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According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, chronic patient noncompliance – refusal or inability to take prescribed medications – results in nearly $300 billion in avoidable costs to the healthcare system when patients wind up in the hospital. Pharmacies, especially independents that have more time to focus on customer services, are in a unique position to identify issues and facilitate change. [click to continue…]


The FDA has declared war on over the counter (OTC) medications, with the main targets being cold and fever medications, dietary supplements, and antacids. With OTC products increasingly harder to find, it’s up to pharmacists to fill the gap for consumers and help them find replacement products that meet their needs. [click to continue…]


American Pharmacists Month

by pharmacy on October 21, 2010

October is American Pharmacists Month. The celebration that now lasts for a full month originated in 1924 when Robert J Ruth, a North Carolina pharmacist, broached the idea of promoting the profession during a meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, now known as the American Pharmacist Association. He suggested a “National Pharmaceutical Week,” and the idea was well received. The first celebration of National Pharmaceutical Week was October 11th – 17th of 1925. Radio stations around the nation aired programs that promoted the pharmaceutical profession. [click to continue…]


New York Drug Prices Differ Drastically

by Toby Roberts on March 10, 2010

A team of public interest groups recently completed a comparison of drug prices across the state of New York.  The study focused on the consumer price for ten of the most popular drugs available. The research concluded that the prices for prescription drugs vary dramatically by location and provider.

In one county in New York, for example, the same Nexium capsules were found to range in price from $171.69 to $309.65. The New York Public Interest Research group added that the part of the problem is that many consumers are not aware that prices on prescriptions fluctuate by provider. Many believe that prices are the same everywhere and do not take to time to compare. The concern is that consumers may be less likely to fill and continue taking prescriptions if the costs are dramatically inflated by retailers. [click to continue…]


Walgreens Fined $33 million for Prescription Mistake

by Toby Roberts on March 5, 2010

Walgreens lost a recent appeal to overturn a decision that awarded $33 million to the family of a woman who died because of an improperly filled prescription.

In 2002, Beth Hippely was prescribed the blood thinner Warfarin to help treat her breast cancer. The prescription that she was given was approximately 10 times the level prescribed. The jury in the original case found that the mix up was the cause of a cerebral hemorrhage that left her permanently disabled and in physical pain. She later died at the age of 46.

The appeals court upheld the original decision that found Walgreens liable and leveled the large payoff to the family. Walgreens would not comment on the case.,2933,587762,00.html


Rates Lowered for Electronic Prescriptions

by Toby Roberts on February 17, 2010

Surescripts electronic prescriptions implemented an overall rate reduction for their services in January of this year. The reduction is an attempt to encourage smaller pharmacies and physician groups to use electronic prescription services. The drop is estimated at a 10-15% reduction for smaller independent pharmacies. The amount of the decrease varies slightly depending on the type of software that is being used.

The service is already free for physicians and other prescribers but the company estimates that fewer than 25% of small offices make use of electronic prescriptions. Larger companies with in house IT departments have already made the switch but the majority of prescriptions are written by independent physicians and staffs. [click to continue…]


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