Over the last few months, we’ve looked at the nursing and overall medical staff shortage – perhaps one of the most complex issues in the U.S. medical community.
And while we’ve looked at why the shortage exists and specific states where staff are in demand, we haven’t (until now) looked closely at the demand itself.
Will there really be more of a demand?
Assuming president Obama’s healthcare reform measures kick-in at the beginning of 2014, there will be an Obamacare-based effect, but not the skyrocket in demand some are predicting:
Because Medicare already covers pretty much everyone 65 and older, most of the estimated 32 million Americans who will become covered under the new healthcare reforms by 2014 are younger people (who typically don’t need anywhere near as many healthcare services as seniors.) [click to continue…]
One of the wonderful things about filling prescriptions at a local pharmacy, whether it is part of a national chain or locally owned, is that you know whom you are dealing with. While many well-known corporations allow customers to fill their prescriptions online, there are also more nefarious websites that target people who are trying to save money or who want medications that are not usually available in the United States.
For a pharmacist working in a brick and mortar store, customers defecting to online pharmacies could have devastating economic implications. There are numerous government and industry resources available to help educate your customers about the potential dangers of ordering their medications online.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a section devoted to warning consumers about the possible problems associated with purchasing medications over the internet. They provide details on how patients can help recognize counterfeit medications and how to tell if they have received the wrong medication, as well as warning signs that a website may not be legitimate. The site also has a variety of materials you can print and post in your pharmacy or give to customers when they fill a prescription.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has a link to the licensure website for each state as well as for areas of Canada and New Zealand. Provide this link in any literature you may want to assemble for customers to help them make informed decisions.
The FBI has a brief overview of how consumers can help protect themselves from illegitimate online pharmacies. Print the article and post for customers to read in your pharmacy.
Of course, you don’t want to scare customers into thinking that all websites that offer to fill prescriptions online are providing inferior products or set up to obtain credit card information for malicious purposes. However, the threat of those situations occurring is quite real and more likely to happen with older individuals or people who are not aware of the possibility. By providing factual information and resources for your customers, you will help them make informed decisions. You may even be able to point to your own website as an example of what a reputable site looks like and how it can be verified.
How have you handled the increase in online accessibility of medications and the ability of customers to obtain those medications for a lower price than you are able to offer? Have you had patients come back with horror stories? Do you actively try to warn customers about the dangers that can be associated with filling prescriptions online?
There are numerous apps available on the iPhone for pharmacists and pharmacy students. Unlike some of the more widely accessible and popular apps available, some of these tend to be a bit more expensive. While the higher price is a reflection of the amount of information available in these apps and should not dissuade you from exploring the apps and considering their ability to help you in your day-to-day practice, some of the free or inexpensive apps are also valuable assets to consider. [click to continue…]
The world of pharmaceuticals is constantly evolving as new medications are added to the market. As with any medical profession, it is important for a pharmacist to keep up with the latest information and innovations. This is where trade organizations become invaluable. There are numerous national and state pharmacy organizations. Today, we will discuss four of the most popular in the national arena. [click to continue…]
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…]