Advancing The Profession of Pharmacy

When we spoke she said she felt completely uninspired and trapped by her current situation…

by | May 23, 2018 | Consulting Pharmacist Education

“Remember, if you do the thing you’ve always done, you can expect the results you’ve always gotten.”

A pharmacist emailed me the other day and set up a call.

When we spoke she said she felt completely uninspired and trapped by her current situation.  She desperately wanted a different job, but was terrified to leave because the job market in her area was “super saturated”.  She didn’t want her family to struggle financially if she was going to be out of work for a while.

But on the other hand said she was so miserable she felt she had no other options.

She told me she was tired of being a “pill pusher” and dreamed of using her skills to work with providers offering chronic care management services to their patients.

I told her how I felt when I lost my job (at 6 months pregnant) and about my hesitation to sign on for another full time position, complete with more responsibilities, a so/so salary and a hefty two hour commute.

I told her that quite by accident, I was able to create a career I loved and that matched my vision for the future of pharmacy.

She wanted to know how could she “pull off” a consulting business herself – financially, logistically and legally?

She told me she dreamed of the freedom and satisfaction of working on her own terms, and had wanted to move forward, but still felt she needed to “get her ducks in a row” first.

Then, she asked me a very concerning question that I could not answer for her.

She asked, “do you know if anyone in my area has already started offering these types of services?”

She realized that her need to have everything figured out was holding her back and that someone else could have already beaten her to the [opportunity] punch.

I told her about the great results other pharmacists had gotten after joining the Academy.  They were creating new jobs for themselves, building new programs for pharmacies and working with providers to help patients as part of an integrated healthcare team.

The plan we give our members is pretty simple:

  1. Join the Academy and go through the training program
  2. Create a program using the information in the Academy
  3. Enjoy building a successful business and career around your programs

I promised her I was committed to providing her with the resources and guidance she needed to feel confident about offering her services.

Time and time again I’ve seen that confidence translates into more clients, patients, collaborative partners and most importantly OPPORTUNITIES.

She was concerned about the time and money she’d need to invest in order to reach her goals.

I could tell she was retreating in to what I like to call the “complacency cave”…

…that place where your primitive (lizard) brain tells you to hide so you’ll never experience the “dangers” of discomfort.

So I told her, “This program may or may not be for you, but I will tell you who it IS for.  In fact, I’ve found entrepreneurship is not meant for MOST PEOPLE.  However, she did have a clear set of options.

  1. Find another job, one that you may or may not fulfill your dreams and lead to career satisfaction
  2. Stay in your current circumstances where you’re feeling uninspired and trapped until you can financially afford to leave
  3. Give this idea a try and work it alongside what you’re currently doing and see how it goes.

She said, “You know right, Blair, you are right.”

But wouldn’t you recommend waiting until I have a client who already wanted me to come in and work before investing in the e-course?

I said, “It is true that some lucky pharmacists come to me AFTER they’ve already been approached with an opportunity, but for most of the time, the business comes BEFORE the first client.

For this reason, I’ve created Lesson 11 which should have been titled “Deciphering MACRA in order to speak the language of providers” but it wasn’t.  We’re simply calling it “MACRA, Prescriber Detailing and Non-Compliance Diagnosis Codes” But anyways, this is why I created the 11th Lesson of the e-Course, a full 3-module Lesson on prescriber detailing, speaking their language and aligning your services with quality goals to provide optimal value.

She agreed and said she got very nervous when “marketing herself” to people.

I assured her that was part of the process and would be overcome by gaining confidence in her model and growing as an entrepreneur.

She said, “You know, I’m already confident in my clinical abilities, now I do need to spend some time learning about business so I can build my reputation as a pharmacy consultant.  I want to the person people think of when they hear about new opportunities. You’re right, I do want to make myself THE Pharmacist to call!”

What about you, dear reader?  How are you setting yourself up to be the pharmacist to call?

Lesson 11 of the e-Course at the Academy builds on Lessons 7-10 and continues sharing information on the advanced MTM services a consultant pharmacy group can offer in a retail or clinic setting.

Lessons 7 through 11 discuss Chronic Care Management and Transitional Care Management Codes, MTM pharmacotherapy codes, incident to billing criteria, pharmacogenomic testing, point of care testing and creating a solid collaborative practice agreement.

If you are ready to begin offering consulting services, don’t wait until someone else has it already figured out.

This is a new opportunity in a new market and if you don’t move quickly someone else will beat you to the collaborative punch!

I’m blocking off my Summer schedule to spend more time with my kiddos…

If you are ready to build your consulting services and realize your full potential as a consultant pharmacist register for our free live webinar and learn how the Academy has helped hundreds of pharmacists become “THE Pharmacist to Call”.

On our free webinar “The 5 Ways to Take Your MTM Consultations to the Next Level”, you’ll discover new opportunities to offer patients and providers to provide a ton of value.

Here’s what we’ll discuss on the webinar:

1. Collaborative Practice Agreements

Collaborative practice agreements (CPAs) are used to create formal relationships between pharmacists and physicians or other providers that allow for pharmacist-led expanded services for the patient.It is important for pharmacists to understand physician quality benchmarks created by the MACRA legislation in order to align pharmacy MTM consulting services with CMS and provider goals.  Understanding the providers’ motivations helps strengthen relationships and thus collaborative efforts.

