2021 NCPA Annual Report
NCPA is the country’s leading advocate for America’s community pharmacy owners. There are 19,400 independently owned pharmacies in the United States, which is roughly equal to the number of all the largest chain store pharmacies combined.
In 2021, community pharmacists administered tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines. Because they often serve rural communities, and vulnerable populations, community pharmacies became one of the most potent weapons against the pandemic.
The 2021 NCPA Annual Report reviews the organization’s efforts and activities on behalf of extraordinary healthcare professionals during an extraordinary year.
Below is a comprehensive review of NCPA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of America’s independent community pharmacists over the past year. We represent our members before Congress, in the regulatory arena, in the courts, and in the states.
Our work is enhanced by the grassroots efforts of NCPA members, the NCPA Legislative/Legal Defense Fund, and the NCPA Political Action Committee. The NCPA Advocacy Center works to advance policies and solutions that are pro-patient, pro-pharmacy, and pro-small business.
For complete coverage of NCPA’s advocacy efforts please see our 2021 Advocacy Annual Report.
8th Circuit issues win in PCMA v. Wehbi: In November, the 8th Circuit upheld two North Dakota laws that permit the state to regulate PBMs. The ruling permits the state to curb the abusive practices of PBMs.
NCPA sues to stop retroactive pharmacy DIR fees: NCPA filed suit in federal court against the government challenging the rule that allows for retroactive pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees. NOTE: NCPA recently paused its lawsuit pending the outcome of a new proposed rule by CMS that would eliminate the retroactive nature of pharmacy DIR fees.
NCPA files friend of the court brief in Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association v. Express Scripts, Inc.: NCPA filed an amicus brief arguing to the 5th Circuit Court that there is no Medicare Part D preemption, and that ESI should be obligated to reimburse the fee in accordance with the law.
Judge sends approval of Washington State Medicaid reimbursement plan back to CMS: NCPA, NACDS, and the Washington State Pharmacy Association filed a suit to challenge the approval due to the state’s failure to conduct a cost of dispense study or use other reliable data to create a reimbursement rate. A judge sent the state plan amendment back to CMS for reconsideration.
NCPA meets with Department of Justice on UnitedHealth Group’s proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare: NCPA met with DOJ officials to lodge an objection to the proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare by UHG. NCPA explained the impact this merger would have on independent pharmacy, and how data from Change Healthcare’s “switch” could provide competitive insight into UHG’s competitors, which include independent pharmacies.
Congress passes the American Rescue Plan: After congressional passage, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion package enacted many provisions that NCPA advocated for: additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants, extension of the employee retention tax credit, extension of paid sick and paid family leave credits, and extension of the subsidy for costs incurred by employers that provide unemployment benefits on a reimbursable basis rather than through tax contributions.
Pharmacy DIR Reform to Reduce Senior Drug Costs Act (S. 1909/H.R. 3554): Would reduce patients’ cost-sharing, prevent plans and pharmacy benefit managers from clawing back pharmacy DIR fees, enhance price transparency, and establish consistent pharmacy performance measures that foster quality care and enhance the viability and predictability of pharmacy operations.
DIR Rule: In early 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a new rule that could change a key definition addressing pharmacy DIR fees. Pending an analysis of the rule, NCPA and its members will submit comments to ensure the rule accomplishes its stated goal, which is to end the retroactive nature of DIR fees, and that language in the rule cannot be exploited by the PBMs to continue their abuses.
340B caught up in litigation: NCPA continues to be in contact with stakeholders involved with the 340B drug pricing program as ongoing litigation moves through the process. As of now, decisions have been issued by courts from Indiana, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., with both sides claiming victory. Unfortunately, there is a decision split in competing jurisdictions on the same issue, likely resulting in further litigation and it eventually becoming a matter for the U.S. Supreme Court.
