PHARMACY

SoFi takes a look at best-value pharmacy schools

BY David Salazar
SAN FRANCISCO — Lender and student loan refinancing company SoFi this week conducted a rundown of which pharmacy schools provide students the best bang for their buck by comparing which schools have the highest average salaries relative to their student debt, on average. It also looked at the pharmacy schools’ graduates have the highest average salaries and schools whose graduates have the highest amount of debt relative to their income. 
 
The pharmacy school with the highest average salary was the University of California, San Francisco, which had an average salary of $145,297, which was 1.3 times the average $109,394 in debt students depart with. The University of the Pacific’s pharmacy school came in second, with an average salary of $137,639 and salary-debt ratio of 0.8. It was followed by Midwestern University – Glendale, whose graduates earn $133,867 on average; University of Southern California, with its average graduate salary of $133,328; and Harding University, with its average salary of $132,748. However, all four schools that followed the top slot had students with debt higher than their average salary, and three were below the average of all pharmacy schools. 
 
At the head of the pack of schools with the best salary-debt ratios was North Dakota State University’s Main Campus in Fargo, whose graduates make, on average, 1.7 times what they have in student debt. At the University of Montana, pharmacy grads make 1.6 times their debt, and an average student at Southwestern Oklahoma State university make 1.4 times their debt. The same is true of the University of Kansas’ and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s pharmacy graduates. 
 
“Ample employment opportunities, plus a lower cost of living, can certainly help when it comes to paying down student loans. NDSU might have earned the top ranking on our list because of the healthcare jobs that abound in the area: 81% of 53 counties in North Dakota are short on health professionals,” SoFi’s Barbara Bellesi wrote. “The numbers from University of Montana could tell a similar story: The need for healthcare workers in the state is growing, so the workforce must increase by 40% over the next decade to meet demand. Southwestern Oklahoma State ranks high likely because Oklahoma has seen a 26.56% increase in pharmacist jobs over the past decade
 
SoFi also ranked that it said are the least lucrative, whose students make less annually than they have accrued in debt. SoFi said that the two schools at the bottom of the list —Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Regis University — on average produce graduates with twice as much debt as their annual salaries. 
 
“Pharmacy school is a big investment of both time and money, so to have a better shot at paying off student debt faster, it makes sense to apply to schools where employment opportunities abound and earning potential is high,” Bellesi writes. “Pharm.D. graduates are poised to be successful, so choose a school that will prepare you well for a career that fulfills your personal and financial goals.”
 
To see the full rankings, click here

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S.Mullins says:
Mar-12-2017 12:42 pm

The San Francisco high salary is all well and good, but don't forget to factor in the fact that this is THE MOST EXPENSIVE city in which to live. You cannot compare $ to $ from city to city. Apples and oranges my friend.

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PHARMACY

Kmart garners top ranking on pharmacy customer satisfaction index

BY Brian Berk

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Kmart earned the top ranking — a score of 84 out of a possible 100 — in the health and wellness/pharmacy category in the recently released American Customer Satisfaction Index “Retail Report 2016.” Kmart’s ranking rose from a score of 76 the prior year, good for a 10.5% year-over-year increase.

Alberstons placed second on the list with a score of 83, followed by “all others” at 82, Kroger at 81, Target at 79, Rite Aid at 78, and CVS, Walgreens and Walmart all finishing with a score of 76. Of note, Albertsons, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart all saw significant rises in year-over-year customer satisfaction, with all advancing at least 3%.

Overall, customer satisfaction in this category rose 6.8% year over year to an ACSI score of 78. Customers were especially happy with locations and operating hours of health and personal care stores, scoring an 86 in this category, beating out other retail categories.

The quality of pharmacy services also saw a strong rise in 2016, rising 4% to a score of 84. “According to customers, staff are more courteous and helpful than they were a year ago, and the checkout process, is faster (both up 5% to 83 and 79, respectively),” ACSI noted in its report. “Customers crave more sales and promotions as they still rate the feature at the low end, although there is slight improvement (up 1% to 76).

To compile its statistics, Ann Arbor-based ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for analyzing customer satisfaction with more than 300 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors.

For more information about the report, click here.

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PHARMACY

NCPA calls for Congressional hearings on DIR practice

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday requested Congressional hearings on legislation, the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Spending Act (S. 413 and H.R. 1038), that would stop the practice of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees being applied retroactively under Medicare Part D.

“Retroactive pharmacy DIR fees are creating a system of winners and losers,” stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. “While pharmacy benefit managers profit, the unpredictable timing and amount of these clawbacks are wreaking financial havoc on pharmacies, seniors and taxpayers," he said.

"NCPA believes these congressional committees should schedule hearings soon on S. 413 and H.R. 1038 to address this unsustainable situation," Hoey added. "By requiring PBMs to divulge the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries at the point of sale, these bills fix a problem even the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services acknowledges has contributed to rising costs in Medicare Part D. A hearing provides the platform for the scrutiny this issue deserves.”

The request was made from NCPA to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and to the chair and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee, the committees with jurisdiction over this issue.

 

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