The 8 Challenges Independent Pharmacies Face
Regularly, pharmacists work with a vast range of customers, physicians, and third-party insurance providers. They are on the front steps of healthcare services, and as a part, they face concerns and problems that most medical workers do not. The problems that pharmacists face change as business and the way drugs are used to change.
Nowadays, the specialty pharmacy market’s development, making the correct technological choices, earning provider status, securing collaborative service agreements, and retail pharmacy reorganizations are the challenges that independent pharmacies face in a value-based healthcare economy. Let’s discuss how Independent Pharmacies face some challenges.
Prescription drug abuse is a severe issue in society. Retail pharmacists are frequently faced with addicts, and supplying prescription substances to people addicted to them is a constant fight. Pharmacists should decide if a patient is abusing their services or prescribing for a useful purpose. Addicts can also participate in doctor shopping, including distributing multiple prescriptions for the same medication simultaneously. Pharmacists must avoid double prescriptions, fake names, and other tricks used by addicts.
- The Aging Population:
People worldwide are living larger and longer as medical research progresses. It can cause many issues for pharmacists dealing with an aging population and all the problems and demands. For example, older patients will need more long-term care, have more patients taking several drugs, and have more chronic conditions that last through old age. Pharmacists must be designed to manage older patients’ needs and a rise in the number of older people.
- Identification for all patients:
The inability to correctly match patients to their medical records is a significant roadblock to expense, quality, and security changes. A universal patient identification will allow for the accurate transfer of prescription information and other important health information.
- More Responsibility:
Starting with their education, pharmacists are required to handle an increasing amount of professional responsibility. Earlier, students had chosen between a pharmacy degree and a doctor of pharmacy degree; however, they are now required to achieve the doctorate.
These changes in policies and rules aim to ensure that the new pharmacists can choose from a growing wide range of career opportunities in pharmacy, including R&D. New pharmacists are now better prepared to provide and monitor medical therapy and treatment in standard marketing and hospital roles. For potential pharmacists, the change in degree requirements means more years and money spent on training.
- DIR payments have grown, and a refund has gone down:
According to Drug Channels, pharmacy DIR payments accounted for 18% of overall Medicare Part D rebates in 2019. DIR fees are the top one market challenge for 52 percent of pharmacies in 2020, as per a new NCPA survey on pharmacy financial health. Increased fees can reduce insurance, and low prescription prices have caused many independents to permanently close.
Pharmacies can reduce rising DIR fees and reimbursement rates by concentrating on prescription adherence. To offer clients the ability to examine their medications, consider adding digital website refills, automated prescription notifications, or protected 2-way messaging. Option delivery solutions, such as home delivery or mail order, will make patient care more accessible and allow you to serve your community better.
- Medicine non-adherence:
There are various reasons for non-adherence, but social determinants, financial stability and health literacy—play a crucial role. More efforts will probably find to cut costs and improve packaging, combine medications, enhance treatment education, submit patient alerts, and more about the goal of improving medicine adherence and minimizing medical production spending.
- Pricing of medicines:
Various policies have tried to improve transparency and prescription prices and transactions, reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and maintain consumer accountability. A $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription medications for Medicare recipients and the disabled is also included in the bill.
- Implement new technologies:
Pharmacies that want to survive in today’s digital world must stay current. Many community and independent pharmacies struggle to implement new technologies and offerings in the healthcare sector and develop digital transformation, mainly due to their limited resources.
By developing new technologies that work best and business requirements, your pharmacy will take advantage of innovative solutions. Small changes like a pharmacy mobile app, online prescription services, or an updated IVR system can help you reach more customers digitally while maintaining the same service level as big-box stores.
Patients’ expectations and a desire for a convenient experience will guide the development of services and goods at successful independent pharmacies. Consider reevaluating your services to see how you can position your pharmacy for increased revenue. It can include reorganizing the store to concentrate on the most common health items and modifying services or delivery methods to fulfil current demand.