The Pharmacy Business
The pharmacy business is highly competitive with the likes of major retailers competing for market share. With increased competition, customer loyalty is waning and many consumers purchase medications from several pharmacies. In order to gain a competitive edge, Pharmacies are looking for new opportunities to increase customer loyalty, convenience and branding. RxPense®, a patented Medipense product, satisfies those needs.
In any competitive environment, market differentiation is a major key to market domination. Through the exclusive, by region (ideally nationally), distribution of RxPense®, we will deliver this market differentiation to the successful retail chain. Only the medications you prescribe, will work in the RxPense® supplied by your pharmacy to the specified patient.
As the senior population grows and as their importance to the individual pharmacy becomes increasingly important, the obligation to dominate this highly lucrative segment becomes more and more strategically important.
JD Power, Significant Findings³
- Increasing medication adherence directly increases sales; Journal of the American Pharmacists Association reports a 12%-32% relative increase in adherence results in 42 days of additional supply per patient/year.
- Customer interaction with a pharmacist impacts additional store purchases. Among customers who speak directly with a pharmacist in a chain drug store, 29 percent purchase an over-the-counter (OTC) medication and 59 percent purchase an additional non pharmaceutical product to go with their prescription.
- Across pharmacy segments, the percentage of customers who report running out of medication before they can refill it is 13 percent for chain drug stores; 14 percent for supermarket pharmacies; 15 percent for mass merchandisers; and 10 percent for mail order pharmacies.
What do Pharmacists do?
Responsibilities/Activities of a Pharmacist¹:
- Reviewing medications and collaborating with patients and other healthcare providers to ensure optimal therapy for each patient’s condition
- Setting therapeutic goals with patients
- Reviewing prescriptions as appropriate therapy
- Educating patients and other healthcare professionals on the administration, uses and effects of medications, drug incompatibilities and contraindications
- Advising patients on selection and use of non-prescription medication
- Leading or participating in research into the development of new drugs, improvement of patient/client outcomes or pharmaco-economic evaluation of drug therapy
- Formulating and testing new drug products
- Coordinating clinical investigations of new drugs
- Developing information materials on the uses and properties of particular drugs
- Providing information services about drug products and pharmacotherapy
- Evaluating the labeling, packaging and advertising of drug products
Pharmacists supervise and may also perform technical tasks such as compounding and/or dispensing pharmaceutical products, maintaining medication profiles of patients and registries of poisons, narcotics and controlled drugs, ensuring proper storage of vaccines, serums, biologicals and other pharmaceutical products and ordering/maintaining a stock of pharmaceutical supplies.
While responsibilities vary from province to province and internationally, it appears as though many are assuming an even greater role in the circle of care provided a patient. For example, in Québec, Bill 41 was recently passed that allows them to renew prescriptions for certain medications and to prescribe medications for minor conditions, without requiring patients to visit a doctor.
Pharmacists are also now allowed to adjust prescriptions when needed, prescribe lab tests to monitor treatments, find drug substitutes when there’s a shortage in supply and show patients how to take medications, including injections. Additionally, Quebec’s new Bill 31² allows pharmacists to administer vaccines, administer a medication by intranasal route, adjust or renew prescriptions of all prescribers, initiate, adjust or stop medication therapy according to a prescription or following a consultation conducted at the request of a prescriber, substitute, for a prescribed medication, another medication even if it does not belong to the same therapeutic subclass, prescribe and interpret not only laboratory analyses but also any other tests for the purpose of monitoring medication therapy. Finally, Bill 31 provides that pharmacists may assess the physical and mental condition of a person to ensure the proper use of medications.
What do Pharmacists Need?
Pharmacists are passionate about their profession and customers. Sometimes this passion, which includes a strong desire to please and retain customers, also results in fatigue, overload and reduced margins. However, this situation can be minimized in well-staffed pharmacies with automation to help with prescription management, preparation, packaging, dispensing and follow-up. Pharmacists want to help patients and have an obligation to perform so many tasks, it can become undaunting. In addition to the health and medical aspects of a pharmacist’s career, there is also a business to run.
