Experts in the field of immunization discuss key vaccine capture points to bridge the treatment gap.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: Flu season believe it or not is right around the corner. What sort of tips and tools, best practices, can you convey to the audience around flu vaccination? Populations of emphasis, when they should get it, who needs higher doses, should we get repeat doses? What’s your best: “Flu season is coming, here’s how I need to remind you what you need to be reminded of.” Tana, go.
Tana Kaefer, PharmD: All of those things, yes.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: All of those things?
Tana Kaefer, PharmD: Kind of what we’ve alluded to this entire segment, targeting other immunizations, it’s not just about flu, it’s not just a season. Yes, this is what we’re looking at but how can I move beyond just giving flu shots? I think pharmacists are well apt to do this and in a great position to meet these patient’s needs in that way.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: Additional healthcare needs, but also additional business, right?
Tana Kaefer, PharmD: Oh, absolutely.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: And Mike, you have some numbers on what that additional business looks like I think.
Michael Popovich: We’ve done studies taking a look at data and we can identify that if somebody comes in for their flu shot in a store, for every flu shot that that pharmacist gives, there’s $100 of opportunity around providing other immunizations. So there’s a revenue opportunity.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: A hundred dollars.
Michael Popovich: Yes, additional. Especially for adults who when they walk in for their flu shots, they’re 1.6 to 2 immunizations behind. And they don’t even know it. They think they know it but they don’t. And if you had that information and you have a conversation, and then you provide a second immunization while they’re there, that pharmacy has just brought in another piece of revenue that they didn’t have. But more importantly, that individual is better protected. They win, public health wins, everybody wins. And that trust in communication between the pharmacist and the patient increases. So you’re creating opportunity for people to walk in off the street and go into the store, have conversations, and do the kinds of things that pharmacies are really good at.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: It sounds to me like the group’s saying there’s sort of a double point of capture. So community pharmacies—the equivalent of the United States populations in a pharmacy once a week, as APHA [American Public Health Association] will tell you. We’ve got this additional point of capture that is greater than anybody else in the healthcare system. But then the second point of capture is the flu vaccinations. It’s flu season, you need the flu shot. You’re in for something else but you need the flu shot. But you say, “By the way, you also need these other vaccinations to go with your flu vaccination.” That’s a very convenient double point of capture. Why isn’t that happening more? We know the numbers, right Mike?
Michael Popovich: We know the numbers.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: Something like 50 flu vaccines for every non-flu vaccine, right?
Michael Popovich: Yes.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: So why is that happening?
Michael Popovich: I think a lot of it is just the education of the pharmacist and having that data available so they have that conversation. It’s easy to provide the flu immunization, but it’s not as easy to say, “Let me take a look at your record and see where we are here.” And it’s just training, it’s getting used to that cycle. It’s embedding this more in the workflow so it makes it easier for the pharmacist. Bringing information up so it’s a one-click kind of point of contact. So when a prescription date comes up, what the pharmacy is doing with the point-of-sales system it saying, “Oh, by the way, based on these forecasts, this individual needs X.” And so it’s encouraging those conversations.
We’re not far away, but we’re beginning to reach that tipping point and it’s all around education and building capacity and creating a stronger bond between the pharmacist, the right message, public health, and individuals.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: And for the most part folks realize that a pharmacy is a place they can get a flu vaccination. But are we still behind in the public psyche about these other vaccinations, Emily?
Emily Endres: Troy, we’re going here from a consumer perspective too, right? I think you actually just published our first trend report in Pharmacy Times, and we surveyed consumers and found out for those consumers that had not received an influenza vaccination, almost 60% of those were very comfortable, or comfortable receiving that vaccination at the pharmacy. So in our eyes that’s one hurdle that you can take out, right? You just need to initiate that conversation with the patient, because more than likely, they’re already comfortable with your addressing that with them.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: So, Tana, would you say that your numbers are better than 50 to 1?
Tana Kaefer, PharmD: Yes.
Troy Trygstad, PharmD, MBA, PhD: Okay, why are they better than 50 to 1?
Tana Kaefer, PharmD: Well I think, again, training our pharmacists and training our technicians, and putting that on the forefront of this is something that we set goals for. It’s important to have this in the front of everyone’s mind. They will then make it a goal for themselves.