2006: Dawning of a new age


Pharmacists brace for the start of the Medicare drug benefit.

At a glance

In the annals of pharmacy, 2006 will be remembered as the year this country crossed the Rubicon and started paying for an outpatient drug benefit for the elderly. Everyone agrees that the Medicare drug benefit will have a profound impact on pharmacy, but whether it will be for the better or for the worse will have to await the passage of time for the final denouement.

To prepare for 2006, it's always a good idea to first review what happened this year, since many of the issues will carry over into the next calendar year. So here's a look at some of the highlights of 2005:

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