NACDS to Employers, Policymakers: Pharmacies Key to “Consumer-Driven Healthcare”

Published Online: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Follow Pharmacy_Times:

June 5, 2013 (Arlington, Va.) – Following an Aflac survey that revealed concerns about Americans’ confidence in their ability to play active roles in “consumer-driven healthcare,” the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) reminded private-sector and government decision-makers about the public’s strong trust of community pharmacists as healthcare advisors, and about the ability of new pharmacy services – in conjunction with physicians and other healthcare partners – to help empower patients to improve their health.

Among the findings of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report:

  • 72 percent of the workforce has not heard of the phrase “consumer-driven healthcare”;
  • 62 percent of workers believe the medical costs they will be responsible for will increase, while only 23 percent are saving money for potential increases;
  • 75 percent of workers said they think their employer would educate them about changes to their healthcare coverage as a result of reform, but only 13 percent of employers said educating employees about healthcare reform was important to their organization;

“Employers and government officials who are looking for solutions to the challenges of empowering patients for better health can find a reliable partner in community pharmacies,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “We know from research and from face-to-face interactions between pharmacists and patients that pharmacies are viewed as the face of neighborhood healthcare.”

Opinion research conducted for NACDS in July 2012 found that 91% of respondents reported having a great deal of confidence or some confidence in pharmacists as a source for health advice. NACDS’ survey also found that patients are enthusiastic about new pharmacy services, including vaccinations, health education, disease state testing and management, and programs like medication therapy management (MTM) that help patients succeed in taking their medications as prescribed.

“We found that patients value the community pharmacist’s role in helping them use medicines safely and stay healthy, and that they appreciate new and innovative pharmacy services that do even more to improve patient health and quality of life,” Anderson said. “While pharmacists are widely trusted and seen as highly accessible, they are particularly and extremely valued by those in the greatest of need. Pharmacy services also are recognized as keys to enhancing healthcare affordability.”

In addition to NACDS’ research, Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics survey has placed pharmacists in the top three among all professions – even beyond healthcare – for ten consecutive years.

“To take advantage of the tremendous value of community pharmacy, NACDS urges leaders in the private sector and public sector alike to pursue policies that maintain patients’ access to community pharmacies, and that leverage pharmacy services which improve patient health and healthcare affordability,” Anderson said. “Community pharmacies need to be leveraged in the healthcare delivery models of the future, if these models are going to meet with success in empowering patients to play a more active role in their well-being.”

Related Articles
Pharmacists are getting closer to obtaining provider status, as federal legislation that would enable pharmacists to provide health care services to Medicare patients in underserved communities has been reintroduced in the US Senate and House of Representatives.
Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today would formally designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under Medicare Part B. Supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to provide to Medicare patients in underserved communities services that pharmacists already are providing for other patients under state law.
Emphasizing the importance of promoting policies that improve patient outcomes and lead to healthier, safer communities, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in lead-up to today’s hearing titled “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Patients and Local Communities.”
A community pharmacy can collaborate with a local hospital to provide quality medication education and adherence coaching.
Latest Issues
  • photo
    Pharmacy Times
    Health-System Edition
    Directions in Pharmacy
    OTC Guide
    Generic Supplements
  • photo
    Pharmacy Careers
    Specialty Pharmacy Times