As the most accessible healthcare providers, community pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare system and the lives of their patients. This American Pharmacists Month, we’re celebrating their contributions by highlighting a few pharmacists making a difference in their communities.
Read the other Q&As in this series with:
- Liz Altmiller, Your Drug Store
- Bruce Schreiber, C.O. Bigelow
- Nicolette Mathey, Palm Harbor Pharmacy
- Chris Halko, Benton Pharmacy
Name: Chris Proffit
Pharmacy: Uptown Drug in Kingman, Arizona
Q. How long have you been a pharmacist (and at your current pharmacy)?
A. I have been a pharmacist for 28 years — 12 years at this location (Uptown Drug).
Q. Why did you choose this career path?
A. I was actually majoring in chemical engineering and was working in construction my freshman year. I became acquainted with a co-worker who was a chemical engineer and had been unable to find work in that field. I decided I better explore other options, and my counselor suggested pharmacy. I was not even really familiar with it, but loved it immediately. At first I just loved learning about the medications. Their chemical names, how they worked, and what they were used for. I used to spend hours just reading medication package inserts. Then it became even more satisfying when I was able to use this knowledge to help patients.
“Independent pharmacies are going to evolve into community care headquarters.”
Q. What is your favorite part of your job?
A. Compounding. Making a product that would not normally be available for a specific patient need is very gratifying.
Q. What are some industry trends you’re keeping an eye on?
A. The relationships between PBMs/PSAOs/wholesalers and independent pharmacies. Independents are going to have to maximize these relationships to meet their specific needs, and allow them to continue to thrive in an often low-margin environment.
Q. What do you think the future holds for the industry?
A. Independent pharmacies are going to evolve into community care headquarters, providing all types of clinical testing and treatment in addition to traditional prescription dispensing. Partnerships with companies like PDS and Amplicare are going to be vital for clinical diversification and profit maximization.