Pharmacists ranked near the top of Gallup’s 2023 list of “most ethical” professions, coming in third after nurses and doctors, with 58 percent of respondents giving pharmacists either a “very high” or “high ranking.” These sentiments seem to affirm findings of a survey by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, which found almost 80 percent of patients said they consider their pharmacist “an integral part of their healthcare team.”
The high regard patients have for their pharmacists is certainly justified, given the front-line role pharmacists have in not just ensuring patients receive their medications, but in providing an increasing array of health-related services. And while patient care will always come first, pharmacists must also contend with the multiple day-to-day challenges that affect pharmacy operations.
The term “pain point” is often used to describe these challenges, and it is an apt description. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a pain point as “something that is a recurring source of trouble, annoyance, or distress.” Unfortunately, many tasks associated with operating a pharmacy meet this definition.
While topics including direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, reimbursement rates, time constraints, regulatory requirements, and overall profitability are top of mind for most pharmacists, the list seems to grow with every pharmacist asked to offer an opinion.