NCPA weighs in on pharmacist scope of practice issues and more in 2022 Physician Fee Schedule rule: NCPA submitted comments to CMS in response to its calendar year 2022 Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule. NCPA comments focused on pharmacist scope of practice issues, pharmacist payment for COVID-19 and preventive vaccine administration in Medicare beneficiaries’ homes, pharmacist provided telehealth services, Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances in LTC facilities, and extending current flexibilities in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program beyond the COVID-19 PHE. In the final rule CMS declined to extend payments retroactively for COVID-19 vaccine administration and delayed implementation of EPCS until Jan. 1, 2023 (Jan. 1, 2025 for LTC).
NCPA successfully advocates for Biden administration to rescind changes to National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: in April, HHS formally rescinded changes to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which would have removed Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration and syncope from the injury table. NCPA advocated for the withdrawal of the changes throughout the process.
NCPA pushes FTC to act on anticompetitive contractual terms used by PBMs: NCPA submitted comments to the FTC, continuing to highlight a number of issues on the inequities of PBM market power and anticompetitive behavior when it comes to contracting with independent pharmacies. In response to continued abuses by the PBMs, NCPA requested the FTC issue a rule limiting terms which favor affiliated over non-affiliated pharmacies. Additionally, over 2,500 independent pharmacy advocates from around the country sent 3,076 emails and completed 272 twitter shares on the impact of these anticompetitive practices.
NCPA asks CMS to require PBMs to report detailed Part D quality measures: NCPA provided comments to CMS regarding new requirements for Part D plans to submit pharmacy performance measures to CMS, starting Jan. 1, 2022. NCPA builds upon this regulatory requirement to encourage CMS to maximize the reporting requirements of the plans/PBMs and provide as many specifics as possible on the measures used in determining pharmacy DIR fees.
NCPA advocates for the FTC to enforce competition laws against PBMs for their anticompetitive activities: NCPA is working with top Federal Trade Commission officials to educate the FTC on the anticompetitive behavior of PBMs. NCPA also provided comments and a letter to the chair of the FTC, Lina Khan, regarding the most egregious practices, including patient steering, adhesion contracts, and discriminatory reimbursement practices.
NCPA meets with the White House Competition Council: NCPA’s current president, Michele Belcher, and immediate past president, Brian Caswell, each presented to the council and expressed concerns about the anticompetitive behavior of PBMs. NCPA encouraged the council to coordinate efforts between agencies to rein in PBMs and address the negative consequences associated with vertical consolidation in the health care sector.
State government affairs
NCPA government affairs assisted in the states: Our state government affairs team provided input to 34 states, including draft legislative language, bill review, letters of support/opposition and in-person testimony. The states we worked with this year were: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The following legislative measures were passed in the states in 2021:
Alabama SB 227: Prohibits a PBM from steering a patient to its affiliated pharmacies and from reimbursing its affiliated pharmacies at higher rates than non-affiliated pharmacies; requires a PBM to contract with a pharmacy that is willing to meet the terms and conditions for network participation.
Arizona SB 1356: Prohibits a PBM from holding a pharmacy responsible for a fee for any step, component, or mechanism related to the claims adjudication process.
Arkansas HB 1804: Makes changes to align existing law with the Rutledge v. PCMA decision; gives the Insurance Department enforcement authority over existing fair pharmacy audit laws.
Arkansas HB 1881: Prohibits a PBM from mandating that a patient uses a mail-order pharmacy or otherwise interfering with the patient’s right to choose an in-network pharmacy.
Arkansas HB 1852: Prohibits a pharmacy that is owned by an insurer/PBM or other similar entity from requiring a patient to receive prescriptions through home-delivery services.
Arkansas SB 617: Prohibits a pharmacy that is owned by an insurer/PBM or other similar entity from filling a prescription without express patient consent; requires the affiliated pharmacy to disclose the conflict of interest; prohibits an affiliated pharmacy from using patient data for solicitation purposes.
Colorado HB 21-1237: Directs the state to enter into a contract with a PBM for the administration of state employee health insurance through a reverse-auction process, and then use that platform to audit claims.
Maine LD 1450: Prohibits a PBM from using untrue, deceptive, or misleading advertising.
Maine LD 686: Requires PBMs and other drug supply chain entities to disclose certain drug pricing information to the state.
