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Can CVS Throw Money to Hide From This?

Jp Enlarged Pharmacists are more activist than ever

  • CVS sued for suspected fraudulent Rx reimbursements
  • By: Mark Lowery, Content Editor- Drug Topics

    CVS Pharmacy is once again in hot water regarding its handling and dispensing of controlled substances—this time being sued by an insurer and 18 states that claim the pharmacy chain collected hundreds of millions for invalid prescriptions that were diverted to the black market.

    According to a report by Courthouse News Service, insurer Fox Rx, the United States, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., and 18 states filed suit in federal court in New York alleging CVS violated the False Claims Act when submitting some claims to Medicare for controlled substances such as codeine and oxycodone.

    Prescriptions for controlled substances require a registration number issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, the lawsuit claims that one out of every five of the claims submitted by CVS between January 2008 and 2010 did not have a number.

    “CVS Pharmacy’s failure to include DEA numbers was not mere error – it was a profitable business practice,” Fox Rx stated in the lawsuit. “As a result of its practices, CVS allowed federal and state funds to fund the purchase of dangerous drugs for black market sale and abuse.”

    Can CVS survive the legal attacks? Their cheatin’ ways are catching up. Do an Internet search. They are being sued everywhere you look.
    I DID NOT COPY THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. TO FINISH IT, GO TO DRUG TOPICS. You can find a link in the lrft column. JayPee


    Important Words from “Goose”

    Jp Enlarged Rawlings. Goose does something about it.
    The following is from Goose. Succinct, to the point and spot on. It is FEAR that keeps us going in every day and swallowing our rage because we perceive
    a horrible result if we stand up for ourselves. WHATCHA GONNA DO, you guys?

    I am constantly reminded of one of my former clinic patients. Born Jewish in Germany in the 20′s, he only survived because his parents sent him to England when the Nazis came to power. This was part of the “Kinder” transport that saved thousands of Jewish children from Germany.
    My friend said the last time he ever saw his parents was the day he left. He has no idea what happened to them.
    He also said, if you are oppressed and do not stand up for yourself, the same thing will happen to you. Those in authority will take and take until they get it all. Fear of losing everything is what cost many people in this situation their lives. In the end by not starting an uprising, they lost everything anyway.
    If you don’t think this is similar to our current situation

      you are crazy

    . Doing nothing will always get you nothing. What do you have to lose that you will not lose anyway?


    More of You Need To Be Asking the Questions. “The Squeaky Wheel is the One That Gets Greased”

    Jp Enlarged

    Brent Owns The Store. He NEVER misses lunch. He has coffee when he wants. Bath Room Breaks Arte Never Delayed” />
    My advice is NEVER LECTURE. Always ask those questions that you already KNOW THE ANSWER. DEMAND THAT THEY ANSWER YOU AND DOCUMENT.


    I am a 32 year old pharmacist who recently left Rite Aid full time and moved on to an amazing state pharmacist job. I could not be happier with my decision and my ability to have a lunch/bathroom breaks and coffee as I please. I want to thank you for your website, for speaking the truth in drug topics as the sheep keep their heads buried in fear. Fear of losing the only thing that brings joy to a retail pharmacist, a pay check. The world of retail has become a frightening thing. I still work per diem for a little reminder of the pain, but wanted to share this with you. There are more tasks for an overworked pharmacist than ever and less help to complete them! It will only be a matter of time before people start having mental breakdowns. I have done over 500 Rx’s in a 13 hour day by myself (no breaks) only to be told later that I did not complete the required amount of flu shots. I have had customers tell me to Fu$k myself only to be rewarded with a gift card after they complained about “my bad attitude”. I have millions of these sob stories! I could go on for hours about how we are viewed as nothing more than overpaid deli workers. I could vent for hours, but I will stay focused and ask my main question. How can we change the direction of pharmacy? I will attach a response from NYS board of pharmacy when I emailed them. Is there anyone out there to save this drowning field? They want us to Med interventions now, known as CMR’s (comprehensive medication reviews)! Not that we get any extra help for this, in fact it is supposed to be incorporated into our work flow. Not that they care about patients health, just that fact that it is another thing to bill and generate revenue. So here it is, addition of immunizations (makes company money), CMR (makes company money).These equal more tasks/time for pharmacists with zero additional help/financial reward! It also equals more liability, but who gives a shit about that. The tasks keep adding up, with no additional help to complete them. We are getting squeezed like a dried out lemon and if you voice up you shall be replaced by a young mostly incompetent pharmacist who will accept 10$ less an hour. How do we get representation to adequately staff our store for the tasks that we are demanded to do? Do we unionize? Most pharmacist I know have zero balls and would be the first scabs to run for a pay stub! I worry about this profession, I am a realist and see no way this ship will right. Too much glut and indebted desperate newcomer pharmacists. The demands are unrealistic and the pressure is cancerous. Its no wonder we have such high depression/suicide rates in our field. Anyway I am simply writing you to thank you for the balls and common sense you exude. One final thing. If you are told you have to attend a meeting without question on your day off, should you receive compensation? We were given a 20$ hour(1/3rd pay) stipend for a meeting we could not miss (termination). How the hell is that legal?

