Redefining Pharmacy Practice

Redefining Pharmacy Practice

Opportunities are vast with the healthcare transformation from a cottage siloed healthcare system we are all most familiar and comfortable with. The transformation has been impacted by the political rhetoric over “Obamacare”, the Walgreens/Rite Ad failed merger, CVS-Aetna deal, and Amazon’s continued assessment and evaluation of the healthcare arena, all certainly have healthcare providers uneasy.

The independent physician’s practices and certainly other larger independent physician practices are attempting to understand the impact of the Aetna/CVS merger on their patients and subsequent personal financial impact. This type of consolidation and integration, now being realized in the physician community is a phenomenon that the pharmacy community, particularly the community pharmacy practice, have been experiencing for a number of years.

Pharmacy, and the practice of Pharmacy, can actively participate in the transformation and provide greater patient access to pharmaceuticals and care.

Transformation is seldom an easy process; however, the successful transition for pharmacy practice is abandoning the product focus and related processes to managing patients and their therapeutic needs. As the profession is experiencing healthcare delivery transformation; pharma research is undergoing tremendous transformation as well. Simply stated, the pharma research engine is transitioning from large molecule research to small molecule research. This transformational product research is very disease specific, targeted and “customized patient-specific therapy” …the silver bullet!

Pharmacists need to seize this opportunity and own genomic therapy and customized patient management that is inherently essential to successful genomic therapy and fits perfectly into the product to patient pharmacy transformation.

Pharmacists and the pharmacy profession are well positioned to seize the new transformational opportunities. Pharmacists are the most accessible and underutilized primary care professional to patients and the portal to much greater patient access for primacy care services. The professional underutilization and the accessibility of the Pharmacist provide a positive transformational opportunity.

In a survey conducted with pharmacists and physicians and reported by Price Waterhouse Coopers(PwC) Health Research Institute Pharmacists are eager to provide primary care activities and functions including:

  • Managing our patient panels
  • Performing patient assessments
  • Order and interrupt labs
  • Indicate, adjust, and discontinue medications

The PwC research reaffirmed that Pharmacy remains one of the most trusted, yet underutilized professions in the United States, being relegated to dispensing activities. With economic pressures and consumer expectations changing, the healthcare setting will determine how care is delivered.