Maryland HB 601: Removes provisions exempting ERISA plans from regulations addressing the provision of pharmacy benefits.
Montana SB 395: Requires PBMs to become licensed with the state; prohibits a PBM from using untrue, deceptive, or misleading advertising; requires a PBM to offer adequate pharmacy provider networks.
New Hampshire SB 97: Protects a pharmacy’s authority to offer home delivery services from PBM interference.
New Mexico SB 124: Requires a health plan to reimburse a pharmacy within 14 days of receiving the claim.
North Dakota HB 1492: Prohibits a PBM from holding a pharmacy responsible for a fee for any step, component, or mechanism related to the claims adjudication processing network.
Oklahoma HB 2123: Establishes the Pharmacy Choice Commission to assist with the enforcement of PBM regulations.
Oklahoma HB 2677: Strengthens existing fair pharmacy audit protections and MAC list appeal procedures; permits a pharmacy to refuse to dispense a prescription if the reimbursement would be lower than the pharmacy’s cost of acquiring the drug.
Rhode Island SB 479: Prohibits a PBM from implementing gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from discussing a patient’s cost-share or lower-cost alternatives.
Tennessee HB 1398: Prohibits a PBM from interfering with a patient’s right to choose an in-network pharmacy provider through steering, coercive copays, or other means; requires PBM reimbursement rates to reflect a pharmacy’s actual acquisition costs.
Texas HB 1763: Prohibits a PBM from retroactively reducing claim amounts through effective rates, quality assurance programs, or other means; prohibits a PBM from reimbursing its affiliated pharmacies at higher rates than non-affiliated pharmacies; protects a pharmacy’s right to offer home-delivery services; prohibits a PBM from requiring accreditation requirements that are more stringent that those required by the state or federal government; protects a pharmacy from PBM retaliation for exercising its rights under the bill.
Utah SB 177: Strengthens existing fair pharmacy audit laws.
Virginia HB 2219: Makes existing patient choice and “any willing pharmacy” provisions applicable to PBMs, instead of just insurers.
West Virginia HB 2263: Requires a PBM to reimburse a claim in an amount that is not less than the drug’s NADAC plus a professional dispensing fee of $10.49; prohibits PBMs from charging a pharmacy a retroactive fee or from deriving revenue from a pharmacy or an insured; prohibits a PBM from reimbursing non-affiliated pharmacies at lower rates than it reimburses its affiliated pharmacies; prohibits a PBM from interfering with a patient’s right to choose an in-network pharmacy and from denying a pharmacy the opportunity to become an in-network provider, if the pharmacy is willing to agree to the network’s terms and conditions; removes a provision exempting PBMs serving ERISA plans from existing regulations.
Wisconsin SB 3: Requires PBMs to become licensed with the state; prohibits a PBM from implementing a gag clause; requires a PBM to provide notice of accreditation requirements for network participation; establishes fair pharmacy audit procedures.
Texas HB 1919: Prohibits a PBM/insurer or its affiliate from transferring patient data for a commercial purpose; prohibits a PBM/insurer from steering patients to, or requiring a patient to use, an affiliated pharmacy.
STATE PROVIDER STATUS
Arkansas HB 1134: Allows pharmacists to prescribe, administer, deliver, distribute, or dispense vaccines and medications to treat adverse reactions to administered vaccines to individuals 3 years old and up.
California AB 133: Requires the Department of Health Care Services to implement a medication therapy management benefit and reimbursement methodology for covered pharmacist services related to the dispensing of qualified specialty drugs.
California AB 1064: Authorizes pharmacists to initiate and administer immunizations to include any vaccine approved or authorized by the FDA for persons 3 years of age and older
Colorado HB 21-1275: Modifies Colorado’s Medicaid program to include payments to pharmacists when working in a collaborative practice agreement with a physician and allows clinical pharmacists services to be reimbursed at federally qualified health centers.
Florida SB 768: Authorizes certified pharmacists to administer vaccines to adults and to administer influenza vaccines to children 7 years of age or older.
