October is National Pharmacists Month! Learn a little more about the Pharmacists within VDH who serve the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Division of Pharmacy Services supports the Department of Health in its public health mission by providing vaccines, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical services, and biologicals to other divisions within the Department of Health and to the local health departments.

What does the VDH Division of Pharmacy Services (DPS) do?

  • DPS supports the local health departments by providing vaccines, medications, medical supplies, drug information services, and biologics for programs that include: 
    • Providing treatments for sexually transmitted or communicable diseases including tuberculosis and HIV
    • Providing vaccines for influenza, foreign travel, and for patients who are not eligible for the Vaccines for Children Program
    • Providing pharmaceuticals to support metabolic disorders and hemophilia
  • DPS provides naloxone and drug disposal bags to First Responders, Comprehensive Harm Reduction Sites, Community Services Boards, local health departments, the Department of Corrections, and public schools.
  • DPS also collaborates with the Department of Education to provide epinephrine, albuterol, and supplies to public and private schools across Virginia. 
  • They also respond to public health emergencies including pandemics, bioterrorism, and natural disasters.
  • They provide clinical support to healthcare providers and manage inventory of medications to treat communicable diseases and chronic diseases. 

To support all of these programs, the Pharmacy Shipper ships an average of 150 boxes of medications and supplies per day and receives at least 20 boxes a day!

What other roles do Pharmacists play in VDH?

  • Pharmacists can assist patients in learning to take care of their health, from managing their medications and implementing lifestyle changes.
  • Pharmacists often also counsel patients on how to take medications correctly.
  • Another role of the pharmacist is ensuring medications don’t interact with other medications the patient is taking.
  • They may also process bulk orders, manage inventory and supply, and provide training to other providers. 
  • Pharmacists provide important perspective, input and leadership for public health programs and response efforts such as monkeypox and COVID-19. 

The pharmacy services team includes pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns, and other support services. VDH thanks the Division of Pharmacy Services and all of the Pharmacists throughout VDH for their dedication, effort, and work for all people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.