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Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy endorses NASP education program

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s online education center has received an endorsement from a university in Chicago, NASP said.

The group said that the Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy had endorsed its Specialty Pharmacy Education Center and would accept the source content for academic credit starting this fall.

"As an organization, NASP is developing and offering innovative programs that focus on the unique needs of the specialty pharmacy community," college dean George MacKinnon said. "We look forward to working with NASP to promote and expand its educational offerings to our students, in particular those programs that prepare our graduates for the emerging model of specialty pharmacy practice."

SPEC provides educational programming for healthcare professionals and Certified Specialty Pharmacist preparation. More than 250 hours of specialty pharmacy education is being developed by dozens of experts from pharmacy schools and specialty pharmacies.

"This is an important milestone for NASP and for the industry because of how fast this industry is expanding, and the need to educate students who will be the future leaders of pharmacy," NASP CEO Gary Cohen said. "As the needs of patients increase, so too will the demand for better-educated pharmacists, who are knowledgeable and skilled in the specialty arena, to provide the quality care needed to improve patient outcomes."

 

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Patient care: Turning words to ACTion

BY Jim Frederick

“We’re asking the pharmacists to be proactive in their communication rather than reactive.”

That’s Andrew Markievich, manager of pharmacy clinical programs for Ahold USA, the big Dutch-based owner-operator of such U.S. supermarket chains as Stop & Shop and Giant Food in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Speaking to Drug Store News’ Alaric DeArment, Markievich was describing a new campaign at Ahold USA’s more than 560 food-store pharmacies “to take a more active, deliberate role in communicating with our patients.” Ahold calls the new campaign “ACT,” for “Acknowledge, Coach and Thank.”

Encouraging pharmacists to develop stronger relationships and more face time with their patients is nothing new, of course; pharmacy operators across all retail channels have been giving at least lip service to a higher level of patient counseling and clinical care ever since patients themselves began complaining about access to their pharmacist. And many chains have gone well beyond lip service, offloading many of the steps in the Rx dispensing process to qualified technicians and company-operated central-fill pharmacies so their pharmacists can get out from behind the computer screen and interact more with the customer.

Nevertheless, Ahold’s move is another welcome sign of where retail pharmacy practice is headed. Prescription dispensing will always be the core function and sales driver at retail pharmacies, but these days, the pharmacy that treats patients as an afterthought and focuses solely on churning prescription volume will lose its customers to the pharmacist down the street who takes a minute or two to greet them at the counter, ask them how they’re doing, counsel them on their meds and their condition, and even, if needed, to step out from behind the counter and help them find what they need in the OTC aisle.

Markievich freely admitted that Ahold is taking a page from independent pharmacies, which, he acknowledges, “typically score very high in customer satisfaction.

“As owners of their pharmacies, these pharmacists make a deliberate effort to make each customer feel important and appreciated,” he told DSN. “That’s been our goal and model for ACT! — encourage our pharmacists to adopt an ownership mentality and make each customer feel important and appreciated.”

How far along is the profession in its evolution from basic dispensing and counseling into a higher level of practice and patient care? Are drug store, supermarket and mass merchant pharmacies doing enough to allow their pharmacists to practice at the top of their license and to be fully engaged partners on the patient-care team? If you’re a community pharmacist, is your own company doing enough to encourage and support that kind of practice? As always, your comments are welcome.

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Mscripts launches Web Pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO — Mobile pharmacy technology company Mscripts has launched Web Pharmacy, which will allow pharmacies to offer patients an integrated and branded web and mobile environment to manage their health and prescription needs, the company said Tuesday.

The system provides customers with a unified, omnichannel experience for text, phone and web interactions and provides many of the same features available with Mscripts’ Mobile Pharmacy, including one-click refill, consolidated view of medications, pharmacy locator and transfer of prescriptions. Patients also can create medical expense reports, and sort and search capabilities.

"The addition of Mscripts Web Pharmacy allows pharmacies to satisfy the needs of a broad consumer base — some may prefer using the Web, while others their mobile phone, or a combination of both," Mscripts CEO Mark Cullen said. "Mscripts’ Web Pharmacy employs an intuitive interface customized with each customer’s brand, creating new opportunities for improved interactions, adherence and refill rates."

 

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