M&D Addressing the needs of Retail Pharmacists at NCPA 2023
NCPA is the retail pharmacy industry’s premier convention bringing together independent pharmacists and industry professionals from across the US, taking place October 14 – 17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This event promises attendees a dynamic line up of speakers offering strategies and best practices to meet shifting consumer needs, as well as a bustling exhibit hall showcasing the latest in products and developments in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. M&D can be found at Booth #101 of the West Building on Sunday, October 15 from Noon to 4:30 p.m., and Monday, October 16 from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
“NCPA is an event we look forward to each year,” said Jody Hatcher, CEO of Morris & Dickson. “It’s a great opportunity to play a significant role in equipping pharmacists with the resources they need to continue providing healthcare in their local communities. Our team will be onsite and look forward to rich, educational conversations with industry professionals.”
Key Issues Affecting Pharmacists
In 2023, the US retail pharmacy landscape faces saturated locations, ongoing labor shortages, inflation, and supply chain disruptions including a shortage of generic drug options. Compounding these issues are the rapidly approaching directives taking effect on Jan. 1, 2024, from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicare Part D final rule. This looming deadline, which NCPA dubbed the “DIR hangover,” refers to the bills for pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) for the end of 2023, which will come due to pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) just as those DIR fees for the beginning of 2024 will be moved to the point of sale.
Rise in DIR fees
NCPA recently compiled the results of a survey on how pharmacies are preparing for the DIR hangover and how they believe it will impact their business. With 98% of respondents stating that they are very concerned or concerned about how the DIR hangover will affect their pharmacy, 85% are taking steps now to prepare. The most common preparation is putting aside cash followed closely by exploring loan opportunities. Additionally, pharmacies are updating technology and leveraging pharmacy software systems to help predict reimbursements. Several write in comments said they are looking to sell or possibly even close their pharmacy. The rise in DIR fees will be a topic of significant discussion at this year’s NCPA.
Managing health care expenses can be challenging, and pharmacy services are vital in this complex and ever-evolving system. With DIR fees rising, the shifting PBM model, and the intricacy of the managed healthcare system, it can be problematic to negotiate equitable reimbursement rates for pharmacy services. Despite these challenges, pharmacists are essential in enhancing patient care and trimming healthcare expenditures. Join us at our booth, #101, to talk about how you can advocate for policy reform, enhance communication and teamwork, and invest in technology and data analytics.
The Adoption of Biosimilars
Biosimilars offer significant cost savings, and like generics, they undergo a shorter FDA approval process than the brand-name biologics they are meant to replace. However, one of the biggest challenges in biosimilar adoption is FDA interchangeability approval. Although a biosimilar can treat its target disease upon FDA approval, a second layer of approval is necessary to consider the drug interchangeable with its brand-name biologic. Once a drug is marked as interchangeable, pharmacists can replace a biologic prescription with a biosimilar. Interchangeability improves patient access to needed pharmaceuticals, reduces healthcare system costs, and expands medication access. At M&D, we have biosimilars that can help offset rising fees and healthcare expenditures. If you’d like to discuss biosimilars at NCPA with us, stop by our booth #101 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Drug and Labor Shortages
Drug shortages are a global issue and impacted by supply chain shortages, demand issues, and regulatory issues. Coupled with fewer workers and pharmacy techs, these issues add to the rising pressure felt by pharmacies. How can we attract more talent and retain the talent we have? As with the customer experience, creating a better employee experience requires committed resources and interactions with the business to make it the best experience it can possibly be. Additionally, offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as clearly communicating the value of the work and opportunities for advancement can help to retain talent.
In 2024, it will be vital that retail pharmacists lean into their competitive advantages and adopt flexible, effective business practices to address shifting stakeholder needs. At M&D, we can help you maintain a secure supply chain, as well as offer your pharmacy a significant benefit with our ClearCost®.
M&D Clear Cost
To address the needs of retail pharmacists, we created M&D ClearCost, an industry-first in pricing that frees you from shopping generics and lets you know your true cost of goods. You purchase products at our cost; we only add a transparent service fee.
With more than 30,000 SKUs, our focus is the reliable, next-day delivery of drugs and related products to health systems, independent pharmacies, specialty pharmacies, and alternative care facilities across 27 states and growing.
“We’re excited to connect with our customers at potential customers at NCPA,” said Russ Salley, Senior Director, Independent Pharmacy, Morris & Dickson. “We still have some available time on our schedule, and anyone interested should reach out to us at email@example.com to set up a meeting at NCPA.”