04/09/2013 - 12:22pm

The new world of targeted, specialized medicines — many of them bioengineered and many of them aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population — isn’t just on its way. It’s here. And it’s going to radically change the practice of pharmacy.

Here’s an eye-opener: Specialty drugs will likely account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, up from 28.7% of total prescription drug costs in 2012.

04/02/2013 - 12:59pm

These are the days of the empowered patient — the patient who asks questions, who wants to know about how to prevent the diseases that ailed their parents or how to live more successfully with the conditions they have, who seeks and finds health information from doctors, nurses, magazines and most especially from the teeming trove of online health sites.

03/26/2013 - 12:22pm

It’s often the case that those in the midst of revolutionary times don’t really see how fundamentally the world around them is changing until long after the changes have occurred. So let’s start by declaring that the revolution has begun: Genomic research will dramatically transform both the practice of pharmacy and the way patients are treated with medications for many diseases.

The sequencing of the human genome was a huge scientific breakthrough, and it’s spawning additional breakthroughs as genetic testing labs spring up and the cost of testing individual patients for their ability to metabolize a particular drug drops to affordable levels for health plan payers.

03/19/2013 - 11:10am

Last week, I wrote about Medication Therapy Management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about – wait for it – medication therapy management.

Why? Because MTM is important, vitally important, to the future of community pharmacy, and one of the key health and prevention services that will define the profession in the era of health reform and evidence-based health care.

03/12/2013 - 9:44am

A 12-to-1 return on investment. That’s what researchers in Minnesota estimated public and private health plan payers can get when they pay pharmacists to provide medication therapy management.

03/05/2013 - 1:09pm

You might want to make a note of this. On paper. Despite all the hoopla surrounding electronically generated prescriptions, e-communications and digitized patient recordkeeping over the past decade, most doctors still prefer to write prescriptions the old fashioned way, by hand, scrawled on a prescription pad and handed to the patient.

That was the finding of a recent study of physicians’ prescribing habits by point-of-prescription advertising company MediScripts. The company, which by its own description “puts brand messages at the center of the prescriber-patient engagement,” found that handwritten scripts still outpace e-prescribing by more than 60%. Drug Store News’ Alaric DeArment described the findings in a report on Feb. 28.

01/18/2013 - 2:36pm

This will be a big year for implementation of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, and the National Community Pharmacists Association will track the process closely on behalf of NCPA members and the patients they serve. NCPA recently submitted comments about the ACA’s Multi-State Plans, or MSPs, being designed by the Office of Personnel Management.

11/29/2012 - 5:18pm

The economy continues to be the single largest influencer in the growth of the health, beauty and wellness industry. The annual inflation rate has averaged just more than 2% during the past five years.

07/11/2012 - 12:00pm

Social media is an important component of ongoing brand marketing, as well as any advertising campaign for a drug store retailer or brand. Integrated communications have the most impact because earned, owned and paid media reinforce and amplify the message. All channels feed off each other; the more frequently a potential customer sees or hears about a brand or retailer, particularly in more than one context or venue, the more likely she is to remember and purchase.