      Here is the response from NYS board of pharmacy! Sounds like a corporate asshole wrote it. Be well and thank you again !!!


    You reference the AMA and ADA. Pharmacy does have the APhA and other organizations.

    However, the issue you raise is a serious concern to many. The need for pharmacists, however, will depend on the need for cognitive services. Technology will likely continue to find faster and less-expensive means of packaging medications. We believe the future lies in Medication Therapy Management and Collaborative Drug Therapy Management, and other essential services such as immunizations.

    There is no limit on the number of colleges. However, every college of pharmacy must meet the rigorous qualifications of the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education, and in this State must also meet the requirements of the Education Department and the Board of Regents. We play a prominent role in reviewing each program.

    I will share your concerns with the Board of Pharmacy which is aware of the capacity issues faced when new programs are proposed or existing programs wish to expand.

    NYS Board of Pharmacy
    89 Washington Ave., 2nd Floor West
    Albany, NY 12234
    Phone: 518-474-3817 ext. 130
    Fax: 518-473-6995
    General question
    From my 5 years of working as a pharmacist I have noticed a major swing in the job market. We appear to be flooded now more than ever. I see no situation where our market will turn around, with the constant increase in graduates per college and pharmacy colleges arising. Is there any organization that is looking out for us? MD’s have the AMA, dentists the ADA, what do we have? I know many who are hundreds of thousands in debt and fighting for a job in a dried up market? Who is looking out to protect us, just curious if there is an organization? Also curious what system of checks and balances keep these pharmacy schools in check? Is or are there any? When we flood the market as we are doing now more than ever what is to become of all these kids with no jobs? More importantly, what is to become of their student loan debt?


    A Crushing Commentary on your APhA, written by a member of The Pharmacy Alliance

    Jp Enlarged

    Who Paid for This Building?

    PHARMACIST TODAY is the rag that APhA publishes. John’s thoughts on our national pharmacists organization has evolved. He expresses himself here.

