You Are a Factory Floor Piece-Work Employee. Easy to replace.

Jp Enlarged

You know my thoughts.  If you act like a duck, you are a duck.  If you act like a robo-dispenser, that is what you are.  If you act like a pharmacist, you are a pharmacist.  How can it be more simple?

It is very clear to me that companies such as Wal-Mart are seeing pharmacists as
replaceable/expendable robo-dispensers.  The A.C.P.E. seems to have been taken
over by the industry.  The new pharmacy schools with curricula that would make us
older guys laugh were approved to put out more pharmacists and for the for-profit
schools to make money.

These schools do not teach compounding.  The established schools still do.  My Alma Mater (The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy) offers Pharmacognosy to Pharm D candidates as an elective.  Listed in the catalog is another offering:  Medicinal Plants, 4 credit hours.  When I visited the school about 8 years ago for homecoming, my college room mate and I were given a tour of the school.  The girl who led us around took us to a compounding laboratory and, very proudly, showed us her work.  Suppositories, an emulsion, capsules, powders and more.  This is a required course.

I trust that you will find that established schools of pharmacy still expect graduates to have a full and complete pharmacist education when they leave, after 6 years.

It seems that the new for-profit schools are really extended NAPLEX Review Courses.
Get ‘em in, get ‘em out and get them licensed.  Too bad if they do not have a clue what it is to be a real pharmacist.  I will never criticize the students.  The new schools charge a helluva a lot of money.

I just took a look via the Internet at Touro University College of Pharmacy.  2012, the tuition was $43,090.00.  An applicant must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree.  The study is two years of didactic study (In the classroom) and two years of practical.  Rotations.

I don’t think that Touro puts out classical pharmacists.  That is too bad because I am a romantic about pharmacy.  What they do put out for retail are young, ready-to-go dispensers and that has got to give employers like Wal-Mart wet dreams.  Why would CVS want Pharm Ds who know about Pharmacognosy?  Why would they want a kid who was able to navigate the compounding station?

So, what do you think?  Has the A.C.P.E. given up on what you and I call pharmacy & pharmacists?  Have they determined that the providing of drugs no longer needs classical pharmacists?

So, one more, what do you think?  Is our culture ready for this?

Most of this is an add on to a reply to an e-mail from a 55+ woman who was fired by Wal-Mart.  Ostensibly for cause.   Metrics, of course.  The Pharmacy Manager was complicit.  Earlier comments were made about her age.  One included, “Look at yourself in the mirror”.



  1. Goose  •  Jul 5, 2013 @11:48 am

    What you will see happening with this issue is that soon the established schools (the orginal gang of 72 that have been around forver) will start pressuring the national groups like ASHP and APhA to give them a “preferred” status.
    Grads from the newer schools like Touro won’t get residencies which will move them to second class status.
    NACDS, NCPA will jump on this because they don’t want those “egghead” pharmacists with a residency anyway. They just need a drone to dispense.
    Pharmacists with residencies won’t be able to find work because there are not enough jobs for their specialities and nobody else will hire them because they are overqualified.
    ASHP’s position statement is that all pharmacists working in direct patient care should have a residency by 2020.
    You see the problem.

  2. MAP  •  Jul 6, 2013 @6:31 pm

    Applying for residencies was the number one mantra at my college — encouraging everyone to apply. Residencies are not the equivalent of 7 years of pharmacy practice — what a laughable idea. Residents do more dog and pony shows that include poster contests and other such crap than doing real on-the-job training. Most pharmacy residents try to go for two years (PGY1 and PGY2) so they can get positions in academia — even more laughable because you need to have 10 or more years of real work in any field before you are qualified to teach in that field. Pharmacy is in deep trouble.

  3. broncofan7  •  Jul 7, 2013 @11:08 am

    Goose, The NCPA is the last bastion of PROFESSIONAL Pharmacists. They are the largest organization that promotes Pharmacist ownership of Pharmacies and who understand what we go through on a day to day basis than us? Pharmacist ownership of Pharmacies is the key to the majority of problems that we face. Part of the NCPA’s platform is expanding clinical services at independent Pharmacist owned stores to the same extent that the Chain Drug stores are capable of. As a member of the NCPA, I can tell you first hand that we WELCOME those “egg headed’ PharmD’s with residencies and the NCPA continues to lobby for professional growth of Pharmacy. Here is a good example of a service that an independent offers that most chain stores don’t:

    It’s innovation like this that puts independent Pharmacy at the forefront in the delivery of Pharmacy services. The NCPA continues to be the backbone of our profession because of it’s support of Pharmacist ownership. Until more of us start signing the bottom right of our checks and not just the back of the check, our work environment will continue to decline.

