The Pharmacy Podcast Show is the industry's first audio blog about the 'Business of Pharmacy'. The Pharmacy Podcast Network is dedicated to the pharmacy profession and is a collection of content with diverse topics within the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharmacy Podcast Show is about good useable content, information, and innovative ideas that we believe will advance the pharmacy profession. We are always expanding our programming to Independent Retail, Compounding, Long-term Care, Specialty, Hospital Systems, and Small Chain Pharmacy Businesses. We're expanding content for Patients and Pharmacy Students and encourage our listeners to submit ideas for future shows. The Pharmacy Podcast Show is about dynamic people in the pharmacy industry making a difference for our profession, customers, and patients.
Certifications for Pharmacist Career Development - Pharmacy Podcast Episode 383
The Pharmacy Podcast Network Career Development Guru, Dr. Erin Albert talks about 'Certifications & your Pharmacy Career'.
How to Get Access to the Pharmacist & Healthcare Certifications List:
2. Scroll down to the left side of the page, and enter your email address for an updated list of pharmacist certifications in Erin Albert's emails.
Orgs mentioned specifically in the podcast:
1. HIMSS -
Article on certifications as a growing area for pharmacists and healthcare professional career development vs. other forms of continuing education: 
Direct download: Certifications_for_Pharmacist_Career_Development.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

Jeff Hedges, the Pharmacy Compliance Guide is back discussing the IMPACT repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on the Pharmacy Industry. 

Question: Now that the Republicans have control of both houses and the White House, they are going to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. What does this mean?

Answer: The current system is broken, mainly because the government and the insurance companies worked together to write this law to control health care payments to health care practitioners. Patient care and the health care practitioners were not factored into the law.

Question: Will the new healthcare law contain the popular portions of the ACA?

Answer: Before the ACA was created, both the Republicans and Democrats agreed that pre-existing conditions, children staying on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26 as well as many small portions of health care that benefit patients and providers. In fact, 80% of the ACA had been mutually agreed upon by everyone before the law was enacted. However, over the last eight years, this fact has been forgotten.

Question: So why is the ACA considered to be so bad?

Answer: ACA eliminated competition and fixed pricing for practitioners. Then turned over the management of health plans to the insurance carriers with no oversight on premiums. This eliminated competition by the mergers of insurance companies. Now there are only six national insurance carriers who set their premiums and control the market. 

Question: What can we expect with the new changes to health care?     

Answer: 2017 insurance policies have already been written, so there will be no changes for current policies. However, depending on what changes are made in the first half of 2017, 2018 may have a completely different look for health insurance.

Question: What can we expect the first changes to be made in our healthcare?

Answer: Interstate competition. Enabling insurance companies to compete across state lines will have a dramatic effect on insurance premiums.

Health care practitioners will be involved in the development of the new regulations so the focus is on health care to the patient and the patient / doctor relationship. This concept alone will redefine the entire health care program in the United States. The simple concept of patient driven care rather than cost driven care will be the most radical change.

Question: We hear about practitioners, especially pharmacies, who are being reimbursed below their acquisition prices, is this true and if so, how are healthcare facilities able to stay in business?

Answer: Yes, as insurance premiums continue to climb, reimbursement to providers are being cut. Especially in the pharmacy industry. 75% of generic drugs are reimbursed at or below acquisition price. The insurance companies have also imposed a Direct / Indirect Remunerations (DIR) fee that is clawed back 60 days after the reimbursement is made. This can be a flat fee or a percentage and it fluctuates, this makes it difficult to plan your cash flow. This fee has forced thousands of pharmacies out of business.

What key points need to be addressed as the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced- points to keep if speaking to members of Congress

Before the ACA was created, both the Republicans and Democrats agreed that pre-existing conditions, children staying on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26 as well as many small portions of health care that benefit patients and providers. In fact, 80% of the ACA had been mutually agreed upon by everyone before the law was enacted. However, over the last eight years, this fact has been forgotten.