While Medipense can provide some relief with the RxPense to better manage patients adherence and monitor patients health, the pharmacist still needs to prepare medications for delivery.
Let’s Follow the Medication Workflow
The Pharmacist must consolidate, validate and package medications for each patient. The Physician or authorized prescriber fills out a prescription and presents it to the pharmacist, on paper or electronically. The pharmacist enters the data into the pharmacy database. Medications are then prepared, checked and packaged. Finally, the medications are delivered to the patient and loaded into the RxPense for at home or at residence dispensing and consumption.
Creation & Validation of Blister Packaged Medications
Using software provided as part of the “banner”, the pharmacist enters the prescription and health data for a patient, provided by the physician and patient. As an example, commonly available solutions from cubiPharma supports the direct creation and validation of medications for the blister packaging, compatible with the RxPense. Using cubiPilulier software, the pharmacist can prepare the medications, fill the trays, validate the process and print the label sheets for each patient.
If you are not familiar with the simplicity of properly filling a multi-dose blister package, view some videos prepared by Ecolopharm, the manufacturer of Eco-Pill and Richards Packaging, the manufacturer of Dispill.
Pharmacies with high volumes of blister packaging for patients, usually benefit from the use a robot filling station, the SynMed Ultra from Synergy Medical. This unit can prepare the packaging from beginning to end in seconds, saving time and reducing cost. The ROI is very short with the SynMed Ultra.
All pharmacies need to validate the medications prepared for clients. The Mini-Vision from Rx-V, accurately recognizes and identifies medications. This verification is preformed at a speed unmatched by the human eye and brain! Moreover, the Mini-Vision detects not only medication errors, but also incorrect counts: over- or under-delivery.
Once validation is complete, the packages are sealed and then delivered to the patient, residence or facility. The blister package labelling clearing displays the patient name, (and image in many cases), medications, dispensing information and other pertinent data, including a bar code.
The RxPense for Your Valued Customers
Once received from the pharmacy, the blister package is inserted into the RxPense by an authorized person. The delivery agent from the pharmacy, a caregiver or the patient are commonly tasked with this activity. Usually the pharmacy delivery agent will remove and return any unused packaging to the pharmacy for proper destruction.
The loading process is relatively simple and illustrated in the video below. As a pharmacist, you can be assured that your packaged medications have reached the correct patient and the correct RxPense and that they will be dispensed as prescribed. Reminders to patients, alerts to caregivers and clinicians and remote monitoring are all standard.
Medipense has the complete solution for new and existing pharmacists. As a pharmacist or pharmacy owner, you can supply the RxPense to your high value customers on a purchase, lease or rental basis. Optimize your practice, increase revenue and increase customer loyalty by bonding your clients with the RxPense and your new services. Easily monitor your customers and communicate remotely. Maximize billings though value-added, billable consulting. You can even provide surveys, collect the results and push notifications directly with the RxPense.
- Facts About Pharmacists and Pharmacies, 2019 New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association
- Role of pharmacists expanded to improve access to care, 27 November 2019
- Pharmacists and Staff Play Increasingly Important Roles in Pharmacy Customer Satisfaction
New Revenue Streams
On the product side, your customers purchase, rent or lease RxPense® bundled with monthly subscriptions from RxPense® monitoring service. There are additional revenue streams including upselling customers with RxPense® devices through in-home delivery and specials linked to DisPill Deliveries. Notices on customers screens can be pushed – would you like facial tissues at 50% off this week when we next deliver your refill? Each RxPense® product has the ability to serve opt-in, targeted ads directly to consumers.
RxPense® can be the product and service that assures market dominance in this growing market. RxPense® can keep your patient informed, updated and refilled. RxPense® can increase communication between patient and pharmacy. Using RxPense® your customers will feel confident in knowing that their medications will never run out and you will have the ability to push directed information on their medications or pharmacy specials, 24×7.
RxPense® can also increase sales through increased customer loyalty. Increasing the number of loyal customers by converting non-loyal to loyal, branding and awareness campaigns will drive more customers to the pharmacy. In general, by increasing medical compliance of patients, pharmacies can drive additional revenue.