Illinois SB 2017: Allows pharmacists to administer all vaccines recommended on CDC schedules and travel vaccines for those 7 and older; requires reimbursement at the physician rate.
Iowa SB 296: Allows pharmacists to engage in collaborative pharmacy practice and makes them eligible to receive payment or reimbursement under a health benefits plan.
Kentucky HB 48: Requires insurers to reimburse a pharmacist for a service or procedure at a rate no less than that provided to other nonphysician practitioners.
New York SB 4807: Authorizes pharmacists to provide specific vaccinations such as measles, mumps, and the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals over the age of 18
Maryland SB 736: Authorizes pharmacists to administer FDA approved vaccines to individuals 3-17 years old from July 1, 2021, until June 30, 2022.
Ohio HB 6: Authorizes pharmacists to administer any vaccine to individuals 13 and older and both influenza and COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 7-13 years old without a prescription.
Oklahoma SB 392: Requires an insurer to compensate pharmacists for services provided to enrollees.
Oklahoma SB 398: Authorizes pharmacists to administer any FDA approved or authorized vaccine without a prescription.
Oregon HB 2958: Requires insurance plans with prescription drug benefits to cover the cost of drugs prescribed and dispensed for preexposure and post-exposure prophylactic antiretroviral therapies.
Virginia HB 2333 and SB 1445: Per established process by the department of health, eligible health care providers can volunteer to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of the commonwealth during a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allows pharmacies to volunteer their facilities as COVID-19 vaccination sites.
Wisconsin AB 4: Allows certified pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines and pharmacy students to administer vaccines under the supervision of a pharmacist or provider who is already authorized.
Wisconsin SB255: Requires the state Department of Health Services to provide reimbursement under the Medicaid program to services provided by a licensed pharmacist.
STATE STUDIES/FINDINGS REGARDING PBM PRACTICES
NCPA helps Pa. county controller find money Wasted on PBMs: Over the past year, NCPA has provided information to Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley pertaining to his audit of the county employees’ prescription drug benefit. In his final audit, he determined proper oversight of its PBM, Express Scripts, could lead to potential savings of $1.4 million for the county. In discussions with NCPA, Controller Pinsley also expressed concerns that ESI was steering patients to out-of-state pharmacies, thus sending money out of the county and away from local, independent pharmacies.
Arkansas investigates PBM use of state funds: Pursuant to a request for information into the regulation of PBMs and state funds going to PBMs, the Arkansas Department of Insurance issued a report finding that PBMs are not in full compliance with state law, and that PBM drug formulary practices can create conflicts of interest.
Delaware investigates PBM administering state employee benefits: The Delaware State Auditor issued a report finding that the State Benefits Office cost taxpayers millions after paying its PBM $24.5 million more than it should have paid for state employees’ prescription drugs.
North Dakota shows savings by carving certain Medicaid beneficiaries out of Medicaid managed care: In testimony on the state’s Medical Services budget, North Dakota Medical Services staff released their findings that carving pharmacy benefits out of the managed care program for Medicaid expansion and the Children’s Health Insurance Program saved the state $17.259 million, exceeding the projected savings of $6.091 million.
NCPA hosted a successful virtual Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In: More than 300 community pharmacists from 47 states held virtual meetings with more than 250 congressional offices. Participants used the opportunity to tout community pharmacy’s contributions to the fight against the coronavirus and to push for much-needed full DIR reform.
NCPA members urge FTC to examine PBM trade practices: Pharmacists and independent pharmacy advocates submitted 3,076 comments to an FTC docket requesting examples of unfair trade practices.
NCPA members demand action on pharmacy DIR fees: Pharmacists submitted 5,482 emails in support of H.R. 3554/S. 1909 the Pharmacy DIR Reform to Reduce Senior Drug Costs Act since the bills were introduced. An additional 1,833 messages were sent to Democratic members of Congress urging pharmacy DIR reform to be included in the reconciliation package.
