Let’s make this discussion reasoned and based
on more than fear or hope.
There has been a lot of talk right here and other places that we are doomed. That pharmacists are going to be phased out at worst or marginalized at best by the big Drug Store companies.
I do not believe this, but I will listen. There was screaming in the 1970s that the new laws allowing pharmacy technicians would take pharmacists out of the loop. You know what happened there.
Now, again, thirty years later, the same gloom and doom fear-mongers are back.
I want to get this started. I don’t have time today to present my argument completely, but let’s start here. In 1970, the population of the United States of America was 203,000,000 people. Today, it is 310,000,000. Drugs are at the end of the funnel for almost every office visit. A paradigm of our culture is that THERE IS A DRUG FOR EVERYTHING. With a 35% increase in patients, there is probably going to be an increase of more than 35% in the number of prescriptions. My experienced tells me that. The average patient with a chronic condition takes more prescription medicines than 35% more than their counterpart in 1970.
IN 1970, THERE WEREN’T THAT MANY DRUGS TO CHOSE FROM.
That’s a start. I’ll discuss the enormous pressure that the baby boomers will put on the Prescription Mill this weekend.
C’mon you gloom and doomers, give me your best.
The Ace in the hand, the trump card is going to be the pharmacist doing what she/he has been trained to do. Using her knowledge and experience to assist in better outcomes.
I know that you think that you do not have frikkin’ time, so don’t whine to me. If you gloom and doomers want your down-in-the-dumps forecasts to come true, just keep doing what you have been doing. Just keep running the “Prescription Mill”, disregard your legal and ethical responsibilities for counseling.
I see nothing wrong with good technicians doing all of the filling. I see a lot wrong with pharmacists not even looking over to the patient. There is a lot wrong when the patient is looking at her pill bottle, then at you, then saying, “Excuse me” five times and you still ignore her.
The best way to be sure that you continue to have a professional’s job with a professional’s wage is TO BE AND ACT LIKE A PROFESSIONAL.
In 1970, a hypertensive 50 something male with hypercholesteremia and high trigklyerides would be given HCTZ, possibly reserpine and may hydralazine. Ciba made the combo. Ser-Ap-Es. There were a lot of strokes in those years. Resperine was terrific, but it depressed the heck out of the patients. For the lipds, doctors were recommending margarine (like Parkay) instead of butter.
Today, that patient will likely get HCTZ, atenolol, amlodipine, pravastatin, gemfibrozil. Maybe more. Five prescriptions instead of one. Plus his Cialis, bupropion, Flomax, Celebrex and allopurinol. That’s ten drugs a month for one guy and everyone of you knows plenty of men just like him. He complained about the quality of his orgasms. They were flat. You recommended the pravastatin instead of Lipitor and now he has wowees.
Let’s use age 62, the year one can start drawing Social Security for these purposes.
An American turns 62 every 7 seconds.
In 2020, 4,245,000 Americans will turn 62.
Between 1940 and 1994 (the boomer years) 202,000,000 Americans were born. 77% of all Americans now living were born after 1939.
I have a file of statistics, but I want to go and have a swim.
These people will not grow old gracefully. They will spend a lot of money to be vital, youthful, full-of-it and sexy for entire ride.
There will be money to be made and those among you with a little personality, some vision and just a little daring can take advantage of this opportunity. Talk to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, those among you who just want to be an employee can keep on going. Just make sure that you are the ones who mold the profession of pharmacy, not Wal-Mart or Rite-Aid. HEAVEN FORBID.