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Women in Pharmacy events foster future owners

BY David Salazar

By 2025, it’s expected that 2-in-3 pharmacists will be women, but that ratio doesn’t carry into the realm of pharmacy ownership. That is why Cardinal Health Women in Pharmacy has taken up the task of turning more female pharmacists into pharmacy owners, and at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, there were various events and educational offerings for attendees to help women through the process of owning a pharmacy.

“Today nearly 60% of pharmacists are women; however, those numbers don't translate into female pharmacy ownership,” program director Eden Sulzer told attendees at the Women in Pharmacy Mix, Mingle and Mocha reception at Cardinal Health RBC 2016. “Cardinal Health is dedicated to inspiring, encouraging and providing resources to female entrepreneurs to turn those statistics around.”

In addition to the networking reception at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, Women in Pharmacy held two continuing education sessions:

  • The first CE was titled “Diverse Market Segments: Tailoring Your Marketing Strategies,” and
  • The second CE was on security and risks in day-to-day pharmacy operations, run by Cardinal Health Global Security Director Hollis Mignogno.

But the main educational event for Women in Pharmacy at Cardinal Health RBC 2016 was the fifth annual Pharmacy Ownership Boot Camp. Over the course of three hours, a group of pharmacy students, pharmacists and new pharmacy owners were given a start-to-finish overview about getting financially prepared to buy, approaching potential sellers, designing and operating a store and growing a store’s profitability through clinical services. Cardinal Health VP of Pharmacy Acquisition Services Dave Ellis told attendees that a big part of running an independent pharmacy is knowing how other owners run their stores.

“It's important to think about planning and understanding the business,” Ellis said. “If you haven't worked in an independent, work in one — maybe work in two or three to make it a journey to see the different styles of pharmacies. Learn from different owners and have mentors.”

The Boot Camp also featured a peer-group panel that included Live Oak Bank’s Mike Bollinger, the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy’s Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Executive Director Bryan Ziegler, pharmacy owners Jenna Gresens and Leslie Davis, and recent pharmacy school graduates Jennifer and Jessica Macklin. The Macklin sisters emphasized networking and focusing on professional development while in pharmacy school to create opportunities later that can pave the way to pharmacy ownership.

“Every time we'd go out of town, we made sure to go to an independent of some sort, whether it was calling someone ahead of time or just walking in. Visiting pharmacies across the country, we’ve seen so many different options and avenues for women in pharmacy,” Jennifer Macklin said. “My biggest advice to students is that while you're in school, it's a great opportunity to look at pharmacies in your area and introduce yourself. We were very shy in high school and undergrad, but one day we realized we can't live our dreams by keeping them to ourselves.”

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Ken Wurster award winner a ‘shining example’ of community pharmacy

BY David Salazar

Before the Blues Brothers took the stage Friday night, July 22 at Cardinal Health RBC 2016, attendees celebrated one of their peers — the winner of the 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award. Cardinal Health honored Ed Christofano, owner of Hayden’s Pharmacy in Youngwood, Pennsylvania with the award, which recognizes an independent pharmacist with an outstanding commitment to promoting the principles of community pharmacy.

Christofano was recognized for his community leadership, ability to inspire others and willingness to go beyond the day-to-day tasks of pharmacy to make his community better. Christofano and his pharmacy work to combat prescription drug abuse by offering education symposiums and community presentations, going as far as purchasing 800 pill lockboxes for community members to properly dispose of medications. Additionally, he has built a bocce court in his neighborhood and hosted holiday events to thank his community for their support.

“Whenever the town is in need of some cheer, our winner steps up to the plate, whether to build a bocce court for the enjoyment of the neighborhood or hosting a ‘Light up the Night’ Christmas event to thank the community for their support of local businesses,” Cardinal Health VP Sales for the Central Region Chris Lanctot said at the ceremony. Also on hand was Cardinal Health CEO Pharmaceutical segment Jon Giacomin, who called Christofano “an inspiration to us all.”

Christofano received an engraved crystal award for his pharmacy, and Cardinal Health donated $10,000 in his honor to the Ohio State University College of Pharamcy’s Generation Rx program.

Christofano was 1-of-5 finalists for the Ken Wurster award. Finalist Marcie Parker of HealthWise Pharmacy of Greenville and Therapeutic Solutions Vital Care in Wake Forest and Greensboro, North Carolina, was named a 40 under 40 this year by East Carolina University and began a charity called Bryson’s Birdies for Kids, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. As the mother of a son with cancer, she brings the cancer crusade to her pharmacy, too.

