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What's Your Value? Special Guest: Greg L. Alston PharmD - PPN Episode 790

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Pharmacy Podcast Network

In March of 2009, Todd S. Eury, launched the Pharmacy Podcast Show. Over the years, the Pharmacy Podcast has accumulated over 75,000+ listeners and su 
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The Value Strategy Guy

I help frustrated, overworked professionals worried about the state of their profession, select and implement the best value strategy possible so they can get paid what they are worth and build a secure future for themselves and their families.


Special Guest Greg L. Alston, with Ben Coakley on the Income Outcomes Show.

The profession of pharmacy has been an awesome career for me.  It has allowed me the freedom to practice in a variety of environments and to provide for my family.  But the profession I entered in 1977 is not the profession we are looking at today.  And in my opinion, many of the commonly held beliefs about the profession are keeping people from being successful.  My goal is to challenge your unsaid assumptions and internal biases.  By challenging those biases, I believe you will discover a new world of opportunity for your career.

There are three big misconceptions that I believe the profession has been singing the wrong song about. I don’t think anybody has been doing this intentionally to harm the profession and yet I think the lack of progress the profession has made primarily emanates from some of these misguided assumptions.

The Field of Dreams Strategy

The first mantra that has been pounding through the profession for the last 40 years is what I call, the field of dreams strategy.  We have felt that, “if we build it they will come.” We have believed that if we improved the clinical skills of our professional pharmacists that the public would willingly pay for these new services.  However, this has failed to happen, and it has failed to happen because leadership misunderstands how value is created for a target market.

A recent article in the American Journal of the Pharmacy Association pointed this out very clearly when their survey of patients who had been exposed to medication therapy management services came back with some unexpectedly negative results.   Approximately 60% of the patients who were aware of the services and aware of what the pharmacist could do said they had no interest or not very much interest in receiving the services.

Let me tell you what I think this means.  It does not mean that those services are not valuable.  It does not mean that people don’t need those services.  What it means is our profession has done a terrible job of marketing those services.  We argue with ourselves.  We write articles in our journals.  We complained to our legislators.  But we have never made a compelling case to our patients that what we do is critical for their health.

There is no more clear proof of this than comparing what pharmacists have done for their profession to what dentists have done for their profession.  If you ask any adult in America how often they need to go to their dentist to have a good thorough cleaning and inspection they will tell you every six months.  If you ask anyone in America how often should a person taking multiple medications go to their pharmacist for a complete medication review, you will be met with blank stares.  Again, we have done a terrible job of marketing our profession.

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