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It is the Dawning of the Age of Independents

Jp Enlarged

The Home of a Druggist. 1937. I like it.
Those of you who have followed my developing thoughts on the viability and profitability of owning your own store know that I believe that it is a terrific opportunity RIGHT NOW.

We know that the chains, Big Box, grocery stores and others run by metrics DO NOT give personal attention. Consumers want service, a friendly pharmacist and the confidence that their Rxs do not have errors. An independent can give them what they want. That could be you.

If you have read the comments on this site, you know that Broncofan7 has been a big time winner in his store in Texas.

This was recently his comment.

    Select comment
    353 approved

    broncofan7@ymail.com76.185.18.53 Submitted on 2014/11/02 at 9:18 am

    I’m looking for a PIC at my store in Texas (if you happen to be licensed in TX)..or if there is any TX RPh. out there looking to work M-F only with all holidays off.

Think about this. Would a marginal store need a PIC other than the owner? Broncofan7′s pharmacy has to be a winner.



Bill Maher

Jp Enlarged

Hi Jim,

I thought at least some “legacy pharmacists” out there may appreciate this:

Take care, Liz

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If This Doesn’t Pucker Up Your Butt, Nothing Will

Jp Enlarged

Take a good look. Well worth your time.

Copy the link and paste it into your browswer. You can see the entire spot.

If this kind of exposure and negative publicity continues regularly, we will win. The Pharmacy Alliance has been riding this horse for a long time now. DOES TPA get any credit? Jay Pee
Thank you, Paula, for passing this on. The stuff you send is always valuable. You are not a whiner. You are a soldier.

Metrics and the too smart MBA Masters of the Universe

The following us the entire transcript of the TV show.

KHOU Television, HOUSTON — When it comes to what happens behind the pharmacy counter, some industry insiders say the public has no clue.

“Wrong patient names, wrong drug, wrong directions,” said Texas pharmacist Bill Bradshaw, remembering the errors like a litany.

“It’s scary,” he said.

“I have gone home and said a prayer asking God to please not let me have made any mistakes that could have caused harm to a patient.”

The reason for his anxiety is something that the I-Team heard from pharmacists and pharmacy trade groups from across the state and the nation: That they’re being pressured to fill prescriptions faster, to do more with less, and with less qualified support staff.

It’s a change in the business that most of them say started happening primarily at big-chain pharmacies about ten years ago. And now they worry, it’s reached a breaking point.

“I kept saying ‘we’re going to hurt a child or hurt a senior citizen,’” said Joe Zorek, who worked as a Pharmacist In Charge at a CVS drug store.

According to Zorek, speed often competed with patient safety. He said at his store, they were timed on just how fast they filled prescriptions. If he was too slow, his computer would give him a warning in red.

The result?

“You would do whatever you had to do to push those scripts through,” Zorek said.

In addition, Zorek said his area manager would track his performance through reports called “metrics.” Those would measure whether he made prescription-filling time limits and if his store met many other quotas such as the amount of flu-shots and immunizations given.

“He would call daily to know what our numbers were,” Zorek said.

“And that we would have to get them up,” he added.

But Zorek claims there was another way that management would boost the store’s profitability. In a wrongful termination lawsuit that he filed against CVS/Pharmacy in federal court, Zorek argued that often the pharmacy’s manpower would be cut, in particular their support staff, the “pharmacy techs.”

The result, Zorek claims, was an increased workload that led to a marked increase in prescription dispensing errors and a possible threat to his patients.

And the I-Team found that when drug errors happen, the risk of harm is real.

“It’s a pain I’ve never had before”, said Dana Flink of an episode he had last November.

“I felt like my brain and my spine were actually expanding inside my head.”

Flink is describing how he felt after taking what he thought was a common antibiotic. The prescription medication had been filled at a CVS in Spring.

He eventually discovered that what he had actually been given was something he didn’t need–a medication for diabetes, a condition he didn’t have.

“I was stunned,” he said. “I mean I couldn’t believe I was taking something that was completely wrong.”

CVS says it has apologized to Flink for the error. (See statement below.)

But what happened is no shock to pharmacy experts like Professor Daniel Hussar of the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.

“The general public does not know what’s going on”, Hussar said.

Hussar has studied the science and business of pharmacy for decades.

He said that increased business competition and the desire to please stockholders has made some big-business pharmacies lose sight of their primary task, helping patients.

Instead, Hussar said the focus is numbers, profit, and money–and how to get more of it.

“For major corporations, in my opinion, errors have become a cost of doing business,” Hussar said.