Mark Zilner, of Diamond Pharmacy Services and Medical Supply in Indiana, Pennsylvania, sponsors free education conferences for nurses and nursing home administrators. His company has been named one of Inc. 500’s Top 500 and Top 5000 Fastest Growing Independently Owned Companies, and was named one of the Top 100 People in Business by Pennsylvania Business Central.

Finalist Bianca Delgado has a focus on outreach within and outside of her practice. In addition to her work at Farmacia Lechuga in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, she is part of Christian motorcyclist group “Road to Heaven” and volunteers for various activities in the northern region of the Puerto Rico College of Pharmacists. Delgado also plans and organizes for various pharmacy and charitable organizations in Puerto Rico.

The final nominee, John Hoeschen, owner of St. Paul Corner Drug in St. Paul, Minnesota, has plugged himself into the community by maintaining the local outdoor ice rink and acting as a member of Small Business Minnesota, school organizations, church groups and other community nonprofit organizations. Hoeschen also invites the community into his pharmacy by inviting local artists to sell their books there and hosting an annual Christmas party.

“Some people see an issue or a gap, and they take action. They utilize their passion to fuel positive change, giving back to their communities. They have grit,” Lanctot said. “They are brave. They lead the way. They are community pharmacists. And our 2016 Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award winner is a shining example.”

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Managing and protecting the pharmaceutical supply chain

BY DSN STAFF

One-out-of-every-6 pharmaceutical products dispensed to U.S. patients travels through the Cardinal Health network. Through the company’s Pharmaceutical Distribution supply chain, Cardinal Health consolidates product orders from hundreds of manufacturers into pharmacy-specific deliveries for 33,000 retail, hospital and alternate-site locations.

Not resting on its laurels, the Cardinal Health distribution supply chain continues to focus on efforts to protect the supply chain and manage drug shortages.

Protecting the safety and security of the supply chain
Cardinal Health supports efforts to combat counterfeiting, contamination and adulteration of prescription drugs as it tries to guarantee a safe and reliable drug supply chain to ensure patient health and well-being. The pharmacy distributor is continually working to provide pharmacy owners with resources to ensure the drugs in the supply chain are safe by providing transaction data for eligible drugs online at no cost to pharmacy owners.

The company also works closely with manufacturers to collect appropriate data and ensure their ongoing compliance with the Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

As dispensers of prescription drugs, pharmacists and healthcare providers are required to adhere to strict guidelines for accepting ownership and keeping records of those products, including:

  • Trade only with authorized trading partners;
  • Have processes in place to identify suspect and illegitimate product;
  • Only accept ownership of a prescription drugs if the previous owner provides transaction data; and
  • Maintain transaction data for six years and be able to provide it upon request from the Food and Drug Administration or other federal or state official in the event of a recall or investigation.

Cardinal Health makes this transaction data for eligible prescription drugs purchased available online, and pharmacy owners may also enter into an agreement for Cardinal Health to maintain the transaction data on their behalf.

In addition, Cardinal Health provides a variety of cold chain packaging to meet geographic, environmental and transportation needs. The refrigerated totes and phase change panels help ensure that refrigerated pharmaceuticals have been maintained within the labeled storage temperature ranges during transportation.

The cold chain packaging keeps refrigerated product safe, maintaining a temperature of 2-8°C (36-46°F) regardless of the season or geography, and regardless of the amount of product shipped.

The tote program uses phase change panels that contain a USDA-registered, vegetable oil-based food product that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and reusable. The product also has been recognized by the Healthcare Distribution Management Association with the 2012 HDMA Distribution Management Award and was selected by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals for the 2012 Supply Chain Innovation Award (2nd Place).

Managing drug shortages
Cardinal Health also is sensitive to the issues that result from the national drug shortage crisis. To help patients and pharmacies through shortages, Cardinal Health proactively manages available product and replenishes inventory when product is out of stock. Cardinal Health also works with manufacturers to get product availability information as soon as possible, so pharmacy owners can be notified.

Utilizing Order Express, the Cardinal Health online ordering site, pharmacy owners can review product availability reports, manage backorders and view the current inventory of product in the nearby primary Cardinal Health distribution center.

For all of these efforts in securing and managing the pharmacy supply chain, Cardinal Health has been named by Gartner Research as the No. 1 supply chain organization for four consecutive years. Cardinal Health also has received the Defense Logistics Award from the U.S. Department of Defense.

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