Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Giant Eagle....destroying the profession of pharmacy

If you haven't heard it yet, the profession of pharmacy has taken another hit by a chain to destroy and devalue the role of pharmacists.

Giant Eagle, a grocery chain based out of western Pennsylvania, has decided to distribute a handful of diabetes medications to their Advantage card members for free. This follows in the footsteps of their program to give away certain antibiotic prescriptions for free.

If this doesn't piss you off as a pharmacist, I don't know what would.

We have a grocery store telling pharmacists that the value of their PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE is ZERO DOLLARS. Actually, it's less than that when you factor in the cost of medication, vials, etc.

If you are a pharmacist with Giant Eagle, you should be raising holy hell over this move. I don't work for Giant Eagle and I feel offended for the pharmacists that work there.

In a time when pharmacy organizations are trying to get insurers and the government to see the value of a pharmacist's expertise in medication therapy and compensate us for this expertise, we have a bunch of jokers over at Giant Eagle saying Hey, the pharmacist's expertise is work diddly-squat.

Back when all of the $4 generic programs rolled out, pharmacists cried out that the professional services offered by pharmacists were being devalued. Giant Eagle views these services as having absolutely no value. After this move, I don't see how any self-respecting pharmacist could continue to work for Giant Eagle.

Out of curiosity, I visited the news pages for the Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio pharmacist associations. I didn't see a single mention of this abomination that Giant Eagle has implemented.

The pharmacist associations should be screaming from the rooftops about this. This grocery chain attempting to dictate the course of OUR PROFESSION.


The course of pharmacy should be determined by PHARMACISTS, not banana pushers.

Every pharmacist should be speaking out against this. If you sit back and stay quiet, you are saying that you don't care that our profession is being hijacked by freaking grocers.

It's time to grow some balls folks. Pharmacists need to speak up in opposition to this move by Giant Eagle.

YOU are the voice of pharmacy.

You can't count on a few voices on Twitter or blogs to be the only voices speaking in opposition to this. Every pharmacist should speak up.

APhA..... you're the organization that needs to lead on this one. The profession is being attacked by some bagboys in PA. It's time to step up to the plate to show those of us in the retail world that you care about us. If retail pharmacy devolves into free drugs for everybody, you won't need to worry about MTM and immunizations because there won't be a snowball's chance in hell that anybody would pay for anything offered by a pharmacist.

State organizations... get on your state legislators. Get something worked into the law that guarantees that pharmacists must be compensated for their professional expertise. A salary doesn't cut it anymore. We need to be paid for our expertise on each and every prescription that we handle. Check out the idea at the end of one of my previous posts and run with it.

1 comment:

Phathead said...

This is why I can't wait to be coerced to join APhA when school starts. Stuff like this is beyond ridiculous, it's reckless.

We need an organization that actually works for pharmacies and pharmacists, not simply pats them on the back.

We'll never be taken seriously as a profession if things like this keep happening.