News: DLA pharmacy team saves military pharmacists time, money
Story by Photos DOD
PHILADELPHIA - A team of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support pharmacists saves money for Medical directorate customers worldwide and time for medical treatment facility pharmacy and logistics personnel, the clinical branch chief said.
The DLA Troop Support Customer Pharmacy Operations Center was established in 2011 to help pharmaceutical customers save money and time and resolve various procurement issues, said Air Force Capt. Richard Caballero. The center has already achieved some significant cost savings and benefits, Caballero said. He is one of five military pharmacists working in the CPOC, in addition to one analyst.
“Our mission is to deliver expert advice and customer service and provide pharmacy support worldwide,” Caballero said. “CPOC’s military staff has been in the customers’ shoes and brings unique experience in serving as trusted DLA Troop Support medical liaisons.”
The brand-to-generic initiative, which involved the quick conversion of brand-name drugs to generic alternatives when they became available in the market, has achieved a cost avoidance of $219 million for Defense Department customers in just 11 months, Caballero said. Future generations of the initiative are expected to bring additional cost savings, he added.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tiffany Scott, the CPOC deputy chief pharmacist, said DLA databases and other procurement tools give the CPOC team a distinct vantage point to help steer customers in the right direction. The CPOC researches the items on government contracts and ensures availability and cost effectiveness for the customers, she said. In addition to helping customers buy new items, the CPOC helps facilities save money and time by training customers to use the business intelligence tools available on the DLA Troop Support Medical website.
Caballero said the CPOC has also broadened the scope of medications available to customers. The CPOC team secured pricing and availability of a popular reflux drug on a national contract and facilitated a request from U.S. Central Command to expand the use of fast-acting pain medication on the battlefield in combat operations.
Benefits from the CPOC reach not only the warfighter, but also DLA as a whole, Scott noted.
“CPOC offers invaluable pharmacy logistics support to brick-and-mortar, mail-order and operational units due to our breadth and depth of resources, ready access to industry and wholesaler contacts, and DLA contracting officers and analysts,” she said. “Most importantly, our division's joint focus allows us to quickly field service members’ issues and apply solutions that benefit the entire Defense Health Agency enterprise.”
During October, in celebration of American Pharmacists month, the CPOC will be distributing a series of messages and helpful hints to the DLA Troop Support Medical workforce on health-related topics. They will also be posting tips on the CPOC page on Medical’s website, which can be accessed at https://www.medical.dla.mil/Portal.