I read a blurb online the other day about Daylight Savings time. The line I remembered was “There is no way I’m going to set my clock back. I don’t want to spend an extra hour in 2020.” It’s been a helluva year and there is still another quarter to go. As we move into the last quarter of the year, take a minute to turn around and look behind you. Think of all the things you have done for your patients since all the craziness began. Community pharmacists have kept working every day to keep our patients healthy. We have tried to educate our patients and communities on, not only COVID, but healthcare in times of crisis.
As we move into flu season community pharmacists move into full vaccination mode. We are using our community roots and patient access to assist other vaccinating entities who have shortfalls due to COVID, making sure we can get as many patients vaccinated as possible. Think about the services you provide. Think about your patient’s health. Think what your community, your state, your country would be like without you.
When you reflect on that scenario it’s easy to see the huge vacuum that would be created without community pharmacies. There are huge corporations which are profit, not patient, oriented that would like to see you gone. Prescriptions to them are viewed as transactions not patients. By and large, these corporations are succeeding. They have taken monopolistic control of the pharmacy supply chain. They own the contracting entities which controlling pricing, retail outlets, and they control patient access. They are driving all patients via self-referral to their own outlets. All of this serves to jeopardize our community pharmacies and the patients we serve.
As ESPhA evolves, we remain committed to fight for community pharmacy survival. ESPhA is working to bring novel, professional, profitable services to community pharmacy and help as we transition to a value-based healthcare system. Community pharmacy may not look the same and it may not be practiced the same under this new system.
Whatever the future holds, ESPhA will be at the forefront, explaining community pharmacy’s value to decision makers and working to develop new revenue streams to assist you in your practice.
The future is bright. The future is here.
Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD
Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD, community pharmacist, community pharmacy advocate, and ESPhA founding member