    Pharmacy Today, I have finally decided to approach you about the “elephant in the room”.
    >> Your publications DO provide a beneficial service. New, CPE, product, industry, and professional/legal updates. These are all very welcome. However, your publications DO NOT, in any way, reflect the real world of the pharmacist today. Let me inform you of the current state of your average or even “above average” pharmacist today:
    >> -15 hours shifts – often back to back
    >> -no sitting, eating, drinking, or use of the rest room in those periods
    >> -being denied our basic right to things like voting or jury duty because of shift length
    >> -told we must arrange our “own coverage” for sickness, family deaths, etc.
    >> -bullying and professional coercion from “non-licensed” supervisors & managers
    >> -crippling injuries and illness directly related to our working conditions
    >> -practice policies that place the liability due to the fatigue, distraction, etc., created by these conditions upon the individual pharmacist as the “licensee” and not the “un-licensed” corporate personell who create them
    >> -practice policies designed to shift the legal liability of “inappropriate dispensing” away from the companies who push for “sales” and onto the individual pharmacist
    >> -pharmacists whose worth is determined not by clinical or patient care excellence but instead by how well they drive marketing and loyalty initiatives (the commoditization of immunization that has occurred is an absolute embarrassment)
    >> -conditions created by corporations that pose a massive risk to public health & safety but place the responsibility for this risk upon individual pharmacists who are forced to accept them as a condition of employment
    >> So what does this mean? As a preceptor who still believes in and attempts to create change in the proession for both ourselves and our patients, each day I have been told by students:
    >> “I have never met a pharmacist yet who is happy or would choose the profession again”
    >> “I know, my brother is a pharmacist – until the conditions/pressures drove him to substance abuse”
    >> “I only plan on doing this for a short time – until I find something else”
    >> “I’m not doing this for the rest of my life – maybe part-time”
    >> I have to tell my students:
    >> “you are entering a profession where your future is likely to include suicide, substance abuse, crippling injury or illness, incarceration, workplace violence.”
    >> Do you understand how it breaks my heart to see the future of our profession and part of the future of healthcare enter into a world of hopelessness and despair KNOWINGLY!?
    >> Yet, do we ever see these things addressed in any APhA publication? Does APhA, truly represent the pharmacist as the American Pharmacists Association? I believe your publications & our “Association” represent perhaps more the “industry” that is practicing pharmacy. They spend most of their time and space congratulating ourselves on how wonderful we are, while ignoring the glaring and shockingly disturbing conditions each pharmacist faces daily. “The Emporer’s New Clothes” comes to mind.
    >> Instead of featuring the rare, 1 in a 100 or 1 in 1000 unusual case that is an unlikely success, perhaps it is time to address the immediate needs and concerns of the common majority, the 99 out of 100 who are miserable to the point of endangering their health, their lives, and our profession. Currently this publication, as others from APhA, seems like a magazine that chronicles the lives of occasional lottery winners in an impoverished nation where the majority of the populace is starving.
    >> Perhaps it is time for the American Pharmacists Association to start representing PHARMACISTS and not representing false hope?

    1 Comment

    “ANGER” is Fuel for the Battle. USE it well.

