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DSNTV: Jennifer Zilka, VP, Business Coaching and Pharmacy Ownership, Good Neighbor Pharmacy

BY Rob Eder

Zilka talked to DSN about the work of the company’s business coaching and pharmacy ownership teams, how the two are interconnected, and how they are helping Good Neighbor Pharmacy owners manage and grow their businesses — both at the pharmacy, as well as the often over-looked front-end of the store — and how they are “helping independent pharmacy stay independent” by matching the right buyers and sellers.

“My teams are both an investment in the independent pharmacy owner — our sole goal is to help them be more successful,” Zilka told DSN. “We’re not selling them anything. By helping to keep them in the community, continuing a legacy, maximizing the value of the business, we really get behind the counter and become one of them. It’s rare that they don’t think of us as an extension of their own staff.”

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DSNTV: Peter Kounelis, VP, Elevate Provider Network

BY Rob Eder

Kounelis talked to DSN about Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s unique approach to preferred pharmacy networks, how its strategy differs from its competitors, what factors impact the company’s decision to participate — or not to participate — in a preferred network, and how it is educating its Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers on why participating in every network can hurt their business.

“Two years ago, we caught a lot of heat because many of our competitors were putting out information that you absolutely needed to be in every preferred cost-share network because otherwise you’d lose access to patients,” he told DSN in a candid discussion. “Not only was that not true, it turned out it wasn’t a very smart strategy. There is a point of diminishing return where participating in every network … because you lose the ability — the time, the resources, the wherewithal — to treat the patients you have. At some point it just collapses on its own logic.”

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DSNTV: Chuck Reed, Group VP, Pharmacy Innovation and Solutions, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

BY Rob Eder

Reed told DSN about the work AmerisourceBergen has done to build its Elevate Provider Network into a “smarter” pharmacy services administration organization, enabling its customers to maximize reimbursement opportunities, plug profit leaks, deliver access to patient lives, and perhaps most important, how it is helping its customers to outperform the rest of the pharmacy market in both the EQuIPP Star ratings and prescription growth.

“Seventy percent of our members have a five-star ranking in one or more of the adherence measures in the EQuIPP Star ratings system. Of those, 40% of our stores have one or more scores in the top 20% of all pharmacies,” Reed said. And citing data from IMS for the 12 months ended May 2016, “the market grew at 1.9%,” he told DSN. “Drug chains had only 2.9% growth and independents were flat, yet our independents grew 3.4%.”

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