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  • 26 Jun 2018 6:46 PM | Anonymous

    Unable to fill Specialty Medication?

    How many times has a patient presented to you a prescription for a “specialty medication" that you are unable to fill?  It could be that you are not able to order the medication from your wholesaler. Or worse, the patient’s insurance is mandating a specific pharmacy different than yours.  It can be frustrating when a current or prospective customer is coming to you, the pharmacist, for a solution to their chronic and sometimes rare, condition.

     

             There is no finite definition for what qualifies as a “specialty medication".  In general, specialty medications are used to treat chronic or complex conditions and usually require special handling or administration and close monitoring of the patient.  Sometimes, these prescription medications are indicated for rare diseases, which means that the disease affects less than 10,000 people. And they are therefore given “orphan drug status” under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983.  This Act allows for fast-track FDA approval for drugs intended to treat these rare diseases due to limited therapies available on the market.  Obtaining fast-track approval allows the medicine to be available as quickly as possible to the patients that need it the most.  This also means that the medication does not have to go through as many lengthy clinical studies as the “more” traditional therapies.  Often, as a stipulation of being given fast-track approval status, the FDA may require additional aftermarket studies to be completed, meaning that the drug is available to be prescribed but the patients taking the medicine are monitored for safety and efficacy of the therapy.  This is referred to as a Phase IV clinical trial.  Any pharmacy that dispenses one of these drugs must understand this process and accommodate the patient and drug manufacturer for any required documentation or data.

     

             Some specialty drug manufacturers may limit the number of pharmacies who have access to order their medication.  These are deemed “Limited Distribution Drugs,” or LDDs for short.  When attempting to order one of these medications from your wholesaler, you may notice that the drug’s name is not listed in the system. Or it may take you straight to a screen that reads, “due to manufacturer limitations, this product is only available through a limited distribution network” and to contact the manufacturer directly.  This can be very disheartening for a pharmacist or pharmacy owner.

     

    Upon calling the manufacturer, you may find out that in order to gain access to this drug, there are many rigorous requirements to meet first.  It is also worth mentioning that all manufacturers are different and have different specifications that must be met.  Many require weekly data reports so it would be prudent to know if your pharmacy’s dispensing software can accommodate customized and automatic reports.  The manufacturer may also request proof that you, as the pharmacy, have a way to monitor the patient for adherence and therapy response.  A common theme among these manufacturers is some sort of “specialty accreditation”.  This is often the first step to becoming a Specialty Pharmacy.

     

             Achieving accreditation proves a commitment to quality and standards that are becoming the norm in the specialty space.  Accrediting bodies such as the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) are arguably the most reputable in the field.  Both sets of standards set the stage for core activities such as:

    o   Patient Care

    o   Coordination of Care and/or Delegation

    o   Information Management

    o   Compliance Program

    o Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement, etc.

    Accreditation is strongly recommended but could become mandatory by payers in the near future in order to ascertain preferred contracts for reimbursement purposes.  This means extra revenue for your pharmacy by adding a specialty line of business.  The entire process can take up to six months to a year for full accreditation and can be very arduous and labor intensive. 

     

    If all of this is intimidating to you, just know that you are not alone.  The key is to connect with a professional who has been through the process. Ideally, they should have been able to achieve and has maintained accreditation for some time.  Embarking on a project like this size could be overwhelming and a competent expert can guide you through the process. 

     

    There are many resources available though, if you choose to take on a project independently.  However, there is a lot of competition out there in specialty pharmacy but accreditation can set you apart from others.  Visit www.ACHC.org or www.URAC.org to learn more about the various programs in accreditation and visit www.HVRSSolutions.com/services-offered to learn more about guidance through the process.  HVRS Solutions provides necessary paperwork required for accreditations such as policies and procedures and staff training documentations and will also assist you in preparing you and your pharmacy staff for on-site surveys.  All services are customizable and personalized to your individual business needs.

    We recommend using CSI Specialty Group for all of your specialty needs. Click Here 

  • 15 Jun 2018 3:34 AM | Anonymous

    How Pharmacy Benefit Managers Impact Drug Pricing, Hospital and Patient Care, Payers, and More

    In the United States, the cost of diabetes-related drugs, such as insulin or Victoza, cost 10 times as much than if you were to buy them outside the US. Price inflation of prescription drugs are not new but it is a unique problem for the United States.

    Who's to blame for the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs?

    Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)

    They may not be the only culprit, but they contribute largely to the problem. Competing drug companies buy access to PBM formularies so their products will be chosen as the recommended choice.

    By paying rebates and other fees to a PBM, a drug manufacturer can take a bigger piece of the sales pie. To recoup the large rebates and other fees paid to the PBMs, drug manufacturers have to increase the list price of drugs.

    The result is skyrocketing drug prices.

    But the cost of prescription drugs is not the only thing that PBMs can impact in both negative and positive ways.

    How Pharmacy Benefit Managers Work

    Historically, PBMs act as middlemen entities that process prescription medication claims and plan sponsors for a small fee. They provide services and educational programs to aid patient. They also serve as an intermediary between insurers and other healthcare members. This allows them to negotiate large customer contracts and for pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies to get the best rate.

    What PBMs do

    • Negotiate rebates to get the most affordable option
    • Operate mail order pharmacy to deliver medications directly to patients
    • Ensure patient compliance in taking prescribed medications
    • Manage formularies and process claims from patients and pharmacies
    • Manage distribution among pharmacies, connect pharmacies to orphan drug supplier, and provide other specialty services.

    The role was clear-cut and clean until they leveraged their position as middlemen to impact nearly every aspect of the prescription drug marketplace. Even an independent pharmacy is not spared from the impact that PBMs make.

    Impact of PBMs on hospitals and patient care

    PBMs are exploiting a Medicare provision that allows them to charge remuneration fees directly and indirectly to pharmacies within their network. To price out the competition, particularly a local independent pharmacy where patients have a personal relationship with pharmacists, they increase the fees for using in-house and member pharmacies as part of Medicare reimbursement.

    With the way the incentives are structured, PBMs retain more of the discounts and fees, driving up costs on Medicare. Since the pricing model used is fiercely guarded, pharmacy benefit managers continue to hide the costs paid by health insurance companies, patients, and the government.

    Impact of PBMs on American Health Care

    PBMs generate revenue in three ways—administrative fees, pharmacy spread, and rebates.

    • Administration fees are charged to plan sponsors and manufacturers. The additional fees and payments go straight to PBM pockets.
    • Pharmacy spread is a PBM practice where the plan sponsor is charged a higher price than what is reimbursed to the network pharmacy. The difference, also known as a clawback, is pocketed by the PBM.
    • Rebates are discounts on a mediation that drug manufacturers provide in exchange for PBMs covering a drug product from a paying manufacturer. Since the formularies that the plan sponsors cover are made by the PBMs, they can choose which drugs will be used even when there are less expensive drug alternatives.

    All these resulted in high prescription drug prices, restricted patient access to pharmacies, and the negative impact of limited formularies.

    Impact of PBMs on employers/payers

    Payers can benefit from a PBM through management of prescription drug benefits for members. Because the contracts are often one-sided and complex, partnering with PBMs often results in limited savings.

    Only 30% of employers understood the clauses of their PDM contracts, according to a study by the National Pharmaceutical Council.

    Research from Cigna showed that employers sponsoring their own health plans can save annually with integrated medical and pharmacy benefits. They can also bolster member patient care and self-management.

    Although tackling prescription spending without the help of a PBM is beneficial, employers/payers still need to weigh the pros and cons of partnering with PBMs.

    Lack of Regulation and Transparency

    Through all these scenarios, a commonality is the lack of federal regulation and transparency that allowed PBM practices to take advantage of their role in the healthcare marketplace and make money at the expense of patients, payers, and pharmacies.

    Something needs to be done.

    Lawmakers are pushing to fill in what's lacking and make PBMs more accountable.

    In California, legislations are being proposed to boost transparency in PBM dealings. One of these legislations require pharmacy benefit managers to provide information about how much they paid for a drug, including administrative fees, acquisition costs, and rebates received.

     

     

     

     

  • 7 May 2018 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    Winners of the 2018 APPA Pharmaceutical Industry Awards

    APPA recognizes outstanding performance in the Pharmaceutical Industry

    2018 marks a wonderful kick-off to APPA’s fourth anniversary and the alliance is thrilled to acknowledge superior commitment and contribution to the industry.

    With twelve categories selected by an industry survey, the awards recognize companies and individuals for their innovation, dedication, and best-in-class service.

    The winners, eight companies, one school and three individuals, will be honored at a prestigious awards ceremony - the “Oscars” - for the Pharmaceutical Industry scheduled to take place on June 8, 2018, at the national convention, PharmaCon Expo in Orlando, FL.

