I honestly can say that I do not know what is going on in our industry. I have a good idea, however. What I smell is:
Panic Gloom Doom
Everything that the big drug store companies are doing lately indicate that they have run the course in the competitive paradigm that was designed in the 1970s and it is no longer working. It has not worked for at least a decade.
They keep doing the same thing. They throw money at the problem. Coupons, gift cards. They have been doing it for years. Can’t they see that any competitive advantage they dream of is just smoke?
I will get to the point. The non-pharmacist MBA bean-counting Masters of the Universe are out of their depth. They are drowning. An MBA is bred for two things:
Ferret out waste and design programs that stimulate growth.
They seem to believe that adequate staffing to give superior service is WASTE.
Growth? Give me a break. Any well-run business that provides prescriptions will grow. It is a no-brainer.
The question I see is this: What model will prevail? The model that makes the provision of professional services important? Or the model that is in place in most stores? That is the one that is run by the metrics and patient safety be damned?
We are very quickly approaching a crisis point. If our industry cannot fill and provide the crush of prescriptions that are coming, we will fail and “they” will take it away from us. If we fail to provide those prescriptions in a manner that assures patient safety, “they” will take it away from us. Most of us are caretakers of “Dispensaries”. Nothing will change for you. Some writers here claim that your wage will suffer.
We can begin to fix it by sending the MBA Masters of the Universe out to the variety store where they belong. We can start creating a real pharmacy paradigm by giving PHARMACISTS a big say in the creation of pharmacy programs.
Am I dreaming? Many of you are good drug store merchants, so don’t tell me that you could not come up with better programs. You are pharmacists for crissake. This is YOUR industry.
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