Readers speak out about the increasing efficiency demands of chain pharmacies.
"Re: "When efficiency is all that matters" [Viewpoint, February 2011]:
Greg "Rudi" Rudroff, BS Pharm
Preaching to the choir
I completely and utterly agree with every point Dennis Miller made in his article, particularly toward the end when he pointed out how ignorant most people are as to the ill effects their lifestyle choices can have on their health and how this greatly affects the current healthcare model.
Also, to point out that the community chains are boldly lying to their employees is a very brave thing to do, but it's true, and I applaud him for saying it out loud.
Marie-Therese Jackson, PharmD
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.
What he said
I find the recent changes a total disgrace to the profession. I think Dennis Miller's article was RIGHT ON.
Cecil K. Cadwallader, BS Pharm
Do the right thing, and -
I was terminated when I questioned the possibility of increased errors if we were required to produce Rx's at a pace that would allow only 2 minutes per Rx.
When you ask management if you can get together as a group and discuss something like this to make sure that it does not harm our patients, and you get shown the door, it is demeaning. Getting fired for doing what's right hurts.
John R. Lemberger, BS Pharm
An average day
I work as a floater in stores averaging from 300 to 600 prescriptions per day. For at least 6 to 7 hours I am the only pharmacist, yet I am expected to give flu shots and take blood pressure, and probably I will be asked to do cholesterol screening and diabetic counseling. In between I am supposed to check Rxs for accuracy, answer phone calls from patients and physicians, attempt to counsel, and ring at the cash register.
The biggest complaint all the pharmacists get is about poor customer service and why you can't pick up the phone in 3 rings.
Robert S. Katz, RPh
Besides cutting the staffing levels with each technological advance, it appears that they are also cutting technician staffing levels every time they give the pharmacist a pay raise. You get a raise and lose your technician support, so you can do more technician work and less pharmacist's work. It makes no sense at all.
Tom Hanson, BS Pharm
Find another path
I call it the Wal-Martization of our economy: everything is a commodity and every commodity has a new lower price. The question is, at what cost?
Ten years in a chain was more than I could stand. Now I own my own pharmacy. We chose to steer in a different direction at our store. We provide our patients with service not found within 100 miles of our location, on a personal level that chains don't get anywhere near.
James Hampton, RPh