    “The competition was intense and those recognized as the  award winners should be immensely proud of this accomplishment,” says Brandon Welch, APPA President.


    Here are the winners of the 2018 Pharmaceutical Industry awards:

           Independent Pharmacy of The Year - Benzer Pharmacy Tampa, FL

           Pharmacy School of The Year - University of Pittsburgh 

           Pharmacy Manufacturer of The Year - Merck & Co.

           Pharmacy Technology of The Year - PrescribeWellness 

           Secondary Wholesaler of The Year - Republic Pharmaceuticals 

           Pharmacy Wholesaler of The Year - McKesson

           Specialty Pharmacy of The Year - PantheRx

           Pharmacy Entrepreneur of The Year - Al Babbington - PrescribeWellness

           Pharmaceutical Representative of The Year - Marc Weiss - AmerisourceBergen, Florida

           Hospital Pharmacy of The Year - Kaiser Permanente Hospitals 

           Industry News Provider of The Year - Pharmacy Times

           CEO of The Year - Michael Castagna - MannKind Corp

     

    For more information about the awards: https://joinappa.com/awards

    For more information about PharmaCon go to: https://joinappa.com/events

    Call, text us at 877-570-2665 or email us at info@joinappa.com.

  • 2 Apr 2018 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    How Physician and Pharmacist Integration generates Innovation

    Physicians didn’t spend long years in school to have two-thirds of their work-day be comprised of data entry task.

    Pharmacists didn't spend long years of school to have two-thirds of their work-day consist of filling and dispensing medications.

    Both professions went to school so that they can perform at the top of their license and modernize today's healthcare era; bringing revolutionary solutions to the healthcare industry. It’s already apparent that we prefer to avoid the administrative burden, as it disrupts our workflow and takes time away from spending with the patient.

    Our reimbursement model has changed and went from fee for service to now value-based care.

    Physicians are the Medicine experts, while Pharmacists are the medication experts. Both professions are considered predominant healthcare leaders in the industry.

    Physicians are the first point of contact to diagnose and assess appropriately, while Pharmacists are the last line of defense to verify that the appropriate treatments were prescribed.

    It’s clear that both professions possess a high pedigree of clinical knowledge.

    Why do we separate the two entities, instead of bringing them closer together?

    Primary-care physicians, participation in a care-team program can ease the burden associated with the management of complex-care patients. It also provides a way to better manage the cost of these patients by optimizing their health and functional status, decreasing excess healthcare use, minimizing emergency department visits and other hospital utilization (including readmissions), and preventing long-term nursing home placement. 

    What’s going on in the Physician private practice world, is also going on in the pharmacy private practice world.

    According to the American Medical Association, less than half of physicians own their medical practice. “First-time ever” its been this low.

    According to the NCPA (National Community Pharmacist Association) digest report, there has been a steep drop in independently owned pharmacy practices compared to previous years.

    Ownership and employment shifts reflect the industry's increasing compliance costs and new payment models.

    Health systems have been aggressively mopping up the physician practices, while the Large-chained pharmacies have been aggressively mopping up the small mom and pop independent pharmacies.

    The common reasons shared for selling their practice:

    • 1.     Low reimbursements
    • 2.     High overhead cost
    • 3.     Burnout
    • 4.     Increased competition by bigger players
    • 5.     Lack of innovation

    With the collaboration of Physician and Pharmacy private practices, it can help eradicate a bulk of the problems both professions face and help revolutionize healthcare.

    Ways a Pharmacist can help improved value-based care models for Physicians:

    • 1.     Disease-state management therapy- Most physicians are trained only to know the contraindications of medications for individual disease states. Where they may lack is the Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics profile, Medicinal chemistry, and the robust intelligence of clinical literature of drugs in certain classes. All of these small intangible things relating to a drug have a significant impact on its effectiveness.
    • 2.     Primary care Pharmacist plans- Yes, Pharmacist can provide care plans. A clinical pharmacist can also put together a care plan to better assess the patient and provide useful treatment recommendations for the Physicians review. This can help reduce the administrative task physicians may have to deal with, which in return allows the physician to spend more time with their patient to go over the pathophysiology of their condition.
    • 3.     Pharmacoeconomics- the Pharmacist, have the due-diligent training to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of a pharmaceutical agent against another. This can be referred to as a cost-benefit analysis.  Hence, pharmacoeconomics can help guide optimal healthcare resource allocation and provide more buy-in from Insurance companies.

