Independent pharmacy owners are constantly searching for innovative solutions to stay relevant in a growing industry. From growing competition to shrinking reimbursements, there are many factors that are conspiring to hinder the success of community pharmacies.
Brad Livingstone, owner of Sound Specialty Pharmacy, understands first-hand the challenges facing independent pharmacy owners in 2021.
“You have to innovate in community pharmacy, because you don't have deep pockets like Amazon does,” says Livingstone. “You have to use your dollars in the ways that make the most sense.”
“I was concerned about staying relevant in pharmacy, and staying up on technology, because that's an important part of being a community pharmacy owner,” adds Livingstone. After realizing that manually filling blister cards was limiting his ability to serve patients, Livingstone found a better solution in the RapidPakRx.
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The Profitability of Supplements
“I chose the RapidPakRx primarily based upon its ability to use any NDC for the smart cartridges that go in the system,” says Livingstone. The RapidPakRx uses 20 universal cartridges, which simultaneously dispense all oral solid medications and/or supplements. It requires no inventory, unlike other competing systems on the market, since the medications do not need to be held in the RapidPakRx before it is used.
“The decision to start packaging supplements with prescription medications was one that I had a long time ago,” says Livingstone.
Some independent pharmacy owners are starting to incorporate supplements and vitamins into their strip packaging. Even mail order giants like PillPack have started to recognize that patients who want to take better care of their health, and are interested in incorporating supplements into their medication regimen.
“By packaging patients’ supplements with their prescription medications, we’re allowing patients to really take charge of their health and support them as far as their emotional health and wellbeing," adds Livingstone.
Increasing Script Volume Capacity
For many independent pharmacy owners, manually filling prescriptions is tedious and labor intensive. At Sound Specialty Pharmacy, blister card packaging was limiting the number of patients that staff could help.
“We had a lot of challenges, but primarily it was the error rates and the amount of time it took to simply transfer the card to the sealer,” says Livingstone. “You would have pills jumping that you thought were otherwise staying put, so those kinds of errors really bogged us down.”
“The RapidPakRx fits great into our workflow and increased our ability to get through our workload a lot faster,” says Livingstone. With unmatched speed and accuracy, the RapidPakRx was really a no brainer for the independent pharmacy.
“Now with the RapidPakRx, we have capacity to fill more prescriptions and packages,” adds Livingstone.
The RapidPakRx can complete packaging for up to 50 patients in one day using only one technician in an 8-hour shift.
Growth - Despite COVID Setbacks
When the pandemic first started, so many businesses were unsure about the impact it would have on the industry. For behavioral health-focused organizations like Sound Specialty Pharmacy, the challenge of reaching more patients was even greater.
Many nursing homes and LTC facilities enforced strict lockdowns to limit their risk of exposure to coronavirus. Livingstone was prepared to face a stagnant growth period – but was surprised to find that they were able to add more patients.
“Despite COVID, we've been able to add four to five customers on RapidPakRx packaging per month,” says Livingstone.
“We've been involved with the RapidPakRx marketing program, PakMyMeds Network, which is primarily through Facebook, and we've found success with that,” adds Livingstone. “There was support for promoting the RapidPakRx, which is something that I had not seen other companies do to date.”
Better than Amazon
“What sets us apart from the Amazon’s PillPack is our relationship with the clients that we have; we're part of this community and will always be a part of this community,” says Livingstone.
“We can do the exact same thing that Amazon does, but we can do it better because we can deliver it faster.” A key difference is the quality of customer service that mail order pharmacies just can’t offer. If a patient has an issue with a prescription, community pharmacists can fix it the same day. PillPack patients can spend hours on the phone speaking to a representative and might have to wait weeks until their next prescription arrives.
“If you don't innovate and invest in the future, then you will be left behind,” adds Livingstone.
“I would say to my fellow community pharmacists and pharmacy owners out there that we are the lifeblood of pharmacy, the true innovators who make a difference in our community's lives on a daily basis,” says Livingstone.
“The RapidPakRx offers another way to improve our patient's lives and wellbeing, so independent pharmacy owners need to look at it seriously as an investment for the future for yourself and your community. I would recommend the RapidPakRx, because the return on investment has been great so far, and I only expect it to improve over time.”
To watch the full testimonial, please click on the video above. To learn more about the RapidPakRx please visit our product page or call an adherence expert at (877) 797-2332.