Magazine article Drug Topics

An Eye-Opener in St. Louis

Magazine article Drug Topics

An Eye-Opener in St. Louis

Article excerpt

Bob Johnson was never one to mince words. Given his strong executive background with McKesson, PCS, and the California Pharmacists Association, I also knew that he would have a lot to say to a group of early-morning risers waiting for him to speak at an NCPA workshop last month in St. Louis. I don't think anyone was disappointed.

If you're not having fun when you come into your pharmacy each day or if you don't want to make the changes you need to make today, then maybe it's time to try something else, Johnson-now a consultant and pharmacy professor-politely suggested. The good old days are just not coming back.

Nor is everything hunky-dory in the world of managed care now. "We've got a mess," Johnson observed. "There's no direction. Managed care has not achieved its goal of providing quality health care at a reasonable cost."

Of particular concern to corporate America these days is the rising cost of drugs. And, as employers search for a solution-one based on more long-term goals, such as changing patient behavior-who is more qualified than the pharmacist to work with patients to help manage their drug therapy and keep costs under control?

What pharmacists need to do is break out of what Johnson called their "four-wallitis" and look around their communities. There are many opportunities out there, including these:

Partnerships with ambulatory care centers in hospitals. He urged closer collaborative efforts between community pharmacies and hospitals.

Partnerships with assistedliving and other plannedliving communities. …

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