    How can a Physician be of aid to a Pharmacist:

    • 1.     Pathophysiology- Physicians are experts and well-trained in the pathophysiology of a patient. This is knowledge pharmacist may lack the substance of knowledge in pathophysiology. Physicians are sharply intelligent in diagnosis criteria's and general assessment of a patient.
    • 2.     Medical Knowledge- Physicians have the medical knowledge to help consult with patients on preventative skills to live a more proactive healthy lifestyle. The more time the Physician has with the patient, the better the outcomes.

    In hindsight, Physician & Pharmacist collaboration has the potential to create a robust HealthSystem for patients and also produce a stronger buy-in from insurance companies.

    Population health is the current and future trend of healthcare. We can start synergizing our talents and bring out the best in value-based care practice models.

    The more prominent players are already adopting vertical integration strategies to help create a more user-friendly and efficient healthcare system. Why can’t we?

    In essence, “we have to STOP advertising and START innovating.” 

  • 28 Mar 2018 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    How to Become a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer

    Working as a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer is not suitable for every individual. These individuals are assigned to manage the largest cost for the hospitals. All of them need advanced skills that take time, training and additional education to master. A hospital pharmacy buyer has many roles. These roles require skills in cost-effective procurement, understanding vendor contracts, budgets, 340B purchasing where applicable, generic forecasting, inventory management and a number of other initiatives designed to reduce drug waste and expiring medications.

    Although many areas in the pharmacy have advanced and adopted many new technologies; most pharmacy procurement in hospitals and health systems is performed exactly as it was 15 years ago. We all have seen many such hospitals and health systems where inventory is in the poorest conditions. This tremendous holding cost poses significant risk to the pharmacy for waste and expired medications. Reducing holding cost and cash tied up in inventory increases net income and profitability for the pharmacy department and the hospital. Recommendations suggest that a minimum target goal of 12 recorded turns is reasonable for any hospital or health system pharmacy.

    What is a 340B Drug Pricing Program?

    The 340B Drug Discount Program is a U.S federal government program, which was created in 1992. It requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced prices. The purpose of the program was to allow covered bodies to "stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”

    According to a research, overly broad eligibility criteria for hospitals have led to an outburst in the number of hospitals that have come into the 340B program. Today, there are approximately one-third of all hospitals in the country, which participate in the 340B program and get 340B discounts; that number is expected to grow, particularly absent an effort to tighten eligibility requirements.

    Eligibility for 340B program

    A hospital pharmacy buyer is defined under federal law. Six categories of hospitals are eligible to participate in the program: disproportionate share hospitals (DSHs), children’s hospitals and cancer hospitals exempt from the Medicare prospective payment system, sole community hospitals, rural referral centers, and critical access hospitals (CAH).

    What should be done by a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer?

    Manage the medicines - The important thing a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer should do is the management of the medicines. He should not buy more medicines, which can expire soon. Adding to it, he should not buy few medicines, which can create a shortage.

    Understanding retailer contracts - If you will not understand your retailer, you will not be able to communicate. Communication is the most important thing in any transaction. A hospital pharmacy buyer should able to communicate easily with the vendor or else a great lose can happen.

    Budget - Budget is always an important thing, which should be kept in mind in by every hospital pharmacy buyer. After knowing the budget, the next step is to make a list. In that list, one should write the things where he is going to use his money.

    American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is another organization, which takes care of all the health records of pharmacy departments. American pharmacy purchasing alliance is a community, which doesn’t have any profit. It helps the hospital pharmacy buyer to buy the products and sell it. American pharmacy purchasing alliance works for their country.

    Knowledge - Every hospital should increase the knowledge of their pharmacy buyer. The hospital pharmacy buyer can make the hospital touch the sky. The recruiters should keep in mind the different prospects so that they can attain success with their hospital pharmacy buyers.

  • 26 Mar 2018 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    New Retail Pharmacist: The Do’s and Don’ts

    Being a retail pharmacist is one of the most common job opportunities for pharmacy professionals, especially because of the growing number of pharmacies all over the world. A retail pharmacist, however, do more than just dispense medicines and other healthcare products. They will be dealing with clients, after all, which is why they also need excellent communication skills. If you are a brand new retail pharmacist, there are some things you need to remember.

