Magazine article Drug Topics

Change Is the Air That Pharmacists Will Breathe

Magazine article Drug Topics

Change Is the Air That Pharmacists Will Breathe

Article excerpt

JP AT LARGE

. . . and you'd better get used to it, or you will gag on what you insist on believing is poison gas.

Workload

The workload is just going to get worse - or better, if you are one of those management pharmacists who look only at prescriptions filled and the bottom line.

If the margins are perceived to be too tight, it's the fault of that same management for signing those ridiculous contracts that have the executives at the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) chortling as they pop the corks and light up big cigars. Try this: negotiate better contracts, make a little more profit, and bring those stolen technician hours back to the pharmacies. Everybody will be happy.

Especially the patients, who won't have to worry about being invisible, because they will no longer have to stand at the pharmacy counter for 5 minutes before anyone even acknowledges that they are there. The most experienced pharmacy staff members know that the instant they make eye contact with someone at the counter, they're dead.

PBMs

PBMs are for-profit engines. You need reprogramming if you believe the airyfairy claims that the PBMs are in business to look out for the health and welfare of the recipients. They're in this game to profiteer. The insurance cards are difficult because the actuaries project an increase in profit when patients give up and pay cash because the technician is having trouble with a card. Take a deep breath of that air of change and start refusing to sign contracts that benefit only the PBM.

Tech-check-tech

'Tech-check-tech" is something that pharmacists are knee-jerking about nowadays. They worry that technicians will take over the clerical jobs that only a pharmacist can do and that pharmacists will lose their jobs.

I don't see it that way. Mary Ann, who has the tech job only because she is the cousin of your sister's brother-in-law, will not be checking anything. When the computer stops the process with interaction/ allergy warnings and the like, the pharmacist will have to be called over, and only the pharmacist (with a secret password) will prevent the sky from falling. That is some of the air we are going to breathe.

Technicians qualified to check will have to get advanced training. The route to the title of advanced technician will be ponderous. …

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