Independent community pharmacies are a critical prescription drug access point for patients—particularly in underserved areas, according to the 2016 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health and released at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Annual Convention. The NCPA Digest also documents how independent community pharmacies promote medication adherence, encourage use of lower-cost generic drugs, and support local community organizations.
"Independent community pharmacies continue to be a trusted source for prescription medication and expert counseling, according to the newest NCPA Digest," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA.
According to Steve Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Retail Independent Sales at Cardinal Health, nearly 70% of all community pharmacy owners donated to at least five local organizations in 2015. In addition to filling prescriptions, 81% of pharmacists offer medication therapy management; 67% provide immunizations; 61% furnish durable medical goods; and 57% perform blood-pressure monitoring.
"As we continue to move toward value-based care, pharmacists become an increasingly important extension of patients' wellness," said Lawrence. "And health care payers are looking to reduce the cost of care, evaluate sites of care, and measure health outcomes. The relationship the pharmacist has with the patient and caregiver becomes increasingly important."
Hoey added: "While independent community pharmacies remain a significant part of the retail pharmacy marketplace, both decreasing prescription volume and declining prescription drug reimbursement are warning signs to pharmacy owners. To weather these and other trends, community pharmacy owners should consider any and all options to diversify their revenue while continuing to focus on evaluating the economics of third-party reimbursements. To help, NCPA has identified a range of options and featured them online."
Highlights from the NCPA Digest covering the 2015 independent community pharmacy marketplace include:
Source: NCPA; October 18, 2016.