APRIL 01, 2008

Community pharmacy can ensure its health care services beyond dispensing medication are embraced broadly, if it acts decisively and cooperatively with health care industry stakeholders, according to initial results of the Project Destiny initiative.

Project Destiny is a collaborative effort by the American Pharmacists Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The 3 pharmacy groups are now developing a strategic plan to advance the concepts identified in the first phase. Project Destiny aims to identify ways that patients and the health care system can benefit from community pharmacy's medication expertise, in a way that is economically viable for all parties.

To meet the objective, the pharmacy groups hired BearingPoint to conduct extensive research and interviews with patient and provider groups, and private and public payers. The executive summary of the first-phase findings include:

  • A significant unmet patient need to manage medication therapy exists in the market, as exemplified by increases in chronic conditions and avoidable health care cost
  • Pharmacists are well positioned to address unmet needs
  • The medication management market is being defined as community pharmacy, nurses, physicians, payers, and pharmacy benefit managers all are engaging to some degree

An important concept from the first phase of the project is that of a "primary care pharmacist," who would work collaboratively with the health care delivery and financing systems and concentrate on managing medications, positively impacting health outcomes, and reducing overall health care system costs, and empowering patients to actively manage their health.