Pharmacy school students live in a delusional world of pharmacyland. I have taken it upon myself to give them the harsh reality check of retail-life so they don’t end up wasting 50k (or more) in schooling to end up becoming a plumber.
Pharmacy professors wield the term “patient care” to their students like its what brings home the bacon every pay-period. Hate to break it to you kiddies, but they are full of shit.
You know what makes the store money? Filling prescriptions. Like it or leave it, filling an Rx fills your paycheck. This precious ‘patient care’ where you go out front and
waste your time consult Mrs Smith on how to take her atenolol for the 4th time this month ends up costing the store money in the long run because you are not filling prescriptions. Spending hours with patients may make you feel warm and fuzzy, but getting off your ass and filling Rx’s is what keeps your paychecks from bouncing. Remember, Pharmacists cost the store they are working for $1 to $1.50/min. Spend an hour with a patient who’s Rx’s net you $15 profit just sunk the store into the hole (by just your time alone). Not to say you should have a timer, but remember that pharmacy is also a business, and you and your staff have to eat/pay bills as well. Time management, again not taught in pharmacy school.
This ties into my ‘health care is a privilege not a right’ rant that’s coming soon.
So thats the reality of the situation, and nobody can say that I’m way off base here. However the kicker here is that patient care will bring patients to your store and increase the amount of Rx’s you fill (thereby giving you more money). That being said, the most important thing that your store has to do to make money is fill Rx’s. Patient care does not directly give you money, but indirectly gives you money. Got it?
“But TAP, MTM this and MTM that and MTM MTM MTM!” MTM is a pipe dream, and the sooner you realize that the better off you will be. How can Medicare afford MTM when they can barely keep their heads above water by processing that prescription (doughnut hole anyone? Why are we making a $4 profit?). How much hourly wage will you have to pay a dedicated staff person (because having an RPh do that is just wasting money) to keep up on the MTM billing and making sure they pay? For what, a net profit of about $30? Plus most patients who need MTM are too stupid to take their medications as prescribed anyways, so why are we wasting Medicare money and our time!
“But TAP, that’s why we have techs and typists!” Yeah, I’m not sure about you, but I personally want to override that Drug-Drug interaction and make sure the reimbursement on that Rx isn’t doing me in the ass. If you want to value a CPhT education vs a BS/PharmD when it comes to interactions, then I suggest we make the CPhT consult patients, take new ones on the phone, and just shitcan us all together. Ever see a tech blow through the reimbursement screen to realize that Medical is now paying $11 (the generic reimbursement price) for trade name Zoloft without as much as a warning? The thought of having a Tech do everything while I sit there and drink coffee while checking drugs as they come out of a ScriptPro makes my asshole pucker. But hey, its your license, not mine.
Now I know that most of you wont agree with me on this topic and you’ll rant about the “future of retail pharmacy”. Why don’t we worry about the NOW of retail pharmacy before we look years ahead (like why PBM’s are making more than we are). Lets teach the students the TRUTH about retail pharmacy and teach them skills so they can work/operate/design a well ran efficient pharmacy that allows them to consult but still allows them to safely fill Rx’s. MTM is just verbal masturbation to appease all of the associations who pat each other on the back and think they did something. Lets quit fooling ourselves and deal with the problems of now rather than making the solutions for tomorrows problems.