NCPA Digest highlights trends in patient care services

November 3, 2014

Independent community pharmacists continue to offer valuable patient care services, including medication therapy management, immunizations, blood pressure monitoring, and diabetes training, demonstrating the increased prevalence of heart disease and diabetes among the populations they serve as well as the need for wellness and prevention programs, according to the National Community Pharmacists (NCPA) 2014 Digest.

Independent community pharmacists continue to offer valuable patient care services, including medication therapy management, immunizations, blood pressure monitoring, and diabetes training, demonstrating the increased prevalence of heart disease and diabetes among the populations they serve as well as the need for wellness and prevention programs, according to the National Community Pharmacists (NCPA) 2014 Digest.

In the 2014 Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, data analyzed from 2013 highlighted other high-demand services from independents, such as at-home delivery (79%), patient charge accounts (75%), and compounding (65%).

Additional services that NCPA members offered their patients included durable medical equipment (64%), ostomy supplies (29%), smoking cessation programs (17%), cholesterol monitoring (8%), asthma management (15%), weight management (12%), and osteoporosis (3%). Some even offered services for patients with HIV/AIDS (4%) and those needing anticoagulation monitoring (2%).

“Locally owned pharmacies are playing an even more integral role in U.S. healthcare,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA.

Of the 22,814 independent community pharmacies in 2013, 75% are providing MTM and approximately 67% are offering some type of medication adherence program. Of the pharmacies that have enrolled patients in medication synchronization programs, 90% report that their patients are more adherent to their drug therapies. More than 90% of these pharmacies have been able to synch chronic medications for a once-monthly pharmacy visit-a convenience for patients with complex medication regimens.

“Synchronization refills, combined with the opportunity to discuss their complete medication regimen with their pharmacist each month, has been shown to improve adherence and provide a more coordinated level of care,” according to the Digest.

Other advantages of medication synchronization noted in the Digest were a more streamlined workflow in the pharmacy, improved time management, better inventory control, more prescriptions filled, and an easier transition to patient services.

To ready the 2014 Digest report, go to www.ncpanet.org.