Monday, March 14, 2011

Rite Aid: Cheapening the Profession $5 at a Time

The majority of us are aware of Rite Aid's guarantee to patients that their prescription will be ready in 15 minutes. For the most part, I don't have a problem with that. I give our guarantee to our patients that if you fill your Norco on time, a Spanish speaking Monkey will fly out of my ass and make you a denver omelet.

See, I can promise things too.

Apparently, this wasn't enough. Oh no, in an age where a Dateline special lurks around the corner for a worn down, exhausted pharmacist to make a mistake, Rite Aid decided to kick it up a notch. They decided to offer a $5 gift card if that 15 minute guarantee is not met.

Bravo Rite Aid, bravo. Way to aim yet another shotgun blast to the image of pharmacy.

We live in a world where pharmacy is viewed as a product based business rather than the service it truly is. That's how PBMs reimburse us, that's how the public views us and that's how we are treated on a daily basis. If we are to truly reach the goals laid out by APhA and other organizations, we must truly remedy this fallacy.

But then there is Rite Aid, making sure that for every step forward that we are shoved back another five.

A few weeks ago I questioned why national organization such as APhA did not denounce WAG's creation of Wal-beer. Again, I ask, how can APhA allow such a cheap attempt to attain customers without disparage?

It doesn't so much matter that the 15 minute guarantee is a game of Russian Roulette as it is. Rite Aid just made sure that the barrel is loaded with five bullets instead of just one.

Rarely are we complemented for the work we do in fixing errors by doctors, solving various insurance issues, keep track of interactions or offering simple advice. We are chastised when their doctor takes one day too long to fax back a refill authorization or when the four different C-IIs they drop off take a bit too long to fill.

The public already treats us like we're the bitch of the health care system, there's no need to give them another whip to play with.

People need to start realizing that in pharmacy the customer is not always right. In fact, they are not a customer at all, they are a patient and we are a health care provider. This is not a Jiffy Lube where we'll top off the washer fluid just for the hell of it.

And with ridiculous programs like the one Rite Aid is employing, we'll have a damn hard time trying to convince anyone otherwise.

It's just too bad they can't use their $5 to buy a six pack of Wal-Beer. Oh wait, I think I just gave someone an idea...


Carol said...

Dear any pharmacist who takes care of any prescription I bring in-you may take all the time you need to fill it correctly and check my allergies and drug interactions. I don't want your pharmacy's $5. gift card. I just wanna-yanno-not die!



Unchaine Pharmacist said...

Bitches of the health care system, unite!

During my years, I've noticed that the pharmacists react to our deteriorating working environment in several different ways.

1) "C'mon guys! We are lucky to even have a job. Let's work hard for the company and it will take care of us."
--young, ambitious, naive
--desperately seeking DM

2) "This is BS. I'll do what I'll do and y'all can just kiss my ..."
--seasoned, realistic, yet defiant.
--after being passed over for the DM job.

3) "I'm just here for the money. As long as you pay me, I'm your bitch."
--married with children and mortgage.
--after being schooled by the DM that was promoted past him/her.

I think pharmacy will be a happier place to work if we all are in #2.

Anonymous said...

This is just Rite Aid's last little Fuck You to the profession of pharmacy.

PharmDGirl said...

I understand your ANGER I work for CVS!!! Try

Keith said...

New York has banned the 15 minute guarantee and I think New Jersey has done so too. I have contacted my state board in Mississippi and they are going to bring up this issue at their next board meeting. EVERY PHARMACIST NEEDS TO CONTACT THEIR STATE BOARD ABOUT THIS ISSUE. This is an issue in which pharmacists can WIN.

Mad Pharmacy Tech said...

I've always had issues with the gift-cards for pharmacy services (lord knows I saw enough $25 to transfer your prescription coupons to make my eyes bleed 35 times over), but coming from Rite Aid? Life support Rite Aid? Hell, half the time I talk to people and bring Rite Aid up, the first thing said is "they're still open?"

You know some jackasses are taking advantage of this too...saying it took 20 when it took 10...throwing fits until someone gives them a damn gift card.