  4. me-alone  •  Jul 8, 2013 @9:12 pm

    Thanks for stating that we need ownership of our pharmacies.
    I can tell you, that after being fired from one of the chains. Then getting a job at an Independent- then increasing that Independent’s business in just 3 months by 26%.
    It ain’t easy. My husband and I were offered the chance to buy this store- We went to a local bank… had the banker in for coffee & muffins- told him exactly what we wanted to do. He took our proposal- and it was shot down by their grave-diggers/underwriters.
    Our money is tied up in retirement and college accounts (350 thousand plus) with no debt other than our mortgage -190K. And even though the store is showing a profit, they wouldn’t take a chance on us. Next step- our local credit union who constantly advertise that they are here for the community. That banker told us it would go through – finally after 5 months of begging, we were told NO.
    So finally trying-Live Oak. Maybe we should have started with them, but we thought the local banks who could come in and actually meet us would OK it. We are tearing away business every day from the chains in 4 directions.
    It’s NCPA who put us on to Live Oak. All other banks are looking at the low interest rate and high fail rate of small businesses. But WE (pharmacies) are completely different.

    If someone with $400,000+ in savings, a $300,000 property, and NO debt -other than a $185,00 first mortgage, What chance (credit score of 900+) can anyone buy a pharmacy who isn’t already rich? We’ve been at this pharmacy business for almost 30 years- we love it- our patients love us- we just want to stay alive without selling out to CVS or Walgreen.

    Is there no one who can help us buy this pharmacy? We promised these people we’d be here, but we can’t get the financing because interests rates are so low.

    We’re almost ready to cash in our retirement and pay the penalty -just to buy this store- but we shouldn’t have to- where are our resources? Where is anybody helping pharmacy? Pharmacists?

  5. Pharmaciststeve  •  Jul 8, 2013 @9:46 pm

    Have you talked to the current owner to “play the bank”.. if he wants to sell and you want to buy.. There is no reason that the owner can’t sell you the store .. and you make payments to him… Basically he can turn the store into an annunity .. have an attorney draw up a sales contract..

  6. Broncofan7  •  Jul 8, 2013 @10:17 pm

    I used Live Oak to buy my store 3.5 years ago and I only put $15k Of my own cash down and had a mortgage, student loans and a car payment.the selling owner spotted the other amount of money on a 2nd note which amounted to a 15% downpayment.I was far from rich. Your story sounds odd. And if Live oak won’t loan to you after its seen the last 36 months of that Pharmacys financials it’s probably because that pharmacys financials aren’t very ” clean” and Live Oak may be doing you a favor. Live oak actually employs Pharmacists who know the business along with bankers. Another option for you could be 1st med financial, who is a loan broker specializing in doctors and pharmacies. As a rule of thumb for every $1million in sales the asking price should be no more than $250k per million in sales + inventory and if they own the building the value of the building. So if that hypothetical store that you’re trying to purchase is doing say 2.5mil in sales yet they’re asking $1 million AND they don’t own the building live oak is going to realize that you’re being ripped off. Being that u have access to $350k of capital and u are both pharmacists those are HUGE pluses when trying to obtain a loan as opposed to a NON. Pharmacist trying to purchase that same store. In other words your story makes little sense.

  7. broncofan7  •  Jul 9, 2013 @8:50 am

    here’s the link to 1st med financial.

  8. broncofan7  •  Jul 9, 2013 @9:08 am

    An example of success from the 1st med financial site:
    $220K Pharmacy Practice Start-Up

    Date: March 29, 2013

    Practice Type: Pharmacy Practice

    Scenario: An experienced long-term Walmart Pharmacist looking to start-up her own Pharmacy inside a upscale independant grocery store located in Baton Rouge, LA.
    Having trouble securing the necessary financing, she contacted 1st Med Financial. We worked with her on her business plan and projections and were able to secure the financing she needed.

    SBA 7(a) Pharmacy Loan Financing structured to build-out, stock inventory, include necessary working capital and cover loan related soft costs.

    Closed: 03/29/2013

    Loan Terms: $220K PHARMACY PRACTICE START-UP, 5.25% (PRIME + 2), 10-YEAR TERM”


  9. me-alone  •  Jul 10, 2013 @9:12 pm

    Pharmaciststeve- You’re exactly right, but I think CVS is biting at their heels. And I think the owner wants it sold quickly.
    Divorce? We’ve tried two local banks. First one said we had to attach our parents property to secure it.(great guy- he really thought we had it.) -

    We’re 50+ & there’s no way we’re going to do that. Our parents have Alzheimers…
    Second bank after making us wait 5 months said we don’t have enough in assets…. Contact them in one year. We don’t have year.

    We have a credit score of over 900.
    We have at least $325,000 in retirement & college funds.
    We have at least $100,000 in equity.
    No consumer debt.
    If we can’t get a $400,000 loan- no one can.

    Independent pharmacy will be dead. No one is willing to lend to them

  10. broncofan7  •  Jul 11, 2013 @8:29 am

    @me-alone. “Cool story brah….”

  11. broncofan7  •  Jul 11, 2013 @8:41 am

    and further, there is not a single PROFITABLE independent Pharmacy that would prefer to sell to a chain store for the simple fact that Chain stores give PENNIES on the Dollar for a business…

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>