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    The future of pharmacy is finally here

     

    No pharmacists need apply

    More time on hold (although less, I noticed, than  than the wait on the line pharmacists were normally expected to call); then a woman explained to me that prior auths could be granted only when a physician's office, not a pharmacy, submitted the relevant clinical information.

    Ignoring her implicit rejection of my qualifications, I asked whether the package insert could be considered relevant clinical information, as it says clear as day that a healthy adult should get two tablets a day. I offered to fax a copy of it to her.

    That got me back on hold. I decided MTM could stand for “Mightily Taking on Meatheads.” 

    I tried to distract myself from the hold music by imagining a board meeting of this insurance company’s top executives, where they were all baffled as to why their Star Ratings were so low.

    No explanation, no apology

    Finally a new voice came on the line and said coldly, “You can submit the claim now.” No explanation, no apology, no recognition of the absurdity of this whole situation.

    I filed the claim and got paid $3 more than the product cost me — and nothing, of course, for the considerable length of time I had spent optimizing the drug therapy that wouldn't have needed optimizing if an incompetent organization hadn't stuck its nose where it didn't belong, in an attempt to save a few cents.  

    I doubt whether many pharmacies out there would have had the time I happened to have that day to spend on my MTM, which I guess puts me on the cutting edge of retail pharmacy practice.

    I liked it better when I was just expected to count and pour, and had plenty of time to talk to the people at the counter. But I'll still take it over chickenization. 

    David Stanley, RPh
    David Stanley is a pharmacy owner, blogger, and professional writer in northern California. Contact him at [email protected]

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