The trend toward mail-order prescriptions is here to stay, is only becoming more common, and is seen as a threat to community pharmacies. Can you neutralize this threat and actually figure out a way for your business to benefit?
Turn Obstacles into Opportunities
While you may not be able to control the factors leading to such disruption in healthcare delivery, you can control the way you, your staff, and your pharmacy respond. Your patients need your expertise, customer service, and personal attention more than ever. Think of ways to leverage your strengths to engage your patients more—and to engage more patients.
Educate about safety
While patients are motivated by costs, they’re worried about safety issues. In fact, a survey from Wolters Kluwer reveals that three in five patients fear their medication could be tampered with or stolen before reaching them. In addition, the survey showed:
- 66% fear prescriptions will get lost or delayed
- 54% worry about tampering
- 52% are concerned about potential drug interactions
- 50% are worried their meds won’t be as safe and effective as intended
Help patients adapt
Your patients are already being directly approached by services like Cost Plus Drugs and Express Scripts and familiar brands like Amazon and CVS. And your patients already see you as a trusted expert and provider of care.
Help your patients determine their best choice while keeping them safe from online predators or shysters. Tell them about resources like the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on how to safely buy from online pharmacies. You can also help patients understand online and mail-order licensing requirements when looking for reliable alternatives. For example, you can explain to your patients the importance of making sure the provider they use maintains proper storage standards.
The FDA also provides patient-support resources such as reporting tools, connections to state pharmacy boards, and tips for buying online. You’re also well-prepared. You can guide your patients to understand safety requirements or help them find their best options.
Save your patients money
Cost is a leading concern. A shocking 67% of survey respondents said they would prefer prescriptions via mail or a subscription service if it meant they could cut costs. You’re in the perfect position to help your patients discover options. Maybe there is a biosimilar solution that could be a cheaper alternative to insulin for your patients with diabetes.
Your patients are open to such communication. According to the survey, more than a third of Americans have talked with their pharmacist about medication affordability and possible options in the previous few months.
Your honesty and concern will serve to strengthen the loyalty of your patients as well as the strength of your community.
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.