Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

The attitude of the AMA and the ACOG reported in "Docs at odds" (Drug Topics, Jan. 6) appalls me. The majority of physicians appear to have focused their energy on maximizing profitability by means of increased throughput, with marginal process improvement. It is axiomatic that without improved efficiency, a process will qualitatively decline as a function of volume. The qualitative decline will appear first in the minutiae, i.e., drug information and consultation. The pharmacist therefore became the primary drug counselor by default. Ask our harried colleagues in the retail or home health-care industries how often they have heard, "Why didn't my doctor tell me this?"

Reimbursement for cognitive services validates the role pharmacy can play in the health-care continuum. Third-party payers have pragmatically determined that R.Ph. reimbursement is a financially appropriate method to maximize positive therapeutic outcomes. Pharmaceutical care is not a usurping of the physician's role; it is a supplementation of the process.

The stance taken by these physician organizations is divisive and denigrating to the profession of pharmacy and is indicative of a professional paranoia. Unfortunately, our leaders took a supplicant role that only perpetrates and promulgates the incompetency thesis. Our pharmacy leaders should aggressively pursue redressing the determination of competency by a group that has had a recent historical imperative that distorts objective perspective. I do not want to resort to some political intrigue like talking CEO-to-CEO; the milieu should be the media. Pharmacy should take to the air waves and inform the American public, the consumer, of what we can do and who is trying to prevent us from doing it. Let the marketplace determine who is competent.

H. A. Lens, R.Ph., F.A.S.C.P. Boca Raton, Fla.

Collusion or collaboration

Regarding the letter from Jerry Schindlinger, R.Ph. (Jan. 6 Drug Topics), it's great that podiatrists are getting someone to negotiate for them with managed care companies. I wish them luck. As for pharmacy leadership, instead of negotiating for us, they seem too busy selling us down the river. I don't know how many times I've heard that we can't talk to others about prices or we may be sued for price fixing. Lawyers in pharmacy should be telling us how to do it instead of saying we can't do it. It works with the AMA-why not us?

Walter P. Breshears R.Ph. Altus, Calif..

Taking issue

In response to your recently published article "Recomm flares up again as leasing firms turn up the heat" (Dec. 9, 1996), I would like to provide additional context to the readers of Drug Topics relative to Astra Merck's relationship with independent pharmacies and business interactions with Recomm.

Astra Merck is committed to improving access to revenue opportunities for independent pharmacies in areas that enhance communication of information about ethical pharmaceuticals and improve patient care. To this end, Astra Merck has supported such endeavors as Concept Pharmacy, a joint venture between the APhA and NWDA aimed at increasing the pharmacist's role as a health-care delivery provider. We have also provided nearly $180,000 over the past three years for pharmacy initiatives that have directly benefited independent pharmacies. Concerning the article on Recomm, I would like to take issue with the following statements:

"Some independents are angry at Astra Merck for employing the bankrupt Recomm firm at this juncture."

Astra Merck never negotiated an agreement with the previous owner, Recomm, but are working with management consultants, In-Store Promotions, the group responsible for putting the system back on the right track. …

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