NCPA Digest: Community Pharmacists Promoting Medication Adherence, Generic Drugs To Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Costs

  NCPA Digest: Community Pharmacists Promoting Medication Adherence, Generic
              Drugs To Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Costs

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 15, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Independent community
pharmacies are increasingly focused on helping patients stick to their
medication (or "medication adherence") and saving money through the
appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs, according to the National
Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) 2013 NCPA Digest, sponsored by
Cardinal Health. The Digest, the most comprehensive analysis of the
independent community pharmacy marketplace, is available to NCPA members as a
benefit of their membership and the latest edition was first shared with
attendees of the National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) 115th
Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Orlando.

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"Independent community pharmacists are playing a larger role than ever in
improving health and cutting costs through the promotion of medication
adherence and proper use of generic drugs," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey,
RPh, MBA. "The Digest reinforces the value and diverse nature of the care
provided by trusted, community pharmacists. Small business community pharmacy
owners and pharmacists look forward to continuing to work to help policymakers
and health plan sponsors enhance patient outcomes and reduce expenses."

According to the NCPA Digest, community pharmacists are tackling the
medication adherence issue head-on. Roughly half (48 percent) of all
independent community pharmacies offer patients adherence counseling services,
a notable increase from the 39 percent in the previous survey. The number of
community pharmacies providing adherence phone call or text reminders nearly
doubled, surging to 39 percent from 22 percent. Medication Adherence in
America: A National Report Card, released earlier this year, finds that
Americans 40 and older with a chronic medical condition earn a troubling C+ on
average and that one in seven members of this group received an F when it
comes to taking their medications correctly.

In addition, community pharmacists reached a new record high frequency in
generic drug utilization, dispensing them 77 percent of the time. Community
pharmacists routinely consult with physicians about proper prescription drug
therapy and pharmacists' recommendations for generic drug use are accepted 83
percent of the time.

Other noteworthy findings include:

  oThe number of total independent community pharmacies is estimated to be
    23,029, a tick below the 23,106 of the previous year.
  oPrescription sales volume decreased slightly, led by declining refill
    rates, possibly due to mandatory mail order pharmacy requirements or other
    limitations imposed on patient choice.
  oPre-tax net profits for these small businesses remained essentially flat
    at three percent.
  oFor the first time, a majority share of the prescription transactions at
    independent community pharmacies came from two programs: Medicare (33
    percent of prescriptions) and Medicaid (18 percent).
  oIndependent community pharmacies continue to be a lifeline for underserved
    areas, particularly rural ones, as 53 percent of these pharmacies are
    located in areas populated by 20,000 people or less.
  oThe number of community pharmacies offering patient charge accounts grew
    to 75 percent, reflecting how these providers help patients afford their
    medications.
  oWhile prescription volume decreased slightly, overall sales increased
    marginally as pharmacy owners further diversified their business model.
    Common niche services offered by community pharmacies include same-day
    home delivery; durable medical equipment; compounding and immunizations.

"Cardinal Health is proud to again sponsor the 2013 NCPA Digest, a
comprehensive report to help pharmacy owners make smarter business decisions,"
said Ron Clerico, vice president of retail marketing at Cardinal Health. "We
realize that community pharmacists play a unique role in helping improve our
nation's health care system. Healthcare is changing and we must evolve to meet
new expectations. It is more important than ever for community pharmacies to
understand the current thinking and trends. The NCPA Digest is an excellent
resource that encourages pharmacy owners to think differently about their
business in order to thrive in today's competitive market."

The 2013 NCPA Digest is a snapshot of the independent pharmacy based on the
most recent, year-long data available, from 2012.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the
interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more
than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7
billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail
prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000
pharmacists.To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The
Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com/.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $101
billionhealth care services companythat improves the cost-effectiveness of
health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health
helpspharmacies,hospitals,ambulatory surgery centers, clinical
laboratoriesandphysician offices focus on patient care whilereducing costs,
enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential
link in the health care supply chain, providingpharmaceuticalsandmedical
productsand services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the
industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a
leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, includinggloves,
surgical apparelandfluid managementproducts. In addition, the company
operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmaciesthat dispense
products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #19 on
the Fortune 500, Cardinal Healthemploys 34,000 peopleworldwide. More
information about the company may be found
atwww.cardinalhealth.comand@CardinalHealthon Twitter.

SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association

Website: http://www.ncpanet.org