Nate Hux, R.Ph, is the owner of two pharmacies in Pickerington, Ohio, with a unique approach to serving customers. With over 20 years of experience in corporate chain pharmacies, Hux became frustrated with the inefficiency and fees associated with the system and decided to start his own pharmacies. In 2016, he opened Pickerington Pharmacy, a traditional pharmacy that accepts all insurances and offers services such as immunizations and medication therapy management. Five years later, he opened Freedom Pharmacy, which operates on a direct-to-consumer model, accepting no third-party payments, and provides lower costs for customers.
Freedom Pharmacy is particularly beneficial for those with high deductible plans or Medicare Part D, as copays for generic medications can be lower and it helps them avoid hitting their donut hole as quickly. This direct-to-consumer model offers greater transparency for customers, allowing them to understand the costs of their medication. Hux believes that this system helps him avoid the fees associated with processing insurance claims and provides lower prices for customers.
However, Hux acknowledges that this model may not be suitable for every pharmacy and may be difficult for large corporate chains to implement. The speakers, Mike Koelzer and Nate Hux, discuss the challenges of running a pharmacy and the impact of the high cost of drugs on their business. They mention the accountability needs to be reset on all levels of the drug supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers. They also discuss new laws that may change the healthcare system and make it more transparent.
Freedom Pharmacy is positioning itself to be successful in the declining middle class and struggles of small businesses, as it helps customers save money on their prescriptions by working directly with drug manufacturers. Hux expects to see growth in the profitability of Freedom Pharmacy and has no plans to sell either of his pharmacies in the current market conditions.
Hux expresses his desire to continue working in the pharmacy, helping customers, and spreading the gospel of how community pharmacists can make a positive impact on people's lives. He also hopes to be less involved in the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy and potentially out of the insurance headache altogether. He highlights the challenges of working with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and their practices that make it difficult for community pharmacists to be compensated fairly for their services.
In conclusion, Nate Hux's approach to running his dual pharmacy system provides customers with greater transparency and allows them to understand the costs of their medication. The direct-to-consumer model of Freedom Pharmacy is beneficial for those with high deductible plans or Medicare Part D and helps them save money on their prescriptions. The challenges facing the pharmacy industry and the impact of the high cost of drugs on businesses are discussed, with the hope for a more transparent and fair healthcare system in the future.
The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™ is an interesting and entertaining weekly podcast discussion on the business of pharmacy. Hosted by Mike Koelzer, an independent pharmacist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, each episode covers a new topic relevant to pharmacists and pharmacy owners. Listen to a new episode every Monday morning.