Magazine article Drug Topics

Score One for Pharmacy

Magazine article Drug Topics

Score One for Pharmacy

Article excerpt

In California, patients laid wreaths in front of black-draped pharmacies In Texas, 115 patients showed up at a rally in front of their pharmacy. At a New York demonstration (see page 16), patients spontaneously came to the podium to give testimonials about their community pharmacists.

Those are just some of the responses from around the country to High Noon independent pharmacy's wake-up call to patients that managed care is eroding their right to choose where they buy their medications and endangering an American institution, the corner drugstore NARD noted that "nearly 2,000 independent pharmacies have closed their doors in the last year alone a week."

The nationwide demonstration, which took place on Sept. 20, was an "overwhelming success," with "extraordinary media exposure," said Todd Dankmyer, NARD v.p., communications. "I don't think we've ever seen so many pharmacists involved at the grass roots," said Dankmyer. "We didn't even know about a lot of the things going on. We're getting deluged with faxes from pharmacists who held rallies, had events in their stores, wrote letters to the editor, were covered in newspaper articles, or did TV and radio interviews We're very pleased with the exposure, enthusiasm, and participation."

High Noon is "just the beginning," Dankmyer said, as NARD hopes to unveil more anti-managed care initiatives at its annual convention later this month. "Pharmacists have written us that they haven't been this excited in years, and they're asking, What do I do now?" he said. "We want to keep rolling with the message that patients have a right to some control over their health care. We know people are frustrated with the role o health insurance, not just with pharmacy The time is right to capitalize on it."

High Noon in the Philadelphia area was "more effective" than Jeff Moskowitz thought it would be. As owner of Rapoport Pharmacy and president of the 300 member PARD group of independents he appeared on local TV newscasts which were favorable to the R.Ph.s' cause.

Joe Smith, president of the Virginia Pharmacists Association, was another R.Ph. who made it into his local news. Smith, who heads the Medicine Shoppe in Falls Church Va. …

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