Can Independent Pharmacies Survive the Oligarchy?

December 3, 2018

 

This week CVS completed its acquisition of Aetna in a $70 billion deal. Meanwhile, the Cigna and Express Scripts $69 billion merger is still underway. And to top it off, Amazon continues to encroach on the pharmaceutical industry. All of these recent developments set the stage for a budding oligarchy, which may not bode well for the future of independent pharmacies.

 

Small, brick and mortar pharmacies are already getting ravaged by pharmacy benefit managers and their low reimbursement rates. Now they have to find creative ways to stay afloat as behemoths like Amazon drive the market to go digital with mail-order systems.

 

Some have adapted by finding other revenue streams, aside from dispensing pills. Independent pharmacies have begun getting more involved in integrated patient care, working with hospitals and health plans to ensure that patients adhere to their prescriptions.

 

Another effective strategy is to partner with healthcare insurers on programs for at-risk or underserved populations. Randy McDonough, the owner of an independent pharmacy in Iowa City, did just that when the biggest insurer in his state lowered its prescription reimbursement rates by 50 percent. McDonough wrote to the insurer’s CEO, and the two ended up developing a wildly successful program that allows McDonough to serve his community at better rates.

 

It seems the future of independent pharmacies depends on their aptitude for creative collaboration and finding a place within a more integrated health system. The industry may be going digital, but convenience can never replace quality when it comes to patient care.

 

Get your monthly Dose of the latest in pharmacy news. We deliver monthly highlights straight to your inbox, so you can keep your finger on the industry's pulse. Click here to sign up now! 

 

Share on Facebook
Share
Share on LinkedIn
Please reload

MEMBERS OF:

American Staffing Association asa Member icon
Staffing Industry Analysts Member icon

HELLO@ICONSN.COM

888.777.5973

ICON HQ

8100 SW NYBERG STREET

STE 400

TUALATIN, OREGON

97062

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAILS

  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon

Copyright © 2019 ICON Medical Network