Solutions That Can Support Independent Community Pharmacies During COVID-19

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, on solutions that can help support independent community pharmacies now and in the future.

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, on solutions that can help support independent community pharmacies during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and in the future.

Alana Hippensteele: Other than this SCOTUS ruling, are there any other potential solutions that could help to support independent community pharmacies now and in the future?

Brian Nightengale: Yeah, and actually that's a big area of focus for our Good Neighbor Pharmacy program is to provide services that do that. So, I mean, you kind of think about what I just mentioned, I mean payer contracting solutions. So, we've got our traditional [pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO)] services, which help in the contracting negotiations with the [pharmacy benefit management (PBM)], but now creating that same infrastructure to have those contracting conversations with upstream payers and employers for that local community-based care beyond that prescription. So again, services and business models that are supported, like organizations like [Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN)], which we work very closely with. I mean, the growth of those kinds of networks, the enhanced services networks, and the infrastructure underneath that really will put community pharmacy at the forefront and being part of the provider community and to care for their patients, so that's certainly another one.

Then again, talking about the awareness perspective digital marketing platforms and services that help these pharmacies attract and retain a new patient and consumer population—a younger population is important. We have seen some really incredible results with our Good Neighbor Pharmacy digital platform in attracting patients and consumers that didn't know that pharmacy existed or didn't know that they were different and bringing them to their door and through their channel, so that starts to get into that e-commerce piece as well.

So, if those independent pharmacies aren't engaged digitally and on social media, they're missing out on a huge opportunity, especially in the era of COVID-19, where everybody is moving digital. And then finally, data insights and consulting services—they're caring for patients while also trying to run a business, and so bringing data and insights in to help them take a bigger picture view of where they can grow their business, where they can expand their business, and where they can specialize is another area.

So those are all opportunities that are out there, those are areas that we're supporting our pharmacies in now. And again, I think when you line all of that up, there's a lot of opportunities.