Independent Pharmacies Staying Competitive

After decades of the number of independent pharmacies shrinking due to closures and buyouts, they are now making a comeback. This is no small feat. Larger pharmacies often have an advantage over the independents because they contract with insurers to handle prescription plans for their health plans through larger PBMs. But despite this advantage, the number of independent pharmacies has been increasing by almost 3 percent each year.

Part of the resurgence could be because of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. More people have insurance, so they are able to afford prescription medications. Perhaps the most important advantage that an independent pharmacy has over its larger competitors is that they are capable of giving more personalized service to their customers.

For some, developing niches that align with old-fashioned service has been a way to keep people coming back. By offering services such as specialized multi-dose packaging, home delivery or carrying medical devices and home healthcare equipment, independent pharmacies are providing a valuable service to their customers. Read more about how independent pharmacies are staying competitive here.

No matter the size of your pharmacy business, AlphaScrip’s proven partnerships support major chains and independent pharmacies.

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Tips for Pharmacy Loyalty Programs

You already know that establishing a pharmacy loyalty program is an effective way to attract customers. You might not know they also encourage additional spending in order to take advantage of the program. In fact, according to a study by Accenture Interactive last year, customer loyalty program members were responsible for 12 to 18 percent more revenue than customers who were not members. The following are a few tips for implementing an effective pharmacy loyalty program:

Ensure the program provides good ROI

It doesn’t matter how attractive the loyalty program is to both current members and potential members: if the ROI is poor and is hurting the pharmacy’s bottom line, then it’s not an effective program. Track the costs of the program versus the results to properly measure the ROI and reevaluate the program if needed.

Use a mobile-friendly reward program

More and more customers are using their smartphones for almost everything that they do online. The loyalty program must have digital and mobile features to appeal to these customers. For example, offer an app for the loyalty program that makes using it more convenient for smartphone users.

Set the reward program apart from the competition

The pharmacy should offer attractive rewards that set them apart from the competition. Additionally, marketing what makes your program stand out is an important part of its effectiveness.

These are just a few tips that a pharmacy can use to establish an effective loyalty program. For more advice concerning pharmacy marketing, be sure to visit AlphaScrip today. We’ve been partners in success since 1991.

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What is a Pharmacy Compliance Program?

Pharmacies have to be careful about compliance, or they could be charged with and even convicted of fraud related to Medicare or another government program. Fraud can occur at every level of a pharmacy; even pharmacy employees can commit fraud. Because of this, it’s important to implement an effective pharmacy compliance program.

There are two main reasons for implementing a pharmacy compliance program. The first is to hold individual employees accountable and the second is to hold the pharmacy as a whole accountable.

Even if the compliance program doesn’t end up preventing an illegal act by one of the employees, its existence could prove that the pharmacy does not condone illegal behavior. Basically, the program’s existence could help prove that the pharmacy itself is not responsible for the employee’s actions (whether intentional or accidental).

Features of a Pharmacy Compliance Program

Every pharmacy compliance program should include the following:

  1. A policy – The pharmacy’s compliance policy should be distributed throughout the company. Include it in the company bylaws, the employee handbook and other corporate documents.
  2. A training program – Require that employees take training sessions that cover fraud, HIPAA, OSHA, the Stark Law and kickback laws.
  3. Enforcement of the policy – Clearly indicate the consequences of violations, and be sure to enforce the rules consistently.

All pharmacies should implement a compliance program. With decades of experience in pharmacy operations, AlphaScrip possesses the resources and expertise to help your pharmacy achieve success and avoid pitfalls.

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