NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every other Friday.

Ownership workshops help pass the torch of independent pharmacy | NCPA Executive Update | March 11, 2016

by NCPA | Mar 11, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

I received an email this week from a pharmacy student working at an independent pharmacy. He wrote about his concerns for the bad things happening in independent pharmacy now, like slow and low MAC payment updates and DIR fees. Despite the problems, this next generation of pharmacists is on fire to become independent pharmacy owners. The dream is still alive.

The dream of pharmacy ownership is one that many pharmacists can identify with. That aspiration is still going strong in thousands of staff pharmacists and pharmacy students despite the difficult environment created by PBMs.

This weekend NCPA is offering its first NCPA Pharmacy Ownership Workshop, sponsored by McKesson, of the year. In the 26 years since NCPA created and began offering the Ownership Workshop, over 2,000 pharmacists have gone through the program. About half of those attendees have gone on to start or buy an existing pharmacy.

I've been to a number of these Workshops over the years and the enthusiasm from these young pharmacists is off the charts! Some of the attendees are starting a new pharmacy from scratch. Some of the attendees are disgruntled chain pharmacists looking for something different. Sometimes the current owner and the aspiring owner attend the Workshop together. Most of them have identified the site of the pharmacy they will start or they are working with the current owner who has agreed to sell his/her store to them.

No one is naïve to the challenges. No one is naïve to the risk. But the obstacles are offset by the potential for working for yourself and creating jobs while caring for the people in your community or building on the legacy that the current owner started.

The Ownership Workshop is the centerpiece of the pharmacy ownership tools that NCPA offers. Sometimes the multi-faceted legislative and regulatory resources NCPA is well known for overshadows the gold mine of tools available to past, present, and future pharmacy owners. From the first day of pharmacy school to making the decision to ride off into the sunset, NCPA has specific tools to offer available to NCPA members at every stage of their career.

Because of the problems with reimbursement and the significant payment reform transitioning to a value-based payment system, which is affecting how all health care providers, including pharmacists, are getting paid, it's more important than ever for new owners to be well trained and made aware of the opportunities as well as the hurdles they will encounter. All the more reason that future owners launch their careers loaded with information from the Ownership Workshop and the resources NCPA provides to give them continued guidance throughout their career to keep a step ahead of the competition.

For those of you who are thinking about or know someone thinking about starting or buying a pharmacy, there will be two more Ownership Workshops this year, June 3-5 in Memphis and Oct 13-15 at NCPA's Annual Convention in New Orleans.

The latest group of pharmacy owners will complete the Ownership Workshop this weekend ready to make their dreams a reality.


Doug Hoey