My Response on Why Docs Should Profit

The blog post: "Why Doctors Should Profit From Dispensing Medications" Yes. You did enter dangerous territory in regards to physicians dispensing medications. Immediately as a pharmacist my first thought is the idea of checks and balances going to pot. Even the federal government knows that having three branches of government decreases the chance for one particular party or worse, person, taking over thus changing our whole democracy.

Why do you feel so strong about making things easier for the patient and sacrifice the safety of what is being prescribed? I cannot tell you how many times I've discovered the wrong drug written for a patient. The wrong strength. The wrong frequency.

PHARMACISTS are not just workers at McDonald's filling your order for a number four supersized value meal. We actually are saving lives.

It is quite humorous to me that 90% of your blog post were the reasons why NOT to do it. You answered your own question.

Does your idea include hiring a pharmacist to actually do the job?

I personally would not go to a physician who had this setup. It does scream profit, and better... would insurance companies reimburse you for that $300/day that you are looking for?

Why dangerous? For a number of reasons.

One, physicians still grapple with the perception that it is improper for a physician to make money from the delivery of care from business ventures.

Two, profit-making from prescription writing might induce physicians to write unnecessary prescriptions.

Three, prescriptions for profit might lead to conflict with pharmacists.

Four, Some states prohibit physician office dispensing, and more dispensing might lead to other states prohibiting the practice.

Five, there is also a fear that such a physician business venture carry significant risk relative to government regulation.

Then, there’s the other side of the issue. Writing prescriptions and ordering their refills takes a lot of physicians’ time. It also takes knowledge. It carries some malpractice risk, should the patient suffer an adverse reaction. Dispensing from the office would be convenient for patients. Since 30% of patients never fill their prescriptions, office dispensing is more likely to assure compliance. And prescriptions dispensed at the office are generally significantly less expensive than those filled at the local pharmacy.

I especially like "It also takes knowledge." Really? At first I was thinking this was approaching the concept with the ease of the fast food model in mind. Shouldn't patients at least take a little bit of responsibility for their own healthcare? Some malpractice risk? Look at the pharmacist that is in a jail for making one mistake on filling a chemo for a child who died as a result. Pharmacists carry a lot of risk, and the majority of complaining you hear is because the retail pharmacy model has catered to the patient's ease to make more money and putting patients at higher risk.

I will always stand by the banking model... a quiet environment where you expect to wait patiently with no other distractions like selling beer, cigarettes, food, etc... A pharmacy should be a place where health is FIRST and respect demanded just like in a bank. Doctors' offices are like this too though yes, the phone rings off the hook and people are waiting for long periods of time (I've personally waited 90 minutes before!!!).

I really believe adding the dispensing portion to the physicians' practice will turn it into a very unprofessional madhouse.

Good luck with that.

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