The world of pharmacy is rapidly changing. Independent pharmacists who want to stay competitive need to position themselves one step ahead of the pack.
In many cases, this can mean developing new business strategies. Reshaping your role in the larger health care picture may help you win new market space and greater customer loyalty. Of course, it’s vital to base your plans on a solid understanding of industry trends. Here are just a few to consider:
Given the mandate to lower consumer drug spend, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed removing several drug rebates from the Anti-Kickback safe harbor list. These include the rebates that drug manufacturers pay to pharmacy benefit managers, Part D plans and Medicaid managed organizations. In place, the HHS would offer new safe harbors for discounts given to patients.
Amazon’s recent purchase of the online pharmacy PillPack means the retail giant now has the means to deliver medicines directly to patients’ doors. According to CNBC, PillPack’s service goes beyond simple fulfillment and delivery to include automatic refills and 24/7 customer support. Also, as part of Amazon, PillPack can lobby hard. It recently convinced Arizona’s officials to grant an exemption that would allow its technicians to handle certain transfers the law says should be handled by pharmacists.
House Bill 2548 cleared a House committee in February. If signed into law, it would allow pharmacists to perform a limited number of diagnostic tests and prescribe certain medications. This could greatly expand the business options available to small pharmacies and could lead to better patient health outcomes. Even if the bill doesn’t become law, it shows that Arizona’s lawmakers are willing to explore new ways for pharmacists to help improve the ailing health care system.
Arizona’s independent pharmacies currently face challenges on all sides, but those with vision can transform these challenges into new opportunities. When you decide to transform or grow your business, an attorney with a deep pharmacy background can make an invaluable ally.
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