    Jp Enlarged

    Recovery is regaining Your Power
    Essentially, the miserable pharmacist is wretched because they choose to be unhappy. There is a choice every single day to be proud of what they do or to blame the job because they are not happy. They don’t even use the best tool available to them. That tool is anger!
    Anger is fuel. It is not the bad thing that your parents said to suppress as mine did. “Jimmy, nobody needs to know you are angry. You should control yourself.” We feel anger and we become frustrated when we hide it because we want to do something about it. This goes against the image of the calm, in-control professional. Instead of showing the anger, we stuff it and chug Maalox and take two 20mg omeprazole every day.
    How would it look if we showed that we were angry? At work, you don’t hit that someone or break that something or throw that fit. If you smash that fist against the wall, do it in the bathroom where no one can see that you are out of control.
    What we do with our anger is deny it. We stuff it so far down that we forget what makes us angry. We are institutionalized and we believe that we should not get angry. We lie about being angry at the store manager. We hide our anger at the lack of technician help. We do not express our outrage to the district manager. Doesn’t he know that it is his precious customer service that pays the price?
    Some of us hide it so well that we medicate the anger and filch the occasional lorazepam to hide it even better. We are professionals and professionals are nice people. We bury our anger. We block it and we hide it.
    What we do best with our anger is lie about it. Unfortunately for our spouses, we lie so well that we often take our misery out on the people we love (or are supposed to love) the most. We do everything but listen to our anger.
    Listen to your anger. That is what it is meant for. Anger is not a polite request. Anger is a scream. It is a command. It is a slam of the fists down on the table demanding your attention. Anger has a right to be heard. Anger should be appreciated and valued. Anger must be listened to if you are to regain your professional balance and power. Why? Because anger is an atlas or a chart or a diagram back to living the ideals you had when you were in pharmacy school.
    Anger reminds you of your boundaries and limits, the areas where no one was allowed to tread without your permission. If you can set up the periphery of your professionalism in just one area, more will follow. If you list only ten serious drugs that you will counsel on no matter what, your list will be twenty in little time. If you let the store manager know in writing that his touching you at anytime, in any manner, is unwanted, you will regain enormous power and control over your own life on the job. You can gain power simply by refusing to get wet underpants because you neglect going to the bathroom when you have to go. Documenting anything at work that makes you uncomfortable will give you surprising control.
    Anger shows us where we want to go. We may not know exactly what we do want on the job, but our anger tells us, without ambiguity, what we sure as hell do not want. That is a really good place to start because anger shows us where we have been and sets us on the course of recovery. Anger is not a sign of disease. It is a sign of health. If you no longer get angry at being institutionalized, stop, take a deep breath, and examine how you will find your way back. I contend that you will find that the first sign of recovering your health, well-being and pride will be anger. Welcome it. Savor it.
    It is not very healthy to act out from anger. That is childish and not productive. I quit a job once out of anger. It was a good job. I was well respected in the community. The problem was that the store manager tried to micro-manage my department. I have never bent to management from a non-pharmacist. This guy was out to bring me to my knees. I fell right into the trap. I became so angry that I brought the problem to a head with some stupid brinksmanship. My district manager did not back me as fully as I wanted, so I quit. My one-way commute for that job was less than ten minutes. The one-way commute for the next job was ninety minutes. I was like a teenager having a meltdown. I turned my anger into indignation without any examination of the circumstances. I was an idiot.
    Anger is there to be acted upon. Anger points the direction. Anger is the wind for our sails as our sailing ship tacks as we move on the appropriate bearing where our anger guides us. Had I used my head and had the presence to translate what the anger was telling me, I would have made better choices.
    “Damn it, I could run a better pharmacy than that!” This anger says that you want to have your own pharmacy, you just need to put all of the pieces together.
    “I can’t believe it. Mildred told me that she was going to demand a transfer to the suburbs and she got it. That’s what I wanted.” This anger says: Stop keeping your goals and dreams hidden. You need to express your wants and believe that you deserve your dreams to come true.
    “That was my idea. This is unbelievable. I mentioned it only once and that son of a bitch took my plan and put it to work. He gets all of the credit and I get none.” This anger says that it is time to take yourself seriously and show yourself some respect. Your ideas are good enough to do something about.
    Anger is the tornado that blows away all of the restrictions and hesitations and lack of self confidence of our old lives. Anger is a valuable instrument to be used productively. Anger cannot be the master, only the servant. Anger is a deep well of power, if used properly.
    Apathy, laziness, misery and gloom are the enemies. Anger is not a good buddy, but anger is a friend. Not a mild-mannered friend, but a very loyal and steadfast friend. Anger will always remind us when we have been cheated or cheated upon. It will always tell us when we have been deceived or when we have betrayed ourselves. Anger will tell us that it is time, finally, to act in our own best interests. Anger is not the action itself. It is the action’s invitation.
    Watch out what you ask for
    You might just get what you want and then what are you going to do? It can be scary, having dreams come true. That means that you have to take responsibility for your own life. This is not comfortable, but you will feel the power. You can no longer blame the big bad store manager wolf for your lack of integrity. You can’t say that the company made you do it. You are back in your own hands, a professional making choices every day that benefit you and your patients. This is a good thing, don’t you think?
    When you take responsibility, things happen that you cannot fully understand why. You are the pharmacy manager and you tell the Jailer that you are going to do what is best for your department in all business and professional matters. You tell him that you are the pharmacist, that you know best and you request that he mind his own business. You take all appropriate actions, the department thrives in all areas. Your pharmacy is suddenly the most professional and most profitable in the company and everyone wants to know why. What did you do?
    Taking responsibility is not easy. You can feel very much alone. It takes courage to do the right thing. This is a difficult and slippery slope. A pharmacist who has little self-respect and has been stripped of dignity may need assistance in making the choices that are best for both their professional and personal lives. I honestly do not think that you should rush. You have been institutionalized for years. There is no hurry. You don’t want to make a rash move as I did. You probably should not try to do this alone. Talk to someone you trust before you take any significant action.


      THE PRISONERS OF COMFORT, Jim Plagakis, R.Ph.

    I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues
    Duke Ellington

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