How to prepare for a coronavirus pandemic


The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) recommends that patients and/or caregivers ensure that they have adequate supplies of necessary medications to address their needs if not able to get to the pharmacy because of coronavirus:

If their medication supplies are low, patients should check their prescription benefit coverage with their health insurance and/or pharmacy benefit management companies to determine coverage for early refill or supply limits, prior to requesting refills from their pharmacy. Patients should also have a reasonable supply of non-prescription medications to address their symptomatic medication needs.

In addition, patients with questions about medication shortages/supply or alternative therapies should discuss this with their medication prescriber or pharmacist. To avoid making potential shortages worse, the public must avoid stockpiling of medications and appropriately safeguard medication supplies.

America’s pharmacists stand ready to provide patient care, whether it’s related to coronavirus or other health needs.   

APhA encourages patients, professionals and/or organizations to: 

  • have a personal/family emergency plan including medication information, supplies, and communication mechanisms. For sample plans go to
  • take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and practice good hand hygiene and washing techniques, as well and cough/sneeze etiquette as recommended by CDC. 
  • get an annual influenza vaccination. 
  • don’t go to work if you are sick. Have liberal sick-leave and telework policies. If individuals have flu-like symptoms and are prescribed antivirals, take as directed. 
  • if you are sick and need medication or other supplies from the pharmacy, ask someone to pick-up and deliver the items to you or call the pharmacy to discuss delivery options that might be available to you. 
  • have a policy for the management and protection of personnel who are at increased risk if exposed to coronavirus (e.g., immunocompromised health care workers, etc.). Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces with greater frequency. 

For the latest information, go to

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