Walgreens Setting The Stage For The 21st Century Or is this expensive BS?

Jp Enlarged


  1. Richard Schmidt  •  Aug 8, 2013 @1:45 pm

    Initiatives,slogans,and Pharmacist accessibility , is suit speak for making the pharmacy staff work harder for same amount of money and a better bottom line. Talk about customers expecting more how about the overworked employees.

  2. Pharmaciststeve  •  Aug 8, 2013 @7:40 pm

    Indianapolis was one of the cities with this pilot program.. some 20 stores… at about the same time.. Indiana BOP increased the RPH/tech ratio from 1:4 to 1:6..

    They also implemented that all techs have to be certified within one year of starting to work (tech in training) .. but there was no provision.. mandating any of the techs on duty be certified.. so a RPH could be having to deal with six techs in training. The RPH could also have to deal with rotation of techs in/out .. since if a tech in training doesn’t pass one of two tests to get certified within one year of being hired.. they are out of a job… and a “new” tech is training could be put in place.

    Color me skeptical …

  3. ExRADRPh  •  Aug 9, 2013 @12:21 am

    “dumbbells that Rite Aid helped design.”

    Well it would take one to know one. Doesn’t that make you all warm and fuzzy inside?

    I heard a lot of blah blah blah blah

    Frankly, I think Big Mystery is just a big bunch of hooey. All these retail pharmacies can replace pharmacists at the drop of a hat. They don’t care what you think. Now go get those metrics in order! Chop chop!

  4. Peon  •  Aug 9, 2013 @5:34 pm

    If Wal-Mart ever decides to design their pharmacies like the above picture, the only place they will be able to recruit pharmacists is from the insane asylum.

  5. Pharmacist Bob  •  Aug 10, 2013 @8:12 am

    No problem doing any of that stuff, but these companies need to provide enough help to accomplish all that they expect to be done. What they expect to be done by the pharmacist is more than humanly possible and therefore the pharmacist is stretched into the stressed & pressed for time zone and more likely to let an error occur. They say safety is number one, but is it really or is $$ number one? They speak with a forked tongue and it really needs to be cut off. You know what I say-unionize and slam their stinking mentality.

  6. AJ  •  Aug 10, 2013 @8:31 am

    The beginning of Walgreens grand experiment to prove a pharmacy can be run without a pharmacist. First step get the pharmacist out from behind the counter. Next step get them out of the building. Next step here comes a new launch of the POWER program.

  7. Pharmaciststeve  •  Aug 10, 2013 @7:23 pm

    @AJ… I think that you are correct.. they are trying to find a format to bring back the POWER PROGRAM. When they introduced it in FL and AZ.. it was suppose to go nationwide post haste.. that was what 2006 +/- and its expansion was soon DOA.

    Back then, I talked to a RPH that retired from FL as the POWER PROGRAM was coming on line and he told me that WAGS goal was to get the cost of filling a Rx down to $1.25-$1.50.

    I don’t have a MBA…but.. to reduce the cost of filling a Rx by 90% means that there is going to be a lot of automation and techs involved.. and little RPH time. Around that time.. there were RPH’s .. who were reviewing orders for the POWER PROGRAM and they wanted RPH’s to review/verify the order, do DUR.. at the volume of 200-300 per hour.. YEP.. every 12-20 seconds..

    Imagine keeping that pace up for an entire shift and not missing a mistake or error ?

  8. Red_No_4  •  Aug 10, 2013 @10:31 pm

    FYI, there are two versions of POWER. At the high-volume stores, the pharmacist in charge never touches a prescription unless it is required due to a REMS (think Claravis and the hoop jumping that goes on trying to fill that type of prescription), a third-party rejection, or if POWER is off line and you have to manually type everything. So, basically you are trusting off-site personnel to type and verify. All you do is make sure what’s in the bag matches the label and sell it.
    At low-volume stores, the PIC verifies virtually every order that comes in; some call-ins are punted through, but you are responsible for the vast majority of the prescriptions. The problem is that you are counting on someone off-site to type up a poor electronic version of the prescription that you have in your hands. And you are trusting these people to make the correct interpretation. A prescription was scanned in twice by accident the other day and came back as two different drugs. Which one is correct? Call and see!!!
    I have worked in both environments and mistakes are made. At least at the low-volume stores I can figure out what happened. I’ve had off-site pharmacists override documented patient allergies at high volume stores. It’s hard to explain a mistake that you literally had no control over. At least at a low volume store I know that I made the mistake and I can make it right for the patient and make sure they are safe.
    As for the new pharmacy format, there are rumblings that the pharmacist on site will be set loose in the aisles to walk amongst the people. Offsite pharmacists will finalize the verification via pictures of the prescription!
    And that will be the day I give my two weeks notice.