    DO keep track of significant events and any questions you might encounter on your first day

    You can keep a notebook and write down and the things that need to be clarified or dealt with. Do you need to research more on medicine, indications warnings, etc.? Is there a need to improve Pharmacy purchasing policy or best practices based on your experience?

    DON’T get stuck on the retail side of things

    Being a retail pharmacist should be a stepping stone to something greater, so make sure you don't get stuck with just dispensing medications. You should also take an interest in the business side, particularly the metrics essential to running a retail pharmacy business. Before you direct your attention in doing business, however, you should first familiarize and master retail pharmacy.

    DO learn from the veterans

    You will learn plenty of things working as a retail pharmacist, but other pharmacists that have been in the business for a long time makes the best teachers. So get to know the veterans in the pharmacy you’re working in and spend time learning from them.

    DON’T forget to follow up with some patients

    Your job as a retail pharmacist should not stop behind the counter. To develop your skills as a retail pharmacist, it is important that you follow up with some patients, especially when they start a new medication. Even if this is not required of you, patients will surely appreciate your call.

    DO master the steps involved in billing

    At some point in your career as a retail pharmacist, you might be required to handle billing, which can be quite complex. When given the opportunity, you should take advantage of it and write down all the things you need to remember, such as the BIN number, Medicare Part B bill for test strips, etc. If necessary, create a cheat sheet.

    DON’T worry about keeping up

    It is normal to worry about the speed with which you take orders, dispense medication, and handle the rest of the process. During peak hours, your speed and skills will be sorely tested. However, keeping up is not about how quick you work, but how you complete a transaction available, software shortcuts, and protocols, among others.

    DO keep learning

    To get things done right and fast, you should stock up on software, policy and customer knowledge, and other information relevant to your job as a retail pharmacist. You should also develop your own DUR approach, one that you can easily remember and help you succeed with your work. You should also develop counseling habits, so you can provide excellent customer services.

  • 23 Mar 2018 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    CareMates Nitrile Medical Examination Gloves Offer Safest Consumer Protection from Fentanyl and Chemotherapy Drugs 

    CareMates Nitrile is Tested for Use with 15 Chemotherapy Drugs and Fentanyl,
    the Safest Examination Glove Available for Retail Consumers
     

    Shepard Medical Products announced today their newly formulated CareMates Nitrile Medical Examination Gloves were developed to protect patient caregivers from exposure to poisonous chemotherapy drugs and Fentanyl.  CareMates Nitrile Gloves have been tested for use and meet ASTM Standard D6978 for Resistance to Permeation by Hazardous Drugs for 15 different cytotoxic (chemotherapy and home infusion) drugs and the drug Fentanyl.  Available through retail pharmacies and medical distributors, CareMates Nitrile is formulated to protect family members, medical staff, first responders, compounding pharmacies and lab technicians, and anyone who comes in contact with people going through chemotherapy treatment or who is exposed to Fentanyl.

    CareMates Nitrile Examination Gloves are available in 10ct, 50ct and 100ct packages, in a variety of sizes. CareMates Nitrile gloves feature a patented low-dermatitis formulation, have
    0% viral penetration, 0% alcohol permeation, and meet the ASTM Standard for Infection Control. In addition to protection from chemotherapy and Fentanyl drugs, CareMates Nitrile gloves are also recommended for a wide variety of everyday infection protection needs like general health care, first aid, home infusion drugs, baby care, diabetes care, and more.

    “Our reformulated CareMates Nitrile Medical Examination Glove is now the best Nitrile glove available only in the (INDEPENDENT) retail pharmacy market. Shepard Medical is committed to creating high quality products you can trust and that are very affordable,” said Chris Humbert, President of Shepard Medical Products. 

    Protection from exposure to poisonous drugs is necessary for anyone who comes in contact with cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or Fentanyl drug users. The danger of exposure to dangerous drugs includes cross-contamination through transfer of body fluids, touching patient’s skin, handling clothes, bed linens or towels, among many others. According to Onco-Link, “Acute exposure to body fluids or the chemotherapy drug itself can cause rash, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, headache, nasal sores and allergic reactions. Exposure over a longer period of time (such as is seen with nurses and pharmacists) is thought to be associated with birth defects, reproductive losses and cancer later in life.” The Drug Enforcement Administration says fentanyl is 30-50 times more potent than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl exposure may cause death.

