McKesson’s Sponsored Clinical Services Network draws much attention from pharmacists, owners looking to balance business needs with patient care

LAS VEGAS — In many ways, the future of community pharmacy relies on evolving the role of the pharmacist to drive better patient adherence, improve health outcomes and perhaps most importantly, from a business perspective, to get paid for it. To help independent pharmacy owners and community pharmacists step closer to that future today, McKesson, the largest healthcare services company in the country, showcased Tuesday its Sponsored Clinical Services Network to hundreds of attendees here at McKesson ideaShare 2012.

Community pharmacies that are focused on elevating their role in healthcare delivery, enhancing patient loyalty and outcomes and seeking new reimbursement streams are adopting sophisticated behavioral adherence programs into their practice. McKesson’s Sponsored Clinical Services Network, the largest active patient support network in the industry, has significant experience implementing adherence support programs, executives noted.

“McKesson is committed to helping community pharmacists achieve their goals with pharmacy-based adherence programs centered on the patient,” said Brian Tyler, president of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “With McKesson’s partnership with many of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the industry, pharmacies active in the McKesson Sponsored Clinical Services Network have been assuming an even greater role in providing patient care and services, in addition to growing their revenues. In fact, in 2011, pharmacies in our Sponsored Clinical Services Network earned $1 million in service fees for providing patient support services and supported an estimated quarter of a million patients.”

McKesson’s Pharmacy Intervention Program, which expands patient access to one-on-one behavioral coaching from their retail pharmacists, is helping to achieve better patient care, enhance the role of the pharmacist and transition the pharmacy to a service-based business model. McKesson’s Pharmacy Intervention Program found patients who received face-to-face behavioral coaching from their pharmacists showed significant adherence benefits. For example, COPD patients who received coaching showed an average of 1.6 incremental fills over 12 months, and patients coached in multiple diabetes programs showed an average of four incremental refills over 12 months versus patients who did not receive behavioral coaching.

The results indicate that the Pharmacy Intervention Program’s pharmacist training, coaching session design and ongoing resources are driving patient compliance to their medication regimens, which in turn drive increased visits and revenues to the pharmacy. In addition to reimbursement fees from sponsors associated with coaching sessions, pharmacies can benefit from increased prescription volumes, incremental front-end purchases and further enhanced customer loyalty.

Key to reimbursement is making sure that, as manufacturers shift dollars to pharmacy services, that they are allocating at least part of those dollars for independent pharmacies, which is another critical role that McKesson plays for its customers, explained Stacey Irving, VP strategic channel solutions and sponsored clinical services network at McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions. “We want to make sure that [independent pharmacies] are not only considered for these types of programs, but that they are successful in delivering those programs,” Irving said — especially since this type of one-to-one service and counseling is something that independent pharmacies are known for, she added.

"Fostering patient loyalty and healthier outcomes is not only key to growing my business, but part of my role as a trusted healthcare provider in my community," said Christine Jacobson, owner of Wasatch Pharmacy Care in Ogden, Utah. "By participating in McKesson's Pharmacy Intervention Program, I benefit from being part of the largest active patient support pharmacy network. This program is one example of how my wholesaler is helping me to increase prescription volumes and customer loyalty — ultimately driving better outcomes for my patients and my business."

For more information on McKesson's Sponsored Clinical Services Network, its Pharmacy Intervention Program and all of the new product and service announcements from McKesson ideaShare 2012, visit the McKesson online newsroom at www.mckesson.com/newsroom.

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