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McKesson ideaShare 2012 kicks off with a bang

BY Rob Eder

LAS VEGAS — Day one here at McKesson ideaShare 2012 and the thousands of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners from all across the country who convened here Monday, at the Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort, looking for business-building solutions and industry to help them stay relevant and differentiate themselves with their customers and patients, were not disappointed.

“By bringing together owners and leaders from across the country to share ideas and best practices, McKesson is helping community pharmacy owners and pharmacists achieve better business health and better patient care, in addition to better connecting them with their communities” said Brian Tyler, president of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “McKesson fully believes in the future of community pharmacy, and ideaShare is one of the best opportunities for us to engage with our customers to understand their growth goals and specific needs.”

Indeed, McKesson ideaShare 2012 kicked off with a very BIG bang, with a heightened focus around several key areas, including:

• Growing the pharmacy patient base:
Retail independent pharmacy owners who do not have the advertising budget of a chain drug store are implementing business tools such as the Physician Outreach Program (POP) that allow them to identify and promote their unique capabilities to prescribers and patients. POP — which launched last year to Health Mart pharmacies — is now available to all McKesson independent and regional retail customers. Independent pharmacies looking to connect with the broader healthcare team in their communities and seize new opportunities to attract new patients can now access more than 1 million prescriber records to tailor their marketing strategies.

“McKesson’s Physician Outreach Program gives our pharmacy a clear-cut approach for who we need to target and who we need to have a business relationship with in the community,” said Snehal Patel, PharmD, Health Shoppe Pharmacy, East Brunswick, N.J. “In the past we always worried about taking care of the patient, thinking the rest will follow. Now we know it isn’t just about the patient — we have to fit in the triad of care of physicians, patients and pharmacists. This program allows us to do that.”

• Growing the pharmacy future: According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, after decades of declining numbers, independently owned community pharmacies are on the rebound, and growing in strength. McKesson’s RxOwnership program, dedicated to providing independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students with the tools to help them map out their future, supported 288 startups in its fiscal year 2012.

“Every pharmacist has a different future in mind when it comes to their business goals,” said Bob Graul, national VP McKesson RxOwnership. “From considering pharmacy ownership to expanding to multiple locations to exiting the market, pharmacists can benefit from our experienced advisers, in addition to our one-of-a-kind tools that help guide them through the ownership or succession planning process.”

• Growing the pharmacy business: Health Mart continues to invest in solutions that help its franchisees attract new customers, maximize the value of their existing customers and increase their efficiency so they can grow their businesses. Among the major advancements and new offerings it has introduced in the last 12 months, Health Mart has completed the roll out of its comprehensive line of private-label over-the-counter healthcare products; launched a consumer-facing online platform, Your Pharmacy Online; revamped its Health Mart Marketing Tool Kit; and modernized its pharmacy store design. Health Mart currently numbers 3,000 stores across the country, and is quickly becoming the franchise model of choice for independent pharmacy owners looking to complement their local identity with a national brand, McKesson noted.

For more information on all of McKesson’s announcements from McKesson ideaShare 2012, please visit McKesson’s online newsroom at www.mckesson.com/newsroom.

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Q&A: Women in pharmacy

BY DSN STAFF

McKesson’s RxOwnership program helps independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students develop a plan to buy or build their own pharmacy. Drug Store News recently caught up with Bob Graul, National VP, RxOwnership, McKesson, to talk about how the program has seen an increase in women pharmacists interested in ownership in recent years.

DSN: What are the opportunities for women in the retail pharmacy landscape?

Bob Graul: The face of pharmacy is changing as the percentage of women pharmacists and pharmacy owners has steadily increased over the past 20 years. We believe these bright, energetic healthcare providers can help propel the next generation of independent pharmacy forward at a time when the opportunities for retail pharmacy have never been greater. Today’s women pharmacy professionals, armed with business acumen and clinical knowledge, can help drive greater adoption of innovative technology and clinical services in the pharmacy, elevating the role of independent pharmacy within the healthcare system.

DSN: How is McKesson supporting women pharmacists who are interested in pharmacy ownership?

Graul: In 2008, McKesson launched the RxOwnership program, dedicated to providing independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students with the tools to help them map out their future. In recent years, the program has seen an increase in women pharmacists interested in ownership, in addition to greater support for women pharmacists within the industry. For example, the APhA Foundation established a Women in Pharmacy Campaign that recognizes the outstanding contributions of all trailblazers, mentors, colleagues, wives, sisters and daughters who have paved the way for colleagues in the pharmacy profession, which McKesson supports.

At ideaShare 2012, McKesson will host its second Women in Pharmacy reception with the goal of increasing peer-to-peer interaction and the sharing of ideas and best practices among women pharmacy professionals. In the future, we plan to collaborate more closely with industry thought leaders to introduce even more social-networking opportunities and education sessions targeted at women pharmacists.

DSN: Can you share some of the unique challenges facing women pharmacists interested in ownership?

Graul: Some of the women pharmacists that we have helped with pharmacy ownership were challenged with learning to balance family life and work life. Not only were they already working full days counseling patients, they were leading full lives outside of the pharmacy, and yet they also needed to find time to plan for a successful path to ownership.

It was rewarding to hear from Nital Patel, owner and pharmacist of Chicago Plaza Health Mart, speak on our RxOwnership panel last year at ideaShare. She shared her experience with McKesson and highlighted the confidence and resources we were able to provide as she made the leap from pharmacist to pharmacy owner. McKesson understands that every pharmacist has different needs and business goals; it’s important that we help them address both.

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Pharmacist and patient engagement leads to better patient outcomes

BY Matt Lowe

Serving as trusted and accessible resources, community pharmacists have a unique opportunity to help patients adhere to their medication regimens and improve outcomes. Ninety-five percent of all Americans live within five miles of their community pharmacy, and in a 2011 Gallup poll, pharmacists were ranked second only to nurses on their list of the most honest and ethical professionals. 

New technologies and automated systems, such as pharmacy processing software and robotic dispensers, reduce the time to fill and verify prescriptions. As a result, pharmacists have more time to engage with patients and take on clinical tasks, such as patient coaching and medication education. Targeted behavioral-based patient conversations delivered in the pharmacy can help patients better understand their disease or illness, the role and function of their medication, and the importance of adherence.

Building on the benefits of this patient-centric approach, there are a growing number of opportunities for pharmacies to participate in programs targeted at improving medication adherence, including pharmacist counseling sessions, adherence outreach and medication reminder programs. Integrating with pharmacy software to alert pharmacists to sponsored clinical opportunities, these programs provide training and many include compensation for offering behavioral coaching sessions to help patients overcome adherence barriers, enrolling patients in savings programs, and providing information about clinical trials to eligible patients.

McKesson’s Pharmacy Intervention Program found patients who received face-to-face behavioral coaching from their pharmacists showed significant adherence benefits. For example, COPD patients who received coaching showed an average of 1.6 incremental fills over 12 months, and patients coached in multiple diabetes programs showed an average of four incremental refills over 12 months when compared to patients who did not receive behavioral coaching.
With specialized education and training in patient health, and the fact that they are one of the most trusted professionals, pharmacists are ideally placed to help improve patient outcomes. Combined with technology advances, this trend is likely to grow.

For more information on trends the adherence experts at McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions see shaping the future of medication nonadherence, view “The Future of Medication Adherence” whitepaper here.

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