Here are a few ideas about enhanced MTM programs you can implement under a collaborative practice agreement.

  • Therapeutic Substitution
  • Ordering Labs
  • Chronic Disease State Management
    • Chronic Care Management (CCM)
    • Transitional Care Management (TCM)
    • The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)
  • Immunizations
    • CMS Quality Measures in MACRA
      • Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Adherence Programs

2. Alternative Health Centers

In order to rebrand pharmacy as a place for “healthy people” as well as “sick” people we need to start offering more products for the former.

In a common MTM practice, patients who are not on 6 or more chronic medications and have 2 or more chronic conditions are often overlooked.  However, in a holistic MTM approach, preventative and alternative therapies may be a better option.

There is a $34 billion dollar industry for alternative health practitioners and products.  There is a booming Health and Wellness industry where pharmacy isn’t even considered as being a player: the areas of nutrigenomics and personalized medicine should be of particular interest to enterprising pharmacists.

  • Weight Management Service
  • Hormone Support Service
  • Anti-Aging/Sleep/Fatigue Counseling
  • Neutraceuticals Recommendations

3. Genetic Testing

The global genetic testing market is anticipated to grow from $50.54 million in 2017 to $118.56 million by 2026, with North America being the largest player.

The market for genetic testing is growing as we find more and more evidence-based uses for results and as the tests decrease in cost.

Personally, genetic testing has helped me identify ways to be healthier: supplements my body needs, medications I should avoid and even how to exercise more effectively.  Using genetic testing to help guide medication recommendations during MTM interventions and throughout a patient’s life can help keep the patient healthy.

  • Pharmacogenomics Testing Identifies Metabolism Issues
  • Nutrigenomics Testing Identifies Gene-Induced Nutrient Deficiencie
  • Exercise + Nutritional Support
  • Food Sensitivity Testing

4. Point of Care Testing and Screening

The global POCT market was estimated at $13.87 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow over $23.92 billion by 2026.  The rise in the geriatric population along with the increased prevalence of chronic diseases is expected to boost the demand for POCT devices and drive growth of the global market.

Having lab information about a patient at your fingertips is super valuable during an MTM intervention.  It can help you evaluate creatinine clearance, A1C and cholesterol levels in addition to screening

  • Rapid Diagnostic Test
  • Screening Test
  • Assessment of Therapeutic Goals

5. Marketing

Most healthcare professionals fail miserably when marketing and branding themselves.  We know small pharmacies probably are more convenient and lower priced than retail chains.  However, those chains have billion-dollar-marketing-budgets and we just CANNOT compete with that.
Pharmacy has an opportunity to rebrand itself.  There is a trend for chiropractic offices to become centers for holistic medicine, natural supplements and alternative therapies instead of focusing on the more traditional “mechanical” chiropractic approach.
I believe that pharmacists who stay set in there ways and nostalgic for the past will continue to receive diminishing returns and those that adapt with the times will create a better future for themselves.
What do you believe about the profession of pharmacy that sets you apart?  How would you feel if someone else created the program you’ve been dreaming of?
MTM was pharmacy’s first chance to get paid for our cognitive services.  It is up to us to build on top of the opportunity to serve patients in this way.  Would you be open-minded to expanding your service offerings and most importantly letting OTHERS know the value of your services?
A good marketing strategy consists of having a solution to someones problem.  Here’s just a few ideas of marketing platforms that you can use to leverage your message about the value of your services.

  • Presenting Your Services at Local Speaking Engagements
  • Provider Detailing and Referrals
  • Creating Relationships with Synergistic Businesses


If you’ve been dreaming of creating enhanced consulting services that truly make a difference in your patients’ lives, job satisfaction and bottom line…

Let me tell you about how the Pharmapreneur Academy has helped hundreds of pharmacists, like you, to take charge and start moving their careers in the direction of innovative consulting services.

Don’t just take it from us, here’s what some of our Academy Members have to say about the program:

This course has helped me find my “why”.  Since I’ve a graduated I’ve been looking for something where I could apply my clinical knowledge and start working for my own dreams.  This course embodies that and more.  It took me some time to start my own business, but I was able to make strategic partnerships, and now everything is falling into place as I build out my team for Chronic Care Management.  – C.R.

I was not sure where to gather the information and quite frankly did not realize that pharmacist getting paid for services could be a lucrative practice.  I am definitely more business minded and able to think outside the box.  I realize now that Pharmacist can make an even bigger impact and get paid for doing it.  I still have a lot to learn and need more hands on experience. But I now have the tools to do so.  Now is the time! Thank you again for this opportunity. Because of the Academy I am truly a better, more informed professional ready to make an impact.  – T.J.

Have questions about starting your own consulting business?

Join us on our free LIVE webinar June 13th @2pmE/11amP

I’ll be taking a Summer Break from June 18-August 18, 2018 so come join us on the webinar, learn about new MTM consulting opportunities and get your business-building questions answered!


About the Author

Blair Thielemier, PharmD, is a business development consultant specializing in pharmacist-led billing models. She has set the industry standard for virtual pharmacy conferences with the Elevate Pharmacy Virtual Summit in 2017. She has consulted with national pharmacy organizations, drug wholesalers, point of sale companies, and Fortune 5 health insurers. She has books and online courses available for individuals looking to leverage their pharmacy knowledge into monetized clinical programs at She speaks internationally about trends in leveraging pharmacists to improve value-based care.


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