New Year, New Opportunities

Publication
Article
Pharmacy TimesJanuary 2024
Volume 90
Issue 1

Although New Year's resolutions can quickly become forgotten, the beginning of a new year still offers a time to look forward to new opportunities. After 4 years of rapid changes and evolution in pharmacy, those shifts show no signs of slowing down.

Medicine, pharmaceutics, health care and people concept - Happy female pharmacist giving medications to senior male customer - Image credit: Ivan | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: Ivan | stock.adobe.com

Pharmacists are taking on many new roles, from immunizers to pharmacogenomics (see this month’s Editor’s Note) and beyond. At their core, these tasks all revolve around heightened patient care. Counseling patients on their medications and conditions will always be the bread and butter of pharmacy, and with exciting new potential FDA approvals ahead, pharmacists are in a great position to educate themselves and prepare patients. This month’s Cover Feature, written by Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, PACS, reviews 5 key potential new drugs and vaccines we could see this year, including treatments for multiple sclerosis as well as vaccines for COVID-19/ influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

Of course, this year will also bring some new challenges to pharmacy. Changes to the landscape of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees could have drastic impacts on pharmacies in the next 2 to 3 months, particularly independent pharmacies. One of the most significant changes is the elimination of retroactive DIR fees. Although this is intended to increase transparency and predictability and reduce the financial burden for pharmacies, it also means doubled fees at the beginning of the year, resulting in potential cash flow burdens.1 Pharmacy Times will cover all of these changes and their implications throughout the year.

Elsewhere in this issue, author Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP, discusses the growing off-label use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Although these medications have long been used in the treatment of mental health, the growing body of data has led clinicians to explore new conditions for their use, including irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, and more.

This month’s Feature article, written by Associate Editor Ashley Gallagher, discusses the interesting world of celebrity endorsements and whether they have any real impact on patients’ decisions to get vaccinated. Despite Travis Kelce’s recent commercial with Pfizer, data suggest celebrity endorsements do not convince listeners to receive immunizations: pharmacists, however, do.

Although the start of a new year can be hectic after the holiday season, I encourage all of you to take a moment and think about the great opportunities ahead. Pharmacists are continuing to prioritize patient care in new and exciting ways, and Pharmacy Times will continue covering all that you do.

Thank you for reading.

Reference

Navigating the upcoming 2024 DIR fee changes: what independent pharmacies need to know. Signetic. July 31, 2023. Accessed December 7, 2023. https://www.signetic.com/news/navigating-the-upcoming-2024-dir-fee-changes-what-independent-pharmacies-need-to-know

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