Mail (Fail) Order Pharmacy


OK, I will just come right out and say it.  I DO NOT LIKE WHAT MAIL ORDER PHARMACY HAS DONE TO THE PROFESSION.  You do not have a mail order Doctor or a mail order Dentist, why should you have a mail order Pharmacist.  Patients need to have a Pharmacy they go to on a regular basis and a Pharmacist they develop a relationship with.  Your pharmacist checks your medication profile, knows what medications you are taking, talks with your doctor about your therapy, and asks you questions when you come in the store. 

If you are unhappy with your current Pharmacy and Pharmacist, walk into a new Pharmacy and ask to speak with the Pharmacist.  Ask them if there is a regular staff, or do they have different pharmacists rotating through.  Find out how easy it is to get 1-2 minutes of the pharmacist's time.  Ask them if they would be willing to work with you as a patient. 

So, back to mail order.  Insurance companies have contracts with mail-order pharmacies.  Financially, it is in their best interest to fill the prescriptions and mail them to the patients.  This is advertised as a convenience to the patient; however, more than that, it increases the profit margin of the relationship between the insurance company and the mail-order pharmacy.  What we are missing here is the patient-pharmacist contact. 

Even though insurance companies send out mass mailing to their clients touting the fantastic and simple process of receiving prescriptions through the mail, I still see 2 or 3 people each week in the pharmacy that have some sort of mail order pharmacy miss-adventure story to tell me about.  Regularly I encourage patients who are dissatisfied with their mail order prescription process to call their insurance and request to "OPT-OUT" of the mail order process.  This then allows them to come into their pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions and discuss them face to face with their own pharmacist.

I am not naive enough to think that this mail order process is just a passing phase.  Unfortunately, I believe it has come to stay and will continue to take up more and more of the market share.  Mail order pharmacy questions were the idea starter behind www.AudibleRx.com.  Each time a patient receives a prescription in the mail they also receive stacks of drug information papers to read through.

AudibleRxTM gives the patient a simple website where they can go and click on the name of the medication that they just received and listen to a pharmacist describe all of the important aspects of that particular medication in a Medication Specific Counseling SessionTM.  The idea is not to replace the counseling session between the pharmacist and the patient, but rather help educate the patient about the medication so they may take educated and appropriate questions back to their own pharmacist or doctor.

Thanks
Steve
www.AudibleRx.com

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