    About Shepard Medical Products and CareMates

    Since 1986, Shepard Medical Products has been an industry leader in the field of Infection Protection for healthcare, home and workplace. Throughout the company’s history, Shepard has been committed to providing customers with the highest quality latex and synthetic gloves, protective masks, and related infection protection products. Shepard Medical Products is committed ONLY to INDEPENDENT PHARMACY, never Big-Box pharmacy!   We have the commitment to finding solutions to customer needs that has led to products that exceed regulatory standards throughout the world, as well as the development of proprietary products, like the CareMates Infection Protection Line.

    For more information, call (800) 354-5683, (630) 462-6720 or visit www.care-mates.com.

    CareMates Nitrile PDF Flyer


  • 20 Mar 2018 8:24 AM | Anonymous

    List of Job Opportunities for Pharmacy Professionals

    Most people believe that pharmacists only work behind the counter of a pharmacy. Little do they know, being a pharmacist is just one of the many job opportunities for pharmacy professionals. Depending on where they work, they can take on a wide range of roles.

    Pharmacist

    The primary role of a pharmacist is to dispense medications, give advice on drugs, especially with regard to the side effects, interactions and other relevant information. This is why they need to learn more than just the medications. They also need to learn to engage with patients and clients. They're also responsible for storing, formulating and providing correct dosage of medicines.

    Pharmacist work in several different settings, such as retail, clinics, home health care facilities, home infusion facilities, armed services, public health service, internet companies, and other settings. These provide plenty of job opportunities for pharmacy professionals.

    Community Pharmacists

    Community pharmacists serve patients and clients within the community, providing them with information and advice, health medication and other associated services. The job description is basically the same as a regular pharmacist, except for their place of business. Some community pharmacists also specialize in the science and clinical use of medications.

    Business Owner

    A lot of community pharmacists combine their professional talents and use it to build their own pharmacy. Some of them may start with a management position within a chain pharmacy practice and then move on to become owners, one of the job opportunities for pharmacy professionals that earn more. To succeed as a business owner, pharmacists must take advantage of management development programs offered by chain companies. These include marketing operations, third-party programs, pharmacy affairs, legal affairs and computerization.

    Managed Care Pharmacist

    Managed care organizations offer job opportunities for pharmacy professionals. The setting is designed to optimize patient care and outcomes, and pharmaceutical care helps improve access to primary and preventive care in the most appropriate and cost-effective manner. As managed care continues to grow and assumes a larger role in the healthcare system, job opportunities for pharmacy professionals also continue to grow.

    Managed care pharmacists usually work directly with physicians and caregivers that give medical treatments, such as drug therapy. The task involves reviewing medical literature regularly and identifying the safest and most effective medications. The work also includes creating care management programs.

    Pharmacy Purchaser / Pharmacy Procurement Officer

    Job opportunities for pharmacy professionals don't stop and start behind the counter. They can be purchasers and buyers as well. Pharmacy procurement facilitates purchasing of medicines that meet safety and health standards at a cost-effective price. The job begins with a draft of purchase order, ensure that the order meets the allocated budget; reviews purchase orders, and provide necessary documentation. Pharmacy procurement also involves keeping accurate records of all the medicine in possession and other tasks related to inventory. In whatever they do, pharmacy purchaser must abide by the rules and regulations in place and ensure quality services.

    Academy Pharmacy

    Colleges and schools of pharmacy also offer job opportunities for pharmacy professionals. In this setting, they work as full-time faculty members, teaching, researching and providing pointers on public service and patient care. To become an academic pharmacist or a member of a college or university faculty, an aspiring pharmacist is usually required to have postgraduate degree and training. If they meet a school’s requirements, they can choose from a wide range of job opportunities for pharmacy professionals in an academic setting.

  • 15 Mar 2018 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    Hard to Find Brand Name Drugs

    Despite the growing number of pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers, there are still plenty of hard to find brand name drugs. There are plenty of reasons that some medications are in short supply, but one thing is for sure, it is causing a lot of problems. According to the news, drug shortage may be linked to cancer relapse in kids. But how do you explain shortage of intravenous saline, which is supposed to be in abundant supply in hospitals?

    Cancer specialists say that manufacturing problems that pharmaceutical plants are experiencing may cause shortage of critical cancer drugs. Regardless, the problem is hitting cancer patient extra hard, especially because doctors have to substitute with more expensive alternatives. According to FDA, in 2011, there were over 250 drugs that were in very short supply, over 120 in 2012, and over 300 in 2013.

