The Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) has been in the news a lot lately, and everyone is wondering what it will mean for them. Patients, healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, and even pharmacists are torn between being concerned and hopeful. Most of the media attention has focused on how this bill is going to help individuals or how much money it is going to cost to implement. However, not a lot of people are talking about the job growth and boost to the economy that could result from the Health Care Reform Act and its impact on the donut hole in Medicare.
It sounds odd to speak of donut holes and Medicare in the same sentence, but these donut holes are not like the kind you would have with your morning coffee. In regards to Medicare, the term Donut Hole refers to a gap in coverage. Specifically, for our purposes, the gap in coverage for medication. Right now, the gap begins after a patient has purchased $2,380 worth of prescription medications. [click to continue…]
Since I began writing on this blog, I’ve found much more to talk about with my local pharmacist. We discuss a variety of pharmacy topics when I go in to refill prescriptions several times a month. Before, it was the usual “how are you doing” kind of conversation, and now I use him as a source of inspiration and information. Recently, I was telling him about some of the blog posts I’d been writing and mentioned temporary nursing positions. I asked him if he knew about them, and he did. Then we started discussing about how the same type of arrangement is also available for pharmacists. He said it had never interested him much, because he likes where he lives, but that he’d known several people who enjoyed the variety. He had similar things to say about becoming a per diem pharmacist, and mentioned that their pharmacy employed them from time to time when someone was sick or was scheduled for vacation.
Oddly, I had never noticed if someone different was busily filling my prescriptions, but then again, I hadn’t really started having conversations with my pharmacist every visit until recently. I usually deal with the pharmacy technician or cashier unless I have a specific question about the medications. I must admit I was intrigued. I asked if he could tell me why people were interested in becoming a per diem pharmacist. Some of the answers reminded me of what nurses I know have to say and others seemed more specific to the world of pharmaceuticals. [click to continue…]
I love my local pharmacy; I even like the big chain pharmacy for some things. One thing I’ve recently learned is that not all of the people behind the pharmacy counter are pharmacists. Heck, not even most of them, apparently.
In the pharmacy I frequent, there are usually two pharmacy technicians and one pharmacist there at the same time. During slower hours, there may only be one technician, but there is at least one at all times. I had previously assumed that there was the pharmacist, who put the medications in the bottles, and the other people who stocked shelves or worked as cashiers. It’s amazing the kinds of misconceptions you can have, and how completely wrong they can be.
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Listening to my radio on the way to the grocery store, I heard an advertisement for flu shots being given at one of the local pharmacy clinics. The ad talked about the importance of getting the seasonal flu shot and described who should get the H1N1 flu shot. The hours were listed, and a special point was made of how the shots, and clinic, were available every day. At first I thought how convenient it would be not to have to make a doctor’s appointment and be able to go in on the weekend. Then I started wondering about how my regular doctor would get records from this clinic and who would be providing the shots, or any medical advice, were I to go in for another reason.
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Most pharmacists will tell you that generic medications are comparable to their brand name counterparts. However, recent studies and editorials have indicated that not everyone feels this is necessarily true. What is the responsibility of a pharmacist in this age of abundant medications to give information to the consumer?
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