How independent pharmacists plan to survive industry disruption

The roughly 22,000 surviving independent pharmacies have successfully weathered the competition of big-box pharmacy chains, but staying afloat in a world with CVS-Aetna, Cigna-Express Scripts and Amazon-PillPack partnerships will require different strategies, according to a Business Insider report.

Business Insider interviewed more than a dozen independent pharmacists and found most already struggle with dwindling reimbursements and shrinking customer bases. However, some pharmacists are working around these challenges by contracting directly with payers to get paid for the healthcare services they provide patients, who often see pharmacists more frequently than physicians. Some of these services include managing cholesterol and mental health issues, controlling the side effects of medications, counseling patients, and answering questions.

One pharmacist in Iowa City, Iowa, demonstrated to the payer Wellmark that he could keep their members healthier while saving $300 per member per month. Now his care model is being used at 72 other independent and regional pharmacies, according to the report.

Read the full story here.

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