washington Post, Woodcock emphasized at a Senate hearing the need to focus on hospital functions and other essential services. This statement comes after the 7-day average reached more than 760,000 cases Monday, with COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases both reaching new record highs. At the hearing, a World Health Organization official also warned that more than 50% of Europe could be infected in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Universal Health Care Proposal Passes California Assembly

California Democrats proposed a universal health care bill Tuesday that cleared a legislative committee in the state Assembly, The Associated Press reported. The proposed single-payer health care system may not be voted on until 2024 and would increase taxes of business and individuals by about $163 billion per year. Part of a separate budget plan regarding health care included allowing undocumented immigrants in California to sign up for Medi-Cal, as reported by The New York Times. While the state already allows undocumented immigrants under age 26 to join the program and will open eligibility to those aged 50 and older, this proposal would expand eligibility to about 700,000 more people and would cost about $2.2 billion per year.

Report Finds Most Patients, Providers Trust Pharmacists

New research published in The Prescription of Trust report revealed that, amid increasing provider shortages, US pharmacists are trusted by patients and expected to play an increasingly integral role in health care management, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reported in a statement. The report surveyed more than 3000 patients, 1000 pharmacists, and 500 providers to further understand the expanding role of pharmacists in patient care and include patient opinions. It found that 80% of patients and 90% of providers trust their pharmacists, and 53.3% of pharmacists agreed that their current training and education is sufficient for them to help patients. The study was conducted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and also showed a preference from almost half of patients to conduct routine medical examinations from home.