Critical points that are hurting pharmacies and patients

  1. Pharmacy Benefit Managers have:
    1. Established a regulatory empire with no over-sight
    2. Established reimbursement rates for pharmacies with no input on acquisition prices
    3. Worked in collusion with insurance companies
    4. Set price fixing with other PBMs
    5. Have no transparency, even with mandatory state laws requiring transparency
  1. Direct / Indirect Remunerations (DIR) fees
    1. Were initially established under the ACA as a quality payment to pharmacies for providing quality patient services
    2. Let health insurance attorneys working with HHS the ability to change definitions within the ACA, to change the quality payments to a DIR fee. The DIR Fee is an after service fee (insurance tax) deducted or clawed back normally 60 days after the reimbursement. This is either a percentage or flat fee that also changes from carrier to carrier and throughout the year. This has the most detrimental effect on pharmacies’ cash flow and consequently forces them out of business.
  1. Mandatory Mail Order
    1. Insurance carriers increasingly force patients into the insurance company’s mail order pharmacy.
    2. Prescriptions are auto-filled/auto-shipped without patient consent
    3. Patients become overwhelmed with excess medications and DME products
    4. Medicare/Medicaid/Tri-Care are the payors who are the end losers who pay for extra fees for services not needed.
  1. Orthotic Products moved to Off-the-Shelf
    1. This single move has caused rampant fraud throughout the country
    2. The current practice allows the mail order companies to advertise in all forms of media. A patient contacts the supplier who matches them with a physician over the phone. Physician writes prescription and sends to the mail order medical supply company who then ships the product to patient. No medical necessity is required. Thousands of new fraud cases are occurring every month.
  1. Competitive Bidding has:
    1. Drastically reduced patient access to DMEPOS products
    2. Reduced reimbursements for DMEPOS products leads to cheaper products being dispensed therefore, affecting the quality of care


-It’s a great time to be in pharmacy and a better time to be looking into accreditation to be able to add the most amount of services and reimbursements to your bottom line. 

Connect with Jeff today: 

R.J. Hedges & Associates

163 9th Street PO Box H  New Florence, PA 15944  

Phone: (724) 357-8380

Direct download: Pharmacy_Compliance_Guide_2.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 2:18pm EST


The Pharmacist Vlog w/ Kevin Yee

Guest: Kevin Yee 

Today we’re talking with Kevin Yee, a pharmacy vlogger with a lot of good advice who started his pharmacy journey at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences but is now living in Los Angeles. It’s tough to find people in pharmacy that can show you what the day-to-day life is, but his YouTube channel has ton of content. You can find him on YouTube if you put in Kevin Yee the PharmD in the search bar. 


What do you do if you're struggling in school (not academically)?

You're failing in school, academically, what do you do? 

What's it like to be married in pharmacy school 

After pharmacy school 

What's it like to live and work in California

Why do (or don't do) a pharmacy residency 

Cal State Long Beach talk 

Brown Bag Event with Southern Cal students 

How things have changed for you over the three years (you can totally see it in your videos) 

Kevin Yee the PharmD


YouTube: KevinYeethePharmD

Instagram: kevin_the_refugee

Direct download: Pharmacy_Future_Leaders_-_Kevin_Yee.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 9:29am EST

On this episode of the Pharmacy Marketing Simplified Podcast, Nicolle interviews Marketing guru and Founder of Heinz Marketing -- Matt Heinz about the power of Networking with other businesses in your community. 

About Matt:

Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.  Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. Matt is a repeat winner of Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.  Matt is living through the renovation of a 105-year old historic farmhouse in Kirkland, Washington with his wife, Beth and three young children.

Matt Heinz Speaking Engagements

You can read more from Matt on his blog, Matt on Marketingfollow him on Twitter, or check out his books (listed below) on

Contact Nicolle McClure

2929 Westown Pkwy., Suite 100,

West Des Moines, IA 50266


Direct download: Making_B2B_Connections.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 8:46am EST

Kristy Sobel, host of the Patient's Podcast, interviews a retired United States Air Force Pararescue hero - Mike. The conversation is testimony to the day by day life our military heroes live with many suffering from chronic pain, (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and other conditions from their time serving in the military. 

Mike is a part of a special foundation dedicated to honoring and assisting fellow Pararescue Service men and women. (Pararescue Foundation

United States Air Force Pararescuemen, also known as “PJs,” and their Combat Rescue Officer leaders are the only US force specifically trained and equipped to execute the most dangerous and technical rescue operations worldwide.  Regardless of enemy threat or environmental conditions, these elite warriors stand ready to find isolated and injured people, render expert medical care, and return them safely.

Such selfless service takes a toll on military families.  These warriors operate at a convergence of roles known to be high-risk for Post-Traumatic Stress: ground combat, trauma medicine, and the recovery of human remains.  Also, the physical burden of carrying patients, rescue equipment, and combat loads through parachute insertions, armed conflict, open ocean swims, glacier travel and mountainous terrain routinely results in chronic physical and neurological damage.

The Pararescue Foundation is the only entity dedicated to exclusively support US Air Force Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer service members, veterans and their families.  

Please donate to this admirable cause: 

Direct download: Military_Service_Patients_Podcast.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 1:12pm EST

What is a Medical Science Liaison? - Pharmacy Podcast Episode 378

What is a Medical Science Liaison?

