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Monday, May 13, 2013


I think that if businesses that have pharmacy departments are going to have pharmacy departments, they should treat their pharmacy departments as they do their other departments. (Note--this means businesses where pharmacy does not account for the majority of the business; formerly known as loss-leader departments.)

Grocery Stores--there's always a lady with an apron and hairnet handing out samples of meatballs or trail mix along each department of the store. Embrace this with free samples at the pharmacy. We could mix up Golytely and offer little shooters. Jell-O Nulytely shots for all!  Followed by Imodium chasers? Once a month they could offer Lithium Lollipops or Haldol Hummus?

Wholesale Clubs--Penicillin and Ibuprofen, available by prescription, sold only in 500 and 1000 count bottles. Otherwise, what's the incentive? Gallons of Purple Drink for that nagging cough? Bulk benzodiazepines would be nice too.

Discount Stores--Make pharmacy a destination by including it in your holiday sales ads. I'm not talking about advertising Claritin-D or $4 generics; I'm talking about Door-Buster sales on Oxycontin and the 512's the day after Thanksgiving. Limited quantities and hours. We'd hand out vouchers to the first 50 people in line. Imagine the revenue!

Think about this. In all of these locations, what is the only department expected to remain professional and adhere to the Federal, State, and Local laws governing its practice all while trying to practice it amidst the circus environment that these settings promote?

Laws? We don't need no stinking laws! We've already pushed the boundaries of pharmacy so far outside of the profession, we can hardly get recognized as a healthcare field anymore. I say let's go balls out with this. These locations have done more to kill the respect of our profession than they have to further it. I think we need to differentiate between the multiple types of retail pharmacies: Those that are REAL pharmacies and those that are cheap knock-off destinations. There is certainly room for this in the American market, and I'm sure in the world, but let's let the people know what to expect when they walk in the front doors. Yes, the product is the same. Yes. the pharmacist is the same professional in a white coat, but the expectations for the environment are different.

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