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How-Can-House-Bill-2951-and-3486-Affect-Your-Pharmacy

How Can House Bill 2951 and 3486 Affect Your Pharmacy?

Getting Closer To Price Transparency

Your voices are heard! Due to pressure from their constituents many being Independent Pharmacists and Organizations representing them, legislators are taking interest in ways to oversee the rising cost of medications by proposing two important House Bills (H.B.’s). Some argue that these proposed bills are not the answer and it’s safe to assume they are probably right.

It will take more than two house bills to get this under control… I believe most of our members would agree with that as well although we can’t be 100% cynical! With that said, let’s put our happy hats on and focus on the positive by agreeing with that at the very least these bills are a step in the right direction. It also brings nationwide attention to the topic of “rising drug costs” which we will gladly take!

Below is a simplified explanation of each bill:

House Bill 2951 – Benefits Patients

H.B. 2951 presents the idea of:

  • Capping copays at a $100 for a 30-day supply.
  • Prohibiting medications from being contingent on deductibles.

Some believe this may cause drug costs to shift towards other areas of the Pharmaceutical supply chain. This is where further oversight and the next proposed comes into play. The coupling of the two could make real strides toward cost containment.

House Bill 3486 – Benefits Pharmacies & Patients

H.B. 3486 will require:

  • All pharmaceutical companies to provide a detailed list of drug costs, from research all the way through to distribution.

This will allow pharmacies and consumers to view information that can give a clearer picture of where price inflation is originating. Is it at the Research phase? Manufacturing? Distribution? The “why” behind a drug costs what it does (price justification) is the backbone of this bill.

As we all know, there are constant debates and fingers being pointed at each other between insurance companies and big Pharma companies on who should bear the brunt of reducing costs for consumers. If passed, this cost transparency will help legislators, consumers, and Independent Pharmacies put pressure on both insurance companies and big Pharma to lower drug costs.

Currently there are similar proprietary systems with similar capabilities such as Pharmabay (www.pharmabayonline.com). Pharmabay’s PAC (Pharmacy Acquisition Cost) pricing is the proprietary national average price for pharmaceutical products at the pharmacy level and is an excellent way for pharmacies to determine if they are paying fair prices through their current suppliers.

Quote:

“We need to address the root cause of rising drug costs by increasing transparency around the costs of creating, manufacturing, and marketing medications—rather than focusing on the back end when consumers end up footing the bill”. Jared Ishkanian from BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

References:

Connole, P. (2015). States target prescription drugs in ‘cap the copay’ bills; analysts warn of offsets. Health Plan Week, 25 (13), 1. Retrieved from www.aishealth.com.

Pharmacy Solutions

Quick Tips To Make Patients Choose You Over A Large Pharmacy Chain

Round Your Patients:

One of the most successful, tried and true, ways of expanding your business and increasing repeat business is by rounding on customers for outcomes. This is a method of leadership that business owners and employees can use to improve results and revenue. The method of rounding is a simple concept; it entails making a face-to-face, personal connection with customers by providing “service with a smile” and asking what the customer truly needs, discussing their expectations, and what they want from a pharmacy. It is an opportunity to ask the customer what they need and show a willingness to assist. You can’t improve upon something unless you ask the customer what needs improving.

This builds trust and shows accountability. Do not underestimate the impact that soft skills and simply asking what someone needs can have on business. When you round on a customer you show you really care about them and their needs. That’s all a customer can really ask for. When this basic need of sharing their wants is met, then advertising by positive word-of-mouth ensues which will increase your customer pool, repeat business, and ultimately revenue. Studer Group did a study that revealed the mere act of talking with customers about their expectations cause satisfaction scores to skyrocket—even when the company didn’t change its inventory, its price, or its processes in any other way” (Studer, 2008).

Be Memorable:

Another way to stay competitive is using a specific greeting or closing to a conversation that your staff has with each customer. This could be done easily by saying “Stay healthy” or “Thank you for letting [insert business name] provide you with excellent service today”. A simple “branding” or “catch phrase” leaves the client with the psychological notion that you are helping them get healthy or that they received excellent service.” In a customer satisfaction study done by Jiun-Sheng & Chia-Chuan (2011) they found that while marketplace competition continues to intensify, that pharmacies and other businesses are enhancing outcomes, staying competitive, and improving client retention through interactions with their customers.

The best results were seen via one-to-one customer-employee communication that was intimate, information rich, and customer focused. Their results showed, “the service provider’s social skills, customer orientation, and expertise are positively related to service friendship and customer compliance, which in turn affect customer satisfaction and anticipated future interaction. The control variables are also both positively associated with service friendship and anticipated future interaction” (Jiun-Sheng & Chia-Chuan, 2011). Whether you are an urban pharmacy or a rural pharmacy, whether you see your customers weekly, monthly, or yearly, they will remember the interactions they have with your staff and the feeling they were left with.

It’s not just about providing efficient service, it’s about providing a positive, memorable experience for the customer.

References:
Jiun-Sheng, C., & Chia-Chuan, H. Modeling service friendship and customer compliance in relationships. Journal of Service management, 2 (5), 607-631. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1108/09564231111174979

Studer, Q. (2008). Results That Last. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Soaring Drug Prices Now a 2016 Campaign Issue

Soaring Drug Prices Now a 2016 Campaign Issue

In an April 15th roundtable discussion centered on the concerns of small business owners in Iowa, Hillary Clinton injected the issue of high drug prices into the conversation about healthcare costs. As MSNBC reported, Clinton said,

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