But it’s a cost that concerns groups like the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. In 2013, pointing to research and polls showing that the use of metrics tend to increase errors, the NABP asked states to restrict, regulate or prohibit their use.

So what about Texas?

The I-Team did an interview with Gay Dodson, the executive director of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

During that talk, she made a surprising statement.

Dodson: “I don’t believe any company in Texas is using metrics to say a pharmacist has to fill so many scripts.”

I-Team: “You’re telling me that not a single Walgreens, not a single CVS in this state is putting pressure…”

Dodson: “We haven’t seen it. We have not seen it. That it all I can go with.”

I-Team: “With due respect, a lot of organizations would say you’re blind.”

Dodson: “Uh, I understand.”

As for Walgreens and CVS, both declined an on-camera interview but sent us written statements.

Director of public relations Michael Deangelis of CVS/pharmacy told us:

“The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority and we have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to ensure prescription safety. We apologized to Mr. Flink for dispensing the incorrect medication to him last year. Prescription errors are a very rare occurrence, but if one does happen we fully investigate the incident to determine what happened in order to prevent it from occurring again.

As a health care company that strives to help people on their path to better health, we seek out new technology and innovations to enhance safety, we engage with industry experts for independent evaluations of our systems, and we are committed to continually improving our processes to help ensure that prescriptions are dispensed safely and accurately.

Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals in the community, and the services we provide in our pharmacies such as medication adherence outreach and immunizations are designed to help our patients stay healthy while lowering their overall health costs.

Like other companies, CVS/pharmacy also measures the quality and effectiveness of the services we provide in our pharmacies to ensure we are meeting our customers’ expectations. Our systems are designed to help our pharmacists manage and prioritize their work to best serve their patients.”

And Jim Cohn of Walgreen’s Media Relations wrote to us that:

“Our pharmacists today are able to provide a range of health care services that enable them to practice at the top of their licensure and training, while playing a more important role than ever before within the U.S. healthcare system. Quality, safety and accuracy are our top priorities and our quality team continuously tracks these criteria at every touch point within the pharmacy. We never ask our pharmacists to work beyond what they believe is safe, in their professional judgment. Walgreens has always been among the industry leaders for pharmacist pay and benefits, and a long-standing employer of choice in the industry.”



Jp Enlarged

Wal-Mart sucks hatred from the clouds

Another Wal-mart Pharmacist. I had just over 20 years and was fired for “forging a prescription”. I filled my own call in by a doctor like I had in my many years and suddenly I get fired. I was sole support of my family and now have my pharmacy license suspended since my jerk of a Health and Wellness Manager reported me to the Board of Pharmacy.

Jay Pee. Wal-Mart has a no forghiveness policy. There are too many RPhs out there. Be careful. All they want for their store is a warm body with a license.

Wal-Mart is NOT alone. Go to work for an independent.

It’s more challenging to be a retail pharmacist today than ever before. The health care system makes endless demands on you. You are being pulled in a dozen directions, all at once. Your workload is heavier and the expectations of you are higher. Credentialing and CE requirements remain arduous, yet you operate in a persistently growing “McPharmacy” environment. With this book, you’ll discover humor in all those things you now find exasperating: • Managed care • Corporate “suits” • Impatient patients • Doctors • Lawyers • And much more You deserve to get off the retail pharmacy hamster wheel! And now you can, because Dispense-sation is your prescription to get off your feet, take a break and have a laugh!

DISPENSE-SATION by Christopher Holl Find at Amazon.


Pay $90 Million in Fines. $10 Million Profit

Jp Enlarged

Published on Drug Topics (

CVS’ PBM settles Medicaid reimbursement fraud charges
Mark Lowery, Content Editor
Publish Date: OCT 02,2014

CVS Health’s pharmacy benefits management company will pay $6 million to settle federal charges it failed to reimburse Medicaid for prescription costs also covered by private plans, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The government had accused Caremark of improperly processing claims of “dual-eligible” patients. Such were patients whose prescriptions costs were paid to Caremark by both private insurers and Medicaid. Caremark was accused of not reimbursing Medicaid for its overpayments.

Caremark pays to settle Medicaid fraud in 5 states

A former Caremark employee, Donald Well, told the government about the dual payments and will receive $1.02 million plus interest as a whistleblower.

Christine Cramer, CVS spokesperson, said the company denies wrongdoing and settled to avoid protracted litigation. She said the allegations did not involve CVS’ pharmacy or Medicare Part D businesses.

According to the Justice Department, Caremark improperly deducted co-payments or other money when calculating payments on some claims. That caused Medicaid to cover prescription drug costs for dual-eligible patients that should have been paid by private health plans.


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