    Medications that have become hard to find brand name drugs are forcing healthcare workers to make painful choices. In the case of cancer patients, specialists had to switch to chemotherapies that may be not as effective (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/03/drug-shortages-cancer-patients/2382597/) as using hard to find brand name drugs. The problem also caused delays in treatment, giving cancer more time to spread.

    Some of the hard to find brand name drugs are the following:

    Ultiva

    Ultiva is a narcotic pain reliever that is used to prevent and treat pain that occur during and after surgery and procedures. It dulls the pain perception center in the brain, increasing the patients’ threshold of pain. Because it has become a Bioniche product, along with changes in the packaging and NDC, Ultiva has now become one of the hard to find brand name drugs. It is in short supply nationwide, this is why hospitals and physicians are looking for alternatives. Unfortunately, Ultiva or remifentaril was also an alternative for other drugs, such as Pethidine that was used to relieve pain during birth.

    Anectine

    Anectine is used to relax muscles during surgery or when using a ventilator. It is also used to induce a similar effect of anesthesia when inserting a tube in the windpipe. As a depolarizing muscle relaxant, it keeps the muscles from contracting, especially those in the face and those used for moving and breathing. Unfortunately, Anectine is now one of the hard to find brand name drugs. A lot of pharmacies and facilities are now searching for establishments that supply Anectine. Unfortunately, this is one of those hard to find brand name drugs that don't have a generic version, at least there is none that is approved by FDA.

    Morphine Carpujects

    Morphine carpujects are basically morphine in a vial and syringe system. They are easier to use because there will be no need to draw up morphine into a syringe. But these are only applicable to hospitals that allow the use of syringe smaller than 10cc on central lines.

    The morphine (http://www.drugs.com/morphine.html) contained in carpujects is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Because of its short acting formulation it is only taken as needed. Use of morphine after surgery is not recommended unless morphine has already been taken before the surgery. Unfortunately, this product has also become one of the hard to find brand name drugs.

  • 13 Mar 2018 8:08 PM | Anonymous

    Managing Customer Reviews Online

    Referrals are the lifeblood of most independent pharmacies.  Most pharmacies do everything they can to get good word-of-mouth. But did you know your customer’s may also offer their reviews of your pharmacy online? 

    Where Do Customers Post Reviews Online?

    Many of the same sites we recommend for local search optimization also allow visitors to review businesses.  See what’s being said about your pharmacy at:

    Yelp.com™

    Google Places™

    CitySearch.com™

    There are also many local review sites. Search for your pharmacy online to find more directories that list your agency.

    Improve your reviews! Reach out to your customer’s and ask them to write a review of your pharmacy if they’ve had a positive experience. 

    Should You Be Worried About Bad Reviews?

    Yes, but not as much as you might think.  Getting a negative review is exceptionally rare, and most consumers see 3- or 4-star reviews as still positive and a reason to trust you.

    That said, if a customer puts a negative review out there about your pharmacy, you want to address it immediately.  Each site has its own rules for this – check with the site first before you respond.

    Addressing and Overcoming Negative Comments

    As a business, you have no choice but to be aware of and to manage what people are saying about you online. The last thing you want is a bad review of your business online that everyone, but you is aware of.

    Addressing negative comments

    You should have the option to respond privately to the commenter, and this is often the best way to deal with an issue. Check with the site on the appropriate means to respond (each site has its own processes in place for this).

    Ask the commenter, “What can we do to make this right?” If you can address their concern, they may remove their comment, or replace it with a new post about what a positive experience they had after your conversation.

    Don’t argue. If the review upsets you, wait until you can respond politely.

    If all else fails, keep perspective. The anonymity of the Internet can bring out the worst in people.

    Overcoming negative comments

    The Web rewards new material. If a negative commenter can’t be satisfied, asking satisfied clients to post positive reviews may mitigate the negative impact. Remember also that new reviews are almost always shown above older reviews, so be proactive and get the good news out there!

    DO: Ask your customers to post more positive comments.

    DO: Link to positive articles, press releases, etc.

    DON’T: Post false compliments to generate positive publicity. If you are caught, and you may be, you could cause substantial damage to your reputation.

    DON’T: Overreact to negative posts. If a commenter can’t be satisfied, you’ll likely be better off to let it go and focus on making sure the next customer is a happy one. 

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