With more than 25,000 pharmacists at Walgreens stores alone, the chief executive of the nation's largest pharmacy chain sees his company's efforts go beyond just filling prescriptions as part of a solution he calls medication therapy management.But how to do this?
By helping patients stick to taking their medications and making better and more cost-effective choices, Wasson believes the country's pharmacists could help save billions of dollars in medical-care costs. That money could be used to provide benefits to more people.
To make medication therapy management work, Wasson said, pharmacies would need to be paid more (my emphasis). Drugstores have long complained about the fees they are paid to dispense drugs, typically from $2 to $4 per dispensed prescription; Walgreens says costs are more than $10 per prescription."Wellness advice?" Everyone knows that Walgreens gets plenty of money from their convenience store model (pick up other goodies when you get your prescription).
Payments to pharmacies also would need to include the time to provide patient consultations, plus wellness advice and other tips.
Any health reform proposal asking to increase costs now in hopes of saving money later should be summarily shot down in these days of irrational health care reform spending exhubernance. (I have to wonder if the sudden added cost of prescriptions might be from their "buggy" e-prescribing system, but I digress.) The real question: where's the money going to come from for his "medication therapy management?"
Oh, I forgot, probably the Chinese.