Letters to the editor: June 19, 2006

June 19, 2006

I was delighted to read your March 8 article on the possibility of a national pharmacy license. I have been licensed for 30 years, but only in New Jersey. I recently considered applying to several other states for licensure, but each state has different requirements and paperwork. A national license would allow all pharmacists the opportunity to practice in nearby states and to move to another state without the burden of obtaining another license. Thank you for the timely article. I may wait awhile now and hope to see this become a reality!

Shellie Brooks, R.Ph., C.C.P.
Consultant Pharmacist
Pharma-Care, Inc.
Hammonton, N.J.
smileysap_1@yahoo.com

From your article on national pharmacy licensing, I gather that some state board members are against a national licensure of colleagues. They fear the loss of revenue and state control of practice.

The real issue is that man, by nature, finds it hard to change a habit and will fight the new changes even when it is obvious that these are better than the old ones.

Ike Morah
CVS Pharmacist
Baltimore
people21206@peoplepc.com

Don't give away your services

Don Gudenas' May 8 Viewpoint, "Start charging for your services now," literally took the words out of my mouth. I had just posted similar advice on a pharmacist forum and caught flak from small-minded pharmacists and a doctor who, apparently, doesn't have an appreciation for pharmacists. I received comments ranging from "You are practicing medicine" to "You are money-grubbing."

Folks, really now, wake up! Forget AWP as a way to hide your profit. You need cost + (whatever you need for overhead and your profit) for your prescriptions and you need to charge for questions, MTM, consults, etc. Put your fees on a sign for everyone to see. Train your staff to guard your time like Dobermans. Everybody must make an appointment. Can you walk into your lawyer's office or your doctor's office and ask him/her a question? No! Don't wait for someone in "pharmacy" to tell you that it's OK to charge for your services!

Mark Burger, Pharm.D.
Health First Pharmacy
Windsor, Calif.
mark@healthfirstpharmacy.net

If you attempt to charge patients for calling their PBMs, they tell you it's part of the contract and you may not charge or you'll be terminated. I tried this many years ago and the patient called the PBM (PAID) to complain that I charged him for having to call the PBM for a problem the PBM caused. I even made up a sign saying what the fee was for this type of service. PAID called me a few days later and said if I wanted to continue filling Rxs for its clients (at that time my business was 75% PAID), I needed to remove the sign.

Pharmacists do not have enough value in today's society to allow us to charge for the items Don Gudenas wrote about in his Viewpoint. It is our own fault. We have never charged for our information. If people don't pay for something, it has no value.

Daniel Busichio cybrxman@msn.com