NCPA releases annual digest, launches CBD Source for pharmacists with PRS

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NCPA releases annual digest, launches CBD Source for pharmacists with PRS

By Sandra Levy - 10/29/2019

The National Community Pharmacists Association is getting community pharmacists up to speed about CBD. NCPA is teaming up with PRS to launch the NCPA CBD Source, a first-of-its-kind online resource for community pharmacies featuring cannabidiol products as well as general information about the CBD industry.

The NCPA CBD Source will serve as an easy-to-navigate website providing pharmacies with answers they may need to make educated decisions about the growing CBD marketplace.

“Many pharmacies are deciding to sell CBD products because of the patient demand and because, as the medication expert, they can serve as the source of truth,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “Pharmacy owners want to be able to answer their patients’ questions and recommend products where they can check their certificate of analysis. The new CBD Source goes a step further and will be sending product samples to an independent lab to verify strength and product integrity.”

“PRS didn’t hesitate when presented with the opportunity to partner with NCPA for this project,” PRS president Harry Lattanzio, said. “We believe that the community pharmacist should also be the community's CBD expert. CBD belongs in a pharmacy, but the industry is young and full of misinformation. PRS and NCPA have combined resources, done the research, and sifted through the claims to create a comprehensive platform that community pharmacists can trust for CBD education, marketing, and products.”

The NCPA CBD Source, powered by PRS, will function much like any other online shopping site but with resources for pharmacist CBD education and marketing tools and with products researched by NCPA and PRS. Pharmacists can evaluate each company included in the program and review the products they are offering. Samples of products on the site will be tested for concentrations of all cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, by an independent, third-party lab.

While the NCPA CBD Source will include experts who pharmacists may call and ask about buying, selling, and marketing, pharmacists are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with local, state, and federal laws governing the sale of CBD products.

The U.S. CBD industry grew by nearly 40% in 2017 to $367 million, according to a recent report from New Frontier Data, an analytics company specializing in the cannabis industry. The market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2024.

In separate news, The 2019 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, was released by NCPA at its annual convention in San Diego. The NCPA Digest, which provides an annual overview of independent community pharmacy, found that the industry in 2018 represented 35% of all retail pharmacies in the United States and a $75.8 billion marketplace.

“Independent community pharmacists have long been lauded for the services patients can access and the quality care they can receive at these locally-owned pharmacies,” said Hoey.

“As economic pressures on pharmacies continue – and as more medical-side payers find value in community-based pharmacies – it’s increasingly important to change the pharmacy payment model to compensate for value and recognize pharmacists for the services they do and can provide. This year’s Digest, in addition to serving as a barometer for independent community pharmacy owners, establishes the steadily growing local networks of CPESN USA as pharmacy’s best bet to transform into a system allowing pharmacists to be recognized for practicing at their full scope,” Hoey said.

The 2019 NCPA Digest found independent community pharmacies offer a variety of services: in 2018, nearly 79% offer medication synchronization services; 77% offer medication therapy management; 76%  provide flu immunizations; 69% provide non-flu immunizations; 57% perform blood pressure monitoring; and 53% furnish durable medical goods. From a philanthropic standpoint, 65% of all independent community pharmacy owners donated to at least five local organizations in 2018.

Additional highlights from the NCPA Digest covering the 2018 independent community pharmacy marketplace include:

  • The estimated number of independent community pharmacies is 21,767, down slightly from the 2017 total of 21,909.
  • 74% of community pharmacies serve population areas of 50,000 or fewer.
  • 2,351 pharmacies are participating in the CPESN USA national network of clinically integrated pharmacies, with networks launched and expanding in 44 of the 50 states.
  • Prescription volume is 58,823 (189 per day) in 2018.
  • 54% of total prescriptions are covered by the Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs, comparable to previous years.
  • 91% percent of community pharmacies are offering some type of medication adherence program, aligning the interest of patients, payers, pharmacists, and plans.
  • 39% have collaborative drug therapy agreements with physicians, and 24 percent have access to electronic medical records.
  • 39% of independent community pharmacies dispense specialty medications, with the top disease state specialty medications dispensed including rheumatoid arthritis (83%), HIV (54%), and multiple sclerosis (40%).
  • The top four point-of-care services provided are influenza (13%), rapid strep (12%), cholesterol screening (10%), and hemoglobin A1C (6%).

In other NCPA news, John Vandel, former dean of the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy, was awarded the 2019 John W. Dargavel Medal by the NCPA Foundation during NCPA's recent Annual Convention in San Diego.

The McKesson Corporation sponsors the annual award that honors an individual whose contributions on behalf of independent pharmacy embody the spirit of leadership and accomplishment personified by Dargavel, who was executive secretary of the National Association of Retail Druggists, now NCPA, from 1933 to 1961. In fact, the NCPA Foundation was established in 1953 to honor Dargavel.

Following a long and distinguished career as a community pharmacist, Vandel was named the interim dean at the University of Wyoming in 2003 and then dean in 2004, retiring in 2012. Vandel continues to teach at the university.


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