NCPA “Melts the Phones” for DIR reform: In December, NCPA launched an aggressive grassroots effort to Melt the Phones on Capitol Hill to demand an end to pharmacy DIR fees in the Build Back Better Act. Working with industry stakeholders to promote the campaign, more than 2,000 pharmacists made nearly 3,000 connections with Senate offices through phone calls, emails, and tweets. The effort resulted in contacts with Senate offices in 48 states. Additionally, more than 250 patients made over 350 connections in support of ending pharmacy DIR fees through the Fight4Rx platform and complemented a targeted paid patient phone effort to contact key Democratic leadership and Finance Committee members that resulted in an additional 2,800 patient calls urging support.
NCPA members hosted elected officials for pharmacy visits: In 2021, there were more opportunities for in-person pharmacy visits and in-district meetings with legislators or staff than in 2020, though a few were held virtually. Elected officials, or their staff, participating in such meetings included Govs. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.), Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Tom Wolf (D-Pa.); Sens. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); and Reps. Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Ron Estes (R-Kan.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Fred Keller (R-Pa.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.)
NCPA’s Truth Campaign recruits over 15,000 patient advocates for Fight4Rx: NCPA ran a multi-faceted grassroots campaign in 18 states to counter misinformation spread by the PBM lobby. The campaign resulted in the recruitment of over 15,000 patient advocates who have since been activated on other pro-patient pharmacy priorities.
THE NCPA LEGISLATIVE/LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
The 2020 unanimous 8-0 Supreme Court ruling in Rutledge v. PCMA reaffirmed a state’s right to regulate PBMs. In 2021 NCPA helped to further solidify that right when the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed North Dakota could regulate PBMs in PCMA v. Wehbi. NCPA has also continued advocating for various pieces of federal and state level legislation and helping to push forward legal arguments in cases such as NCPA v. Becerra. These crucial avenues for progress for community pharmacy were underwritten by hundreds of contributors to the Legislative/Legal Defense Fund. The LDF supports NCPA’s entire advocacy operation: research, lobbyists, attorneys, communications, the whole ball of wax. The better funded the LDF, the more resources and influence we can put toward getting our priority legislation passed and friendly regulations adopted and defending pharmacy practice in key litigation.
THE NCPA POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
The NCPA PAC supports candidates who think as you do, who understand the challenges of running a business and squeezing every nickel, so you can serve your patients well. Supporting those candidates means funding campaigns and that’s what the NCPA PAC does. To be effective requires a strong, well-funded PAC. Your personal investment in the NCPA PAC means it will have enough money to help fund congressional campaigns and build NCPA influence. Pro-pharmacy elected officials will be much more willing to consider the evidence we present concerning PBM abuses – and do something about it.
NCPA PAC participated in over 100 events: Through the support of NCPA members, NCPA PAC representatives participated in over 100 in-person and virtual political events in Washington, D.C., and across the country.
NCPA PAC volunteers raised over $50,000 for NCPA PAC: The 2021 NCPA PAC telethon was a success, raising over $50,000 in funds and pledges that will be used to elect pro-pharmacy candidates. Pharmacy owners from all over the nation volunteered their time to help make NCPA PAC’s efforts a success.
The Innovation Center develops and executes programs that inform and educate community pharmacists, allowing them to realize opportunities in an evolving health care market. In addition, NCPA Innovation Center demonstrates, researches, and supports new and expanded roles for community pharmacists.
Below are some highlights of 2021.
NCPA Innovation Center/CPESN Community Pharmacy Fellowship
The NCPA Innovation Center/CPESN® Community Pharmacy Fellowship welcomed its inaugural class of graduates. The fellowship is a one-year, post-graduate program open to any pharmacist practicing in an independent pharmacy across the country. The group meets throughout the year for topic discussions on clinical reviews, workflow practices, and enhanced services implementation led by independent pharmacy leaders. The second cohort is underway and scheduled to graduate in 2022. For more information and applications, visit ncpa.org/fellowship.
CPESN® USA grew during 2021 to include upwards of 3,500 pharmacies in 35 states. CPESN pharmacies participated in the Federal Retail Partner Program with the CDC to provide COVID-19 immunizations, monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatments, as well as point of care testing and free mask distribution.