  9. broncofan7  •  Aug 11, 2013 @12:36 pm

    @ Red_No_4 thanks for the detailed information about the WAG power program. Once patient’s get wind of the inner workings of it I’ll be sure to see another increase in my business if they in fact go ahead and push forward with it as you framed it…..”Come to BF7′s pharmacy where your prescription is checked start to finish by the people who actually work there!”–soda fountains, ice cream and fulfillment of a prescription order by staff that are physically inside of the dispensing location….just like the “good old days” right AJ?

  10. TB  •  Aug 12, 2013 @10:18 am

    I don’t see how this new design will work. There is not enough tech help as it is. If the pharmacist is removed from the pharmacy that will require more tech help. If they are not providing enough tech help now why would they provide more tech help with this new design? I see the pharmacist being pulled here and there to counsel, immunize, provide OTC help, handle complaints and answer questions like “where is the bathroom?” And ” what aisle is the deodorant in?” and won’t have time to sit in that desk. And what about the drive thru? Those patients have questions too. And what about all the calls we need to make to the doctor? There will need to be a second pharmacist especially in high volume stores. I don’t get it. Why don’t they just use vending machines then? How can we change what this profession has become? Patient safety should be number one, that’s why we got into this profession. But unfortunately $$ is number one. What can we do?

  11. Mookie  •  Aug 12, 2013 @1:15 pm

    You echoed my thoughts exactly. It may be a fine idea in theory, but I don’t see how it could work. With the tech hour cuts I do more “tech” work now than ever. Sit me out front and I will become a highly paid personal shopper/bathroom escort. Plus in my state hydrocodone is a cII, so the pharmacist would have to schlep back into the pharmacy to count and log every hydrocodone rx…which in some stores would be quite frequent.

  12. pharmacyslave2000  •  Aug 14, 2013 @5:46 pm

    I don’t think WAG has the best interests of their pharmacists in mind. I believe WAG is the most dangerous of the “big 3″. Everyone knows what to expect from”Big Evil” and “Big Stupid”. They don’t really try to hide their agenda. However, WAG’s programs are much more insidious. They truly are a “Big Mystery” and I don’t doubt that they are working hard to change the landscape of the profession, but not in a good way.
    My main question about this program is, who is supervising the workflow while “Johnny Pharmacist” sits at his little desk? I spend a lot of my time simply keeping things organized and the techs. motivated and on-task. Those are some very dedicated and responsible techs. they found to work there for $8.00/hr.
    In my opinion, any “program” or new store layout that removes us from behind the counter moves us one step closer to out the door. Our profession is synonymous with dispensing. Whether we like it or not, that’s what pays the bills and generates the profits. If the companies find a way to dispense with a pharmacist in a limited role, then we can kiss that 6 figure salary good-bye. This looks like a good start for WAG.

  13. Wrong Aid  •  Aug 15, 2013 @10:39 am

    Am I the only one who works with what amounts to “stupid” techs. I’ve worked hundreds of stores and maybe a couple have techs that MAY be trusted to do the job at hand. “Refill my muscle relaxer”, tech looks over while covering the mouthpiece of the phone, “Which one is the muscle relaxer?”

    And yes, WAGs goal is to prove an RPh isn’t needed on site. How there can be debate about this I have no idea.

  14. bcmigal  •  Aug 16, 2013 @8:00 pm

    Wrong aid…you are not alone. I get the same questions. However, I still believe that for the sheer volume of work and the non work related crap that techs have to deal with, they are grossly underpaid. My gripe of the day is the “adherence” calls. In addition to typing new and refill scripts like mad, answering the phones, calling mds, billing for a pt who has no clue about their insurance, getting vacation overrides, and figuring out which “coupon” matches which drug (what did I leave out?), we also demand that they call each pt on the adherence list 4 to 5 times until the pt actually answers the phone. Oh, I think I left out putting away stock, cashiering, and actually filling prescriptions! And then to see their hours cut…….WAG is not the only company that doesn’t give a hoot about their employees…

  15. pharmacist Bob  •  Aug 18, 2013 @9:28 am

    bcmigal–you got that right.

    The chains are pathetic in their means to harvest profits. I believe pharmacists should declare war against them. They must be destroyed. Some are more worthy of destruction than others and we know who they are.

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