May 20, 2014

"Should a Medicare senior’s “preferred” pharmacy be nine hours away by plane? Should a community pharmacy be reimbursed $300 below its cost of acquiring and dispensing a lifesaving drug? Should patients endure long trips for basic health services that a local community pharmacist is qualified to provide? Of course not," writes National Community Pharmacists Association CEO, B. Douglas Hoey in his latest guest blog entry.

May 5, 2014

"With advertising and other forms of traditional media playing a less dominant role in how consumers interact with brands, breaking through with packaging is more significant than ever," writes Crystal Bennett, partner at Little Big Brands, in her latest blog post.

February 12, 2014

"You may have heard the good news: through proactive involvement from pharmacists all across the state, California recently passed a law (SB 493 in October, 2013) declaring that pharmacists are healthcare providers who have the authority to provide healthcare services within the state. The law creates a new category of pharmacists by statute, for those who meet the criteria, and as a result creates new opportunities for pharmacists to engage with others more traditionally understood as healthcare providers to assist patients in managing chronic conditions," writes Nathan Ludvigson, director, government business development at Emdeon.

January 30, 2014

An article in the February 2014 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy provides advice to researchers who are studying pharmacist-provided medication management in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and medical homes. In actuality, the article says as much about the NACDS Foundation as it says about the research itself.

January 10, 2014

One of the principles of association leadership says that an association should reflect the membership. Hopefully, NACDS’ approach to member service has resembled the can-do spirit of community pharmacy during the launch of exchange-based insurance.

February 19, 2013

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements.

February 5, 2013

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have applied this sports theory to its rankings system of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) plans. And there’s billions of dollars up-for-grabs for healthcare plans.

August 25, 2014

When NACDS Total Store Expo attendees depart Boston, the show is far from over.

 

August 22, 2014

What if you could replicate the physical in-store experience on the Web? The concept sounds incredibly powerful.

June 25, 2013

People who deal in real estate like to say that the three most important things to consider when buying or selling a house are “location, location and location.” But when it comes to the way physicians, nurses and pharmacists provide health services to their patients, location ain’t what it used to be.

May 30, 2013

Beauty trends are as much a reflection of the consumer's state of mind as they are a reflection of the technological innovations put forth by research-and-development teams at laboratories around the world. While consumers are not able to verbalize their expectations for the ideal product that will fulfill their needs, they are able to pinpoint gaps with their unmet needs through their purchasing patterns.

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 9, 2013

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.

April 2, 2013

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.

March 26, 2013

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.

March 19, 2013

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.

March 12, 2013

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.

March 5, 2013

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.

January 18, 2013

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.

November 29, 2012

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.

July 11, 2012

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.

July 5, 2012

As states grapple with tight budgets, rising Medicaid costs and the anticipated expansion of Medicaid following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policymakers should consider how community pharmacists can help reduce expenses. In addition, new evidence offers a fresh reminder of the perils of managed care in Medicaid and the need for proper oversight of managed care entities.

June 12, 2012

It’s an underappreciated fact that advertising drives store sales. Many marketers don’t appreciate just how critical it is. Here’s a secret: The “closer” to the store the advertising is, the more likely it is that retailers will see a direct correlation between advertising and sales.