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Connelly: 'Let's level the playing field'

Connelly: 'Let's level the playing field'

Lynn Connelly is a trusted advocate for the customers who visit the Medicine Mart Pharmacy in West Columbia, S.C. But he's also been a leading proponent for independent pharmacists in his state. His efforts have led to the passage of important legislation advancing and recognizing the role of independent pharmacists.

Connelly was named the 2017 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year award by the National Community Pharmacists Association. The award recognizes exemplary leadership and commitment to the community.

Connelly shares his insight into the challenges his industry faces:

HME News: What's your involvement with the next generation of pharmacists?

Lynn Connelly: I've been really involved with the colleges. We have seven different pharmacy students who are employees. I'm on the board for the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center. Through that, we've started a community residency pharmacy program. It's still the only community residency pharmacy program in the state. Our residents bring a whole slew of new services to us, like immunizations, help with selecting Medicare Part D, comprehensive medication reviews and lots of detailed counseling.

HME: What are some of the biggest challenges facing an independent Rx these days?

Connelly: We had two patients who had been with us long-term. They told us, “Mail order gets us the prescription for no copay.” I hope we can level the playing field and let consumers have a true choice. We're also dealing with decreased reimbursement from PBM or third parties. That's why at the NCPA trade show it was so good to see so many new ideas coming about. I think that's where pharmacy is headed.

HME: How do you see the future of pharmacy?

Connelly: I think just bringing in enhanced services to the community. We're on the cutting edge with our resident. He's got his own office and his own thing he's doing. We will send them over to the resident to sit down one one and analyze their situation. You  can't always do that when you're on the counter. You just have to have some extra help.


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