Vassilios Papadopoulos, DPharm, PhD, is the dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, the John Stauffer Dean’s Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences. 

Prevention measures against COVID-19, such as masks, shutdowns and social distancing, are running out of steam. As we enter the summer and fall seasons, COVID transmission and infection rates seem to be going back up. Vaccines are still playing a major role, but if we ever hope to drive COVID hospitalization and death rates down to lower levels, we need to accelerate access to therapies which neutralize the virus once we contract it.

As the dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, I see a stockpile of very effective anti-viral medications building up on the shelves. Patients aren’t getting them because not enough prescriptions are being written. The answer is to let pharmacists join physicians and other health professionals in prescribing the COVID pills.

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