Daily Archives: February 7, 2017

The Sky Really is Falling

Pharmacy is at a crossroads. We are not sure of our identity or ethos, and it’s time to get over the angst, get off our collective asses, and do something about it. The malaise of our profession goes back decades to the days of the literal corner pharmacy. We were friendly to each other, but always had our fingers crossed behind our backs when we agreed on things. God forbid we worked together for the greater good. When the first insurance plans that eroded our reimbursement rates were disclosed, we were up in arms. Then came the plans which prohibited the number of refills allowed at the retail level, thus initiating the mail order era. We had meetings and tacitly agreed not to take these plans. Of course, there were always one or two stores that wanted that leg up on the other guy and greedily signed the contracts. This was the death knell of a once respected profession and ushered in the era of pharmacy as a commodity. Chain pharmacy was poking its head up at this point in time and would sign any contract; so, the results were probably inevitable anyway, but independent pharmacists were the catalyst of this transformation. Once the flood gates were opened, the rush became indomitable, and professional pharmacy was doomed.

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