By Erin Albert – Career Development Co-Host, Pharmacy Podcast

Slides on What is a MSL? at:

Book excerpt, The Medical Science Liaison, an A to Z Guide:

First print edition of The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide at Amazon:

Second digital edition of The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide at Amazon:

Work with me on your pharmacy career development – here’s the spring mastermind application:

Get cool tools just for pharmacists and lists of certifications, pharmacy meetings by signing up for my blog’s newsletter and sharing your email address at:

Direct download: MSL_Erin_L_Albert_2017.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Pharmacy Future Leaders - Sara Vande Walle  - Pharmacy Podcast Episode 377


On the Road to a Career in Managed Care

Guest: Sara Vande Walle  (email:

P4 at UMN at Elite 8 Finalist Team, AMCP P&T National Competition 

Sara is a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Minnesota with a primary focus on managed care pharmacy. Last year, her team placed in the top 8 nationally competing in the AMCP National P&T Competition. Sara has held many leadership positions during pharmacy school in Phi Delta Chi and in the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance. Sara graduated from UW-Madison in 2013 with a degree in genetics.

  1. Everyone’s leadership road is a little different, tell us what you are doing now and how you got there. 
  1. What do you feel is your area of expertise and what are two things that we can really learn from what you do?
  1. Tell us how you became a leader and how your perception changed when that happened.
  1. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you as a leader and how did you get out of it?
  1. Tell us about a time when you had an epiphany that changed how you thought about something.
  1. What’s the one thing you’re most excited about now?
  1. What blanket advice do you have for someone wanting to get to where you are?
  1. How do you prefer people contact you?

email : , twitter @pharmacyfocus


Direct download: PFL_Sara_Vande_Walle.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:00am EST

7 Steps to a Super 2017 - Pharmacy Podcast Episode 376

7 Steps to a Super 2017

By Erin Albert – - @ErinLAlbert on Twitter

Step 1: Start with your 2016 goals.

            -What % did you achieve?

            -What did you miss?

            -Did you not achieve more than 25% of your goals?    

                        -If so, pare down the # of goals in 2017.

 Step 2: Wordle yourself!

            -9 World Clouds other than Wordle:

            -I used Tagul:

 STEP 3: Read the book, Designing Your Life by Burnett and Evans

            -Tests in the book to try:

                        -Mind Mapping

                        -The 5 Year Scenarios Test

                        -A day in the life test

STEP 4: Go through the workbook, Your Best Year 2017

            -This is a HARDCORE workbook – there’s a lot of work here!

STEP 5: Understand your feelings and energy around setting your goals and your 2017:

            -Read The Desire Map

            -Read Change Your Aura, Change Your Life

STEP 6: Write down your goals for 2017!

            -Harvard study on writing down goals:

            -Put your goals in buckets or major categories, then no more than 3 SMART goals in each bucket

            -Limit your goals to ONE piece of paper – focus.

            -How to write SMART goals:

STEP 7: Put your 2017 written goals IN YOUR FACE.

            -Put them up in your bathroom

            -Put them in something you carry around with you

                        -I use my Moleskine

                        -If you like putting them in your smartphone, use Evernote, or Wunderlist

            -Find a goal accountability buddy


Direct download: 7_Steps_Goals_2017.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:01am EST

Thanks to our sponsors, the American Pharmacy Purchasing Alliance (APPA) drafted a LinkedIn posting titled: Pharmacy Benefit Managers: The Mafia of the Pharmaceutical Industry

We talk with Brian E. Dickerson, with Fisher & Broyles - Pharmacy Business strategists and lawyers fighting for Independent Pharmacies. 

The healthcare costs in the United States have steadily risen over the years. This has made it almost impossible for ordinary people to obtain early and ongoing medical attention, properly manage their health conditions, and stay away from serious illnesses and even death that could otherwise have been avoided. This increase can be attributed to many factors but, in terms of the rise of pharmaceutical costs, a lot of the blame can be piled on pharmacy benefit managers.

These organizations (which are better known as PBMs) were originally formed in the 1960s to help process the prescription transactions of health plans. Over the years, their scope has expanded to include other services. Now, many PBMs are in charge of creating and updating formularies, liaising with drug manufacturers and partner pharmacies, managing patient compliance programs, and doing other tasks.

On the surface, it would seem that pharmacy benefit managers are assisting employers and insurers in reducing their expenses while helping patients get the prescriptions they need at lower prices. But, if you look closer, you’ll realize that things aren’t what they really seem: the organizations that were designed to help people have transformed themselves into the PBM Mafia.