2021 brought changes and opportunities to independent pharmacies, and the NCPA Innovation Center was quick to bring updates to members. CE and non-CE webinars are readily available to members for playback on our COVID-19 website. Standout programs include: Beat Burnout Before Boosters (CE), COVID-19 Therapeutics: Monoclonal Antibodies, Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccinations in Community Pharmacy, and Expanding on COVID-19 Immunizations: the Pediatric Population (CE). The NCPA Innovation Center is continually evaluating and updating its member resources and advocating for members as key components of care in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCPA Innovation Center collaborated with Pfizer to produce an all-encompassing resource to implementing vaccine services in community pharmacies. From business analysis through coverage an reimbursement and workflow, this resource covers everything a pharmacist needs to know about increasing their immunization reach. Booklets were distributed at Annual Convention, to ACT champions at colleges of pharmacy, and are available digitally here.
Growth & Profitability Programs
Pharmacy-Based-Point-of-Care Testing Certificate Program
NCPA collaborates with NASPA to present the Pharmacy-Based-Point-of-Care Testing Certificate Program. In 2021, the program was presented four times: twice virtually, and twice in-person. 249 pharmacists participated in the program and brought point-of-care testing back to their pharmacies. To learn more about the program and check on dates for 2022, click here.
The Business of Long-Term Care Workshop
The Business of Long-Term Care Workshop was offered virtually and in-person several times during 2021 and was condensed into an on-demand format. Theresa Hametz, VP of Client Services, LithiaRx, and Paul Shelton, PharmaComplete Consulting Services, walk participants through the basics of LTC, contracting, marketing strategies, pharmacy operations, technology innovations and efficiencies, and more in this day-long workshop. Learn more about the Business of Long-Term Care and get dates for 2022 here.
Creating Health: a Pharmacist-Led Lifestyle and Weight Management Program, taught by Dr. Kathy Campbell, owner of Medicap Pharmacy® in Owasso, Oklahoma, provides a healthy foundation for providing lifestyle and weight management services as pharmacist. The program was back for an in-person meeting at Annual Convention 2021 with great feedback from participants, and it’s available on-demand here.
Thinking Outside the Vial
Thinking Outside the Vial is a functional medicine series giving pharmacists deeper insight into topic areas such as pain and inflammation, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular health, hormones, and allergic diseases. In March of 2021, a limited-time-only session was added on COVID-19 immune support with vitamins and supplements.
Enhanced Services Boot Camp
Enhanced Services Boot Camp was offered as a hybrid format both in Little Rock, Arkansas, and online in December of 21 with over 50 participants in attendance. Attendees learned from independent pharmacy leaders Joe Moose, Michelle Belcher, and Tripp Logan on how to best implement enhanced services in their pharmacy. Sessions cover workflow, point-of-care testing, staff engagement and utilization, and hot topics like monoclonal antibodies, oral contraceptives, and working with public health. Check here for 2022 dates.
Pharmacy Ownership Workshop
Pharmacy Ownership Workshop was presented both in-person and virtually in three events during 2021.
More than 2500 pharmacists have attended the Ownership Workshop and more than 50 percent of past workshop participants now own their own pharmacy.
The NCPA Innovation produced 181 CE sessions in 2021 for the NCPA Learning Center, NCPA Annual Convention, Cardinal’s RBC, and AmerisourceBergen’s ThoughtSpot. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians enrolled in education programs produced by the NCPA Innovation Center in 2021 through webinars, CE articles, or live sessions. A few of the most popular live webinars and on-demand sessions were: Expanding on COVID-19 Immunizations: the Pediatric Population, Billing for Diabetes Education 101, and Beat Burnout Before Boosters. At NCPA Annual Convention 2021, all session rooms were packed, but a few standouts were Doctor Detailing and 9 Vitamin and Supplement Recommendations You Should Be Making. Feedback for next year’s programming called for staff engagement, enhanced services, and business development. Visit https://ncpa.org/learn to view current CE offerings.
Community pharmacists, pharmacy residents, and student pharmacists presented posters on community pharmacy research, business plans, and student engagement at 2021 Annual Convention.
