One pharmacy to rule them all…

Going along with my previous (and popular) socialized medicine post, I have a solution from the pharmacy aspect that I thought of while reading some responses to it.

You see, we shouldn’t have the folks like Walgreens, Rite-Aid (if they are still around), CVS, and the hundreds of independents profiting off of the pain and suffering of our aging and sick population.  We all know that Walgreens charges like cost + $30 on most of their generics, that’s just pure profit and its wrong!  The $4 menu is just suckering you in so they can pass the “savings” off on the bigger ticket items.

The federal government should open its own pharmacy, a huge one, and go 100% mail order for everyone.  They can negotiate directly with the drug manufacturers to drive the cost down, and people will just have one flat copay regardless of drug (the rest will be subsidized by the government).  All citizens will use this pharmacy because it’ll be cheaper than anyone else.  Most insurance plans require mail order anyways, so what would be the big difference doing consultations over the phone (since we do them now anyways).  Sorta like how the VA or Kaiser does it, only on a much larger scale.

Since its the government, it can make its own rules with regard to how many pharmacists/techs it can have