It is my hope that the third-party industry will also hold all Wal-Mart stores to its policy of charging $4 for generic drugs, instead of allowing it to qualify for reimbursement under the plans' "reimbursement formula." If the discounter claims it can fill a script for a buck profit, why should any insurance company or PBM pay more!
Here's hoping the PBMs finally have the "guts" to stand up!
Brian W. Huckle, R.Ph.Bhuckle@aol.com
In the long run, it will not enhance the image that we continue to fight to establish, that is, as the "drug expert," as one of my professors used to say.
In this day and age of patient care and medication therapy management services, we have the chance to be real professionals-to actually charge for our knowledge and expertise. But frankly, this sort of stunt keeps us looking like mere cashiers. It will also affect the contracts that we make with PBMs and insurers; our reimbursement levels are too low now, but this will erode them further. Why should payers give adequate reimbursement when we are willing to undercut our profits by this type of action?
I could go on and on. I see no real positive effects from this, but then pharmacists tend to shoot themselves in the foot all the time.
N.B. Smith, R.Ph., CDMn.firstname.lastname@example.org
Wal-Mart did not fire the first shot in the generic price war. The first company to come up with this idea was Kmart, which has been offering a 90-day supply of specific generic medications for only $15. And not to mention nationwide.
Isn't there a law against selling items below cost? If not, there should be!
Don't sell to the chains
Regarding Jim Plagakis' Sept. 4 article, "Hang up your own shingles," I agree with him 90%. By all means consider the benefits of owning your own store. You will be healthier in mind, spirit, and emotion for not having to work for the bean counters who only value your work as a way to get somebody in the store to buy a garden hose or cat food or liquor.