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Spotlight Pharmacy

Pharmacist: Jason Beattie, PharmD

Pharmacy: Bill's Prescription Center, Inc

City, State: Brandon, Florida

How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist? 12

What led you to a career in independent community pharmacy?
While I was in 8th grade, I decided I wanted to be a pharmacist. I had a strong affinity for math and science, and was particularly interested in medicine and how it could help make sick people well again.

After my junior year in high school, I chose to work at Bill's Prescription Center for a very specific reason. When my grandmother was ill with cancer in 1991, she needed a medicine that my grandfather could not find anywhere but Bill's. When he picked up the medicine, the pharmacist counseled him and gave him his home telephone number in case of an after-hours emergency. That encounter made a deep impression on my grandfather and I knew that was the place I wanted to be a part of.

I quickly learned that working in a family-owned store was very gratifying, and I knew I would be in a strategic place to be able to help people in their time of need. As independent pharmacists, we are not bound in any way from providing the services that our patients need. If it wasn't for independent pharmacy, I think I may have chosen another profession.

What makes your pharmacy stand out from the competition?
Personalized service. When our door slides open for our patients, we strive to create and give them an experience that is unmatched. Our staff is world-class, and the relationships we have with our patients is our main focus. They trust us, and we give them the same care you or I would desire for our own family. When a patient is acknowledged, listened to, genuinely cared for, and counseled effectively, they will keep coming back. Our other service tools include medication synchronization, delivery service, MTM, compounding, and cholesterol screenings.

What are your biggest challenges?
Pharmacy benefit managers are misleading our elected officials and patients more so than ever before. After attending the NCPA Fly-In in Washington, DC this April, it seems Congress is interested in hearing from healthcare professionals, especially since the new healthcare bill is up for debate. Please voice your concerns to your elected officials concerning opportunistic PBM practices. I believe they will eventually come to light, and the clawbacks, abusive audit practices, closed networks, retroactive DIR fees, non-transparency, etc. will be exposed.

Describe a recent, rewarding experience with a patient:
Earlier today, we delivered a medicine to a young lady with extreme nausea that didn't feel like leaving her house within 30 minutes.
Earlier today, we gave a child their costly medicine, ahead of third party payment, since they needed it right away.
Earlier today, I enrolled our store in the specialized Clozapine REMS program, so we could fill one patient's medicine for seven tablets.
Earlier today, I counseled a patient regarding the concerns surrounding the use of PPI's with clopidogrel after a stent had been placed.

The benefit of serving at an independent pharmacy is that I never know what my day will entail. After 61 years in business, the Brandon community knows well that Bill's is the place to come when no one else can seem to help. There are no bounds when it comes to helping someone feel better. One of our sayings is, "difficult things can be handled immediately, but the impossible may take a few minutes."

How has NCPA helped your business?
NCPA helps our pharmacy (and every independent pharmacy) through voicing the collective concerns of its members on Capitol Hill. The NCPA leadership team places great emphasis on Hill visits and fighting battles on our behalf. The saying that resonates is, "get into politics, or get out of pharmacy."

Over the past ten years, I have attended several NCPA annual conventions. Each year I go, I meet new friends and take ideas and products back to our pharmacy to help improve our patient experience. Going to a new city, recharging, and talking to other pharmacists has proved to be invaluable.