Community Pharmacy Residency and Fellowship Showcase
NCPA’s Residency Showcase features community-based residencies and fellowships for Annual Convention attendees in the Expo hall. Participants flooded the showcase for its entirety- so much that several also attended NCPA’s virtual community pharmacy residency and fellowship programming.
Diabetes Prevention Program
2021 closed out the first cohort of the NCPA Innovation Center’s contract with the CDC to provide diabetes prevention programs in independent pharmacies. Patients enrolled in the program lost an average of 16.01 pounds, or 7.18% of initial body weight, exceeding CDC goals for the program.
NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner of the Year Sponsored by RxSafe
At the 2021 NCPA Annual Convention, Martika Martin of Danhauer Drug was honored as the 2021 NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner of the Year.
NCPA Innovation Center Excellence (NICE) Awards Sponsored by RedSail
Best Community Engagement – Phipps Pharmacy in Tennessee
Best Exterior Sign – Spruce Mountain Pharmacy in Jay, Maine
Best External Modification – Bell Pharmacy in Camden, N.J.
Best Internal Modification – Avant Pharmacy and Wellness Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Best Delivery Vehicle – Table Rock Pharmacy in Morganton, N.C.
Best Marketing/Promotion – Tomahawk Pharmacy in Tomahawk, Wis.
Pathways to Pharmacy Ownership
NCPA was proud to participate in and sponsor the 2nd Annual Minority Pharmacist Entrepreneur Conference (MPECrx) in September 2021. Through that partnership we created Pathways to Pharmacy Ownership, an initiative that provides ownership resources and mentorship to pharmacists belonging to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Pathways is a year-long, application-based program launching in January 2022 for a select group of pharmacists seeking tools and resources to support their pharmacy ownership efforts.
NCPA will host a series of webinars and virtual discussions on the fundamentals of pharmacy ownership — including topics such as personal finance, loan options, timelines, and more. Pathways pharmacists will have the opportunity to have their business plans reviewed by industry experts before submitting to financial institutions for consideration. They will also be connected with NCPA pharmacy owner mentors, and be awarded scholarships to attend the October 2022 Ownership Workshop, sponsored by McKesson.
Understanding that there is quite a bit of preparatory work one must do before opening or buying a pharmacy, Pathways to Pharmacy Ownership aims to provide valuable business knowledge and professional insights to help reduce barriers and increase entrepreneurial potential for these pharmacists.
NCPA holds several live events every year, including its annual convention. The NCPA Annual Convention is the largest and most important event in the United States for independent community pharmacists. It attracts thousands of people from across the country and hundreds of businesses that partner with community pharmacists. NCPA was fortunate to be one of the only national organizations to hold a live convention in 2021.
Other regular events include the annual Multiple Locations Convention, a special educational event for members with more than one pharmacy, and the annual NCPA Congressional Pharmacy Fly-in. Those events were postponed in 2021 due to COVID-19.
The NCPA Annual Convention and Expo is the premiere national conference for independent community pharmacists. The convention offers an exhibit hall with an array of exhibitors from software programming niches to front end products, peer to peer networking, CE and non-CE programming including the newest education pertaining to the latest in industry activities along with an address on the state of the industry from NCPA’s CEO and a presidential address from NCPA’s president.
Multiple Locations Conference
The NCPA Multiple Locations Conference is the premiere national conference targeting independent community pharmacists multiple store owners. The conference offers an exhibit hall with an array of exhibitors from software vendors to front end products, peer to peer networking, CE and non-CE programming including the newest education focused on the latest in industry activities pertaining to multi store ownership. This conference is not limited to multi store owners, it is open to all independent pharmacists, those expanding to additional store ownership to those who have one store.
Congressional Pharmacy Fly-in
NCPA hosted a successful virtual Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In: More than 300 community pharmacists from 47 states held virtual meetings with more than 250 congressional offices. Participants used the opportunity to tout community pharmacy’s contributions to the fight against the coronavirus and to push for much-needed full DIR reform.