Monday, September 26, 2011

Wait, Is That Walgreen's Leading The Way?

Past writings have been evident in showing that I greatly disagree with how Walgreen's conducts their business in the profession. With firsthand experience, it is quite obvious that patient care is not necessarily their primary focus. Clearly I am not alone in this feeling as it is often perpetuated by vast number of other individuals within the profession.

Then how is it that, at this very moment, the pharmacy organization that is finally standing up for, what can best be termed, the unalienable rights of pharmacy is Walgreen's?

Who is challenging one of the largest PBMs in this country and their ridiculous reimbursement rates?

Who is seeking to educate the public as to what a pharmacist truly does in the retail setting?

It's not APhA. It's not the various pharmacy schools around the country. It's Walgreen's of all people.

Actually it speaks volumes that an organization who's ultimate goal is really to increase their revenue is taking this stand rather than the professional organization that is supposed to represent us.  Walgreen's is not attempting to be the torch bearer for the profession, they is just a byproduct to increase their own market share.

There is some irony in that due to Walgreen's inherent greed, they are inadvertently pushing forward a movement that could actually change the profession. The spat with Express Scripts will invariably continue to grow more ugly as they both stare each other down like two bullies on a playground. It's about damn time someone stared them down though... even if it is another bully.

Walgreen's has also been focusing on an advertising campaign regarding their ten point checklist for patient's safety. It may seem trivial to us, but when you consider many people believe a pharmacist merely puts pills in a bottle, this may help to show that we are actually a dispensary of knowledge.

I have been saying for a long time that the profession needs to step up and show the public what it is we are doing. Not only to better facilitate understanding of the profession, but to reveal how much more integrated we can be in the health care system. We can't do it on our own, that has become blatantly obvious, so why do we not have our patients become involved?

And Walgreen's is attempting to accomplish it in their own battles. It really is perplexing as it is intriguing and if the outcome is successful it may prove to be a blueprint for future change.

Who would have thought that Walgreen's would be the first one to take the first step on a national scale? Wonder if APhA is even paying attention...


Alternative Medicine said...

Walgreens seems to be everywhere these days! I like them better than the other chains though...

chelsea said...

I work for Walgreens, and at times I completely agree that Walgreens' business policies don't always have the best intentions regarding patients. At the same time, no other pharmacy has our computer system linking us all across the country. That ALONE is the great thing about Walgreens, besides the fact that we are more convenient than Albertsons, Target, or Fred-Meyer… Wal-mart… ugh, I don't even want to get started on Wal-mart, and Rite-Aid just sucks. CVS however kind of has us in a bag. Despite all of that, the current situation with ESI is insane. If this DOES go through I don't think a lot of people, beside pharmacy people, realize the MAGNITUDE of it's effects.

This week we started handing out paper petition forms that the patients can sign right then-and-there so we can mail them off to corporate to show ESI how many people WANT Walgreens.
I noticed yesterday, as well, that Walgreens has a website dedicated to "I Choose Walgreens" allowing people to petition online.

I've worked for the company for six years. It really started as a high-school job my senior year working in the front of the store, and eventually I moved to photo and worked the floor. After that, I began interacting with the Pharmacy staff and I saw them helping hundreds of people everyday; I realized the demand and need for them. I didn't know what I wanted to do at the time, but 3 years into working at Walgreens I KNEW I wanted to be Pharmacist. It took me two years, but I finally got into the Pharmacy as technician and I am currently finishing my pre-reqs for pharm school. I am hoping to apply this semester depending on how my biochem class goes, long story.

I apologize for them ramble, but I appreciate what you have to say about Walgreens and their fight against ESI. To me, they are a monopoly… they are trying to become the ONLY option for people's pharmacy needs.

This happened 2 summers ago with CVS/Caremark, it fell threw, and we continued our contract. The way Walgreens is acting now, being a full-force for "I Choose Walgreens," is a little scary regarding whether or not we will be contracted with ESI after Dec. 31st. Hopefully, the petitioning works because I am not ONLY fighting for my job, but I am fighting for the MY FUTURE and the FUTURE of PHARMACY. I am glad that Walgreens is taking a stand; it makes me PROUD to work for Walgreens.

Phathead said...

I have been rather impressed with what we've gotten from our DM regarding the whole thing. I woulda have thought they would be very in your face about it, but aside from the excessive number of CAPs they've been very good about it.