PBMs and Overcharging

Perhaps one of the most corrupt practices of the PBM Cartel is overcharging. PBMs have the power to instruct pharmacies on how much copay they should charge customers; if a PBM decides to charge sky-high copay, pharmacies can do nothing but obey. Customers, on their part, have no choice but to pay, just so they can have their prescriptions filled.

Earnings from copay don’t stay in pharmacies, though. Pharmacy benefit managers can take back a portion of the customers’ copay after they have determined how much they would pay the drugstores. Sometimes, pharmacies are left with enough money to enjoy a profit; other times, they’re left with barely enough to cover the cost of purchasing and dispensing the drug.

Other Dubious Practices

Aside from charging exorbitant copay amounts and underpaying pharmacies, the PBM Mafia can earn from many other ways. They can get huge discounts from drug manufacturers but refuse to pass on these savings to the insurers and patients. They can also reimburse pharmacies a certain rate for a certain type of drug, then charge employers and insurers a higher rate for the same drug — keeping the difference between the two amounts for themselves.

They can even accept deals from manufacturers to keep a certain drug on health plan formularies. Manufacturers usually need to pay a substantial amount to PBMs to push this deal through, but they can recoup this investment later on since customers under the health plan will be forced to buy their product. For the PBM Cartel and big pharma companies, it’s a win-win situation.

The PBM Mafia has the opportunity to pull these stunts simply because there are virtually no laws that regulate their actions. There are a few rules in place, but many companies simply find a way around them. Because of these, a lot of PBMs can include and exclude drugs from formularies whenever they want and change their pricing structure at will — leaving insurers, employers, and patients virtually helpless.

What Can We Do About It?

The Congress is currently looking into pharmacy benefit managers and will hopefully come up with laws that will regulate how these organizations behave. While waiting for these regulations, pharmacies, insurers, and employers can demand transparency from the PBM cartel they work with and perhaps even switch to smaller PBMs that charge a flat fee and have a transparent pricing model.

CONTACT: Brian E. Dickerson, Esq. Direct: 202.570.0248| |

(Original Interview with Brian located here:

Direct download: Strategy_Fighting__Winning_Against_the_PBMs.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 12:30am EST

Pharmacy Future Leaders - Lindsay Case - Pharmacy Podcast Episode 374


International APPEs and Ambulatory Care

Guest: Lindsay Case

P4 at University of Colorado Denver                                                   

Welcome to the Pharmacy Podcast Network, I’m your cohost Tony Guerra for the PharmacyFutureLeaders podcast broadcasting from DMACC Health and Public Services Building in Ankeny, Iowa.

Connect with me on Twitter Tony_PharmD or on my TonyPharmD YouTube channel where you can find over 700 videos on drug pronunciation, memorization, and the Top 200 that support my audiobook Memorizing Pharmacology. ]

Lindsay Case is a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Colorado Denver. She was the Vice-President of the Colorado Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and currently serves as Chair for the ASHP Pharmacy Student Forum Community and eCommunications Advisory Group. She grew up in O lay thuh, Colorado and received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado. Today we’ll be talking about rural health, international rotations, and the road to ambulatory care.


1.Everyone’s leadership road is a little different, what was your leadership journey through the career quiz, ASHP, APHA, PLS/Rho Chi and so forth

1b. I’d like to hear more about the University of Colorado campus, it sounds like it’s a bit like Maryland where we had a smaller college of about 5,000 mostly professional students.

1c. Can you tell more about the interprofessional “Dawn” clinic?

  1. Tell me about CA-HEC and how they work with medical and pharmacy students to help you with your APPE rotations, I think you’re in Alamosa, Colorado.
  1. How do students use AirB&B for rotations now and you mentioned there are ways to get discounts.
  1. You mentioned you were really excited about a rotation in Dublin, Ireland and you mentioned there’s another one in Galway, can you tell me how you go set up with that and what you’re looking forward to?
  1. I’ll play devil’s advocate, what’s the point of going abroad?
  1. 6. How have do split and use social media between professional and personal? 

7.What do you hope to do after your fourth year? You mentioned residency PGY-1, PGY-2, and an interest in rural health care.

  1. How have you narrowed down your list of residency choices and whom do you turn to for advice?
  1. 9. Looking back, what parts of the pharmacy opportunities out there that you didn’t know about before?
  1. Can you explain the difference between ambulatory care and community pharmacy for some of our listeners who are thinking about pharmacy as a profession?
  1. How do you prefer people contact you?

Lindsay Case (email:

P4 at University of Colorado Denver      

  • Email:
  • Twitter: @LindsayPharmD2B
  • LinkedIn:
Direct download: Pharmacy_Future_Leaders_-_Lindsay_Case.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 9:45am EST