Lucas Smith, Pharm.D.,  has been an active presence in Colorado pharmacy for several years. We met him, and worked together on student memberships in the Colorado Pharmacists Society, when he served as NCPA student chapter president at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  Just recently, he received the 2017 Pharmacists Mutual’s Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award, once again illustrating his passion for the profession.

Dr. Smith started working at Buena Vista Drug immediately after graduation and entered into a junior partnership agreement with the current owners. He is slowly transitioning the ownership of the pharmacy to himself over several years and is hoping to become the full owner of the pharmacy very soon.

When I arrived at Buena Vista Drug the previous owner had not made any significant changes to his practice and the pharmacy’s primary role was the traditional dispensing of medications. Since I became a partner I have made many changes including starting a vaccination program (which has grown to providing over 1000 vaccines annually), starting a disease state education program run by fourth year pharmacy students from the University of Colorado, adding a drive thru window, implementing a medication synchronization program, expanding our compounding services (we do non-sterile compounding), bringing in light DME rentals, offering MTM services, and implementing the new statewide protocols provided by SB 135 for oral contraceptives and smoking cessation.

He’s not stopping there. He sees many opportunities for retail pharmacy to venture out into new areas beyond traditional dispensing. As part of the newly formed Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN) in Colorado he’s hoping to see this organization be the backbone to support these new services and to approach payers in the healthcare industry so pharmacists can be reimbursed for these services. Dr. Smith also aims to expand protocols with providers in Buena Vista to offer more clinical services at his pharmacy.

Through the provision of enhanced services, CPESN pharmacies such as Buena Vista Drug commit to improving health outcomes and decreasing total healthcare costs for their patients. These pharmacies, focus on patients instead of prescriptions; establish strong relationships with their patients and members of the local healthcare community; and their services transcend those of most outpatient pharmacies.

Enhanced services address the unique medication use needs of complex patients, thereby helping them achieve the best possible results from medication use. Examples include: home delivery with patients status review, medication synchronization with clinical review, and adherence packaging with patient coaching.(source:

There are legislative  challenges impacting those opportunities at both the national and state levels.

Nationally I see provider status as a significant hurdle to overcome. I believe having that changed could help advance our profession. Legislation to combat PBM practices such as DIR fees and forcing beneficiaries to utilize mail order pharmacies is another area of concern as PBMs try to find new ways to make a larger profit in the industry. For my compounding business the implementation of USP 800 will be very costly and I can see it putting some small compounding pharmacies out of business. I provide a service that is not available within 100 miles of my pharmacy and I would hate to be unable to provide this service.

Dr. Smith believes Value Pharmacist can help by providing information on how pharmacists can become involved in advocating for these needed changes.

There are many organizations that are advocating for our profession and it would be nice to have one website that had all those efforts consolidated. I also believe in networking and sharing ideas.  Value Pharmacist can help by providing a portal for other innovative pharmacies to discuss new services they offer and challenges they are facing.

Great ideas Lucas. That’s a challenge to US at VP! So we’ve initiated a member forum for interested pharmacists to discuss new services and challenges. We invite every Value Pharmacists member to participate at  Invite your inventive colleagues to join the conversation.

Enhancing Services in a Community Pharmacy

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