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Pharmacist: Justin Wilson, PharmD

Pharmacy: Valu-Med Pharmacy

City, State: Midwest City, OK

How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist?
I've been practicing since July 2002 but spent my first year completing a Community Care Practice Residency with Osterhaus Pharmacy in Iowa.

What led you to a career in independent community pharmacy?
My father is an independent pharmacist so I grew up in the profession...although I really did not think community pharmacy was where I would end up initially. I was very interested in ambulatory care practice during my first year of pharmacy school. I then attended my first NCPA convention and started to hear about innovative pharmacists providing clinical services in their pharmacies. I immediately thought that this is the direction I needed to go and decided to focus on bringing clinical services to my family's practice

What makes your pharmacy standout from the competition?
I really think we focus on the needs of our patients first. I believe that excellent patient care is a good business model and if we make our decisions based on positive healthcare outcomes, everything else will fall into place. We truly look at our patients as extended family members and take extra steps to make sure we are constantly working to help them achieve their health care goals.

What are your biggest challenges?
I think right now our biggest challenge is inadequate or negative reimbursement from PBMs. It is getting very difficult to keep the business profitable by filling prescriptions. We are constantly trying to find alternative revenue streams and new services to meet the needs of our patients in our efforts to offset these Rx losses.

How has your experience as a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy influenced your practice of pharmacy?
I definitely feel it has made me a better pharmacist. The staff at the Oklahoma State Board does an excellent job in regulating our profession through education. They hope to prevent problems before they occur. In those instances that we have had to make regulatory decisions, it has been extremely helpful to see where diversion or other mistakes are happening. I can take those negative examples and make positive policy or workflow changes in my practice to make sure we continue to take the best possible care of our patients.

Describe a recent, rewarding experience with a patient:
I honestly feel that I have rewarding experiences every day I am in the pharmacy. From helping a parent understand the best way to provide medication to a toddler, to helping manage a patients diabetes and insulin regimens, or helping folks solve their medication adherence problems... there is no shortage of opportunities for me to work with patients for positive health results. I truly enjoy every day I get to interact with my patients.

How has NCPA helped your business?
I think NCPA is an excellent asset to my business. They give us a voice on Capitol Hill and are constantly working for legislation that positively affects our practice as well as helping to fight legislation that negatively affects us. In addition, the ideas and information I've gained from attending national meetings has been invaluable to helping us stay on the leading edge of patient care.

Why is it important to stay involved in pharmacy organizations like NCPA?
I think staying involved in your profession is not optional, it's a necessity. I once heard a friend and mentor, Calvin Anthony, speak to a group of Oklahoma pharmacists about the need to stay professionally active. He said, "If you're not at the table, then you're on the menu." NCPA does a great job at making sure we have the information and tools needed to keep us "at the table" and actively involved in helping our profession continue to thrive.