Posts Tagged 'pharmacist'

Federal Health Officials Laud Pharmacists’ Immunization Role

By Kevin Schweers

With the influenza vaccination season around the corner, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recognizing pharmacists’ role in expanding access to immunizations and seeking pharmacists’ continued help, according to a letter to pharmacists from HHS and CDC that was published by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

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States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Independent Community Pharmacists are both small business owners and trusted healthcare providers. As such, they contribute to both the local economy through employment opportunities and taxes. In fact, studies have shown that for every dollar spent at a local small business, $.68 is reinvested in the local economy, this drops to $.43 for chain stores, and mail order purchases bring no economic benefit to communities. As healthcare providers, independent community pharmacists they promote proper medication adherence with patients, check the patient’s medication regimen for harmful interactions, and when appropriate work with the patient’s doctor to prescribe lower cost generic alternatives: all of which contribute to savings in the health system.

Continue reading ‘States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?’

Patient Survey Finds More Good News for Independent Community Pharmacies

By Kevin Schweers

Independent community pharmacies score high once again in customer service, according to the recently released Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmacy Satisfaction Pulse survey of patients. Chain Drug Review has run an interesting series of articles on the survey’s findings. This blog post looks at the survey from the independent community pharmacy perspective.

Independent pharmacies garnered the top satisfaction scores among all pharmacies. Ninety-one percent of patients who said they primarily use an independent pharmacy said they are overall very satisfied or satisfied. Independents also scored highest in key factors such as filling prescriptions accurately and efficiently, convenience, pharmacy/staff, loyalty and likelihood to return and to recommend to someone else.

That’s consistent with past surveys in this series. Also in line with past years is the fact that mail order receives the lowest satisfaction rates among patients, compared to all other pharmacy options.

Some other numbers of note from the survey include:

  • Independent pharmacy consumers were among the most likely pharmacy users to say their pharmacy had improved over the past year (on top of already high satisfaction scores in the previous surveys). Mail order patients were least likely to report an improvement in service.

  • Patients of independent pharmacies receive their prescriptions within 20 minutes on average—much more promptly than those who patron other pharmacies. Patients said it takes two or three time as long, on average, to receive their prescription at other brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Moreover, one-third of independents’ customers received their prescription in 10 minutes or less.

  • Independent pharmacists interact with their customers far more often compared to other pharmacy types. Perhaps not surprisingly, a much larger percentage of independent pharmacy customers report the pharmacy staff as the main reason they chose their pharmacy, compared to other options.

  • Independent pharmacies scored slightly higher than mail order in patient satisfaction with pricing. Yet, on a separate question, the vast majority of mail order customers (69 percent) report choosing mail because of “pricing/insurance” (emphasis added). Arguably, this reinforces the conventional wisdom that few patients willingly seek out mail order pharmacies, but many are required to use them by insurance plans, even if the costs to the plan may be higher.

  • Independent pharmacies’ helpfulness with insurance issues increased markedly compared to the same 2012 survey.

The full survey has plenty of other nuggets that patients and independent community pharmacy staff alike may find informative. Previous editions of the survey can be found at

Pressure Mounting on CMS to Delay Ban on Home Delivery of DTS

By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

With the July 1 implementation of the national mail order (NMO) program rapidly approaching, Representative Mike McIntyre (D-NC) became the 44th member of the House of Representatives to raise concerns with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If implemented, the NMO would ban independent pharmacists from providing home delivery of diabetes testing supplies (DTS) to Medicare Part B beneficiaries.

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NCPA Weighs in on AMA’s Pharmacist Resolution

By Kevin Schweers

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) consideration and adoption of Resolution 218 has generated an understandable backlash from many pharmacists. Possibly inspired by a provision of Walgreen’s $80 million settlement with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regarding controlled substances, resolution 218 essentially discourages pharmacists from contacting physicians with questions in response to a prescription which raises suspicion or in line pharmacists’ professional responsibilities.

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Patient Reviews Suggest Mail Order Doesn’t Deliver

By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

For many consumers, the promise of mail order saving is a part of why they select this method of delivery. Internet and television advertisements tell them that if they order a product online or over the phone they can save on out-of-pocket costs and enjoy the added convenience of having the product delivered directly to their home. However, with pharmaceuticals, errors in shipment or delays in delivery can have serious consequences on a patient’s health.

Continue reading ‘Patient Reviews Suggest Mail Order Doesn’t Deliver’

NCPA Community Pharmacist Spotlight Continues to Highlight Positive Patient Outcomes

By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Last January, NCPA launched a feature on our website entitled the Community Pharmacist Spotlight. Since its inception, a different NCPA member has been featured discussing the important role independent community pharmacists play in the health care system.

Continue reading ‘NCPA Community Pharmacist Spotlight Continues to Highlight Positive Patient Outcomes’

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