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CEO DATELINE – Pharmacists association wants better medical care at migrant detention centers

Oct. 22, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The American Pharmacists Association expressed concern Monday about media reports of inadequate medical care at migrant detention centers in the U.S. and called on federal officials to take steps to correct the alleged problems.

Multiple media outlets have reported in recent weeks on cases of poor care at the facilities because of a lack of resources and medical personnel. A recent CNN investigation found multiple instances of deaths that could have been prevented had the appropriate care been provided.

In a statement, APhA’s board of trustees said the organization was alarmed about the reports. It called on officials in charge of the centers to ensure that detained individuals “have timely access to appropriate and necessary medications and the patient care services of pharmacists to treat and manage acute and chronic medical conditions.”

The association also cautioned against any legislative attempts to further restrict medical access.

“APhA opposes legislation, regulations, requirements and restrictions that impede migrants in immigration detention centers access to their prescribed medications or patient care services provided by a pharmacist,” the group said. “APhA also opposes the inappropriate prescribing and administration of medications as restraints and encourages adherence with established standards of care without compromising individual’s rights.”

APhA is not the first medical association to weigh in on the centers. In an Aug. 28 letter, the American Academy of Family Physicians and four other doctors’ groups urged the Trump administration to uphold the terms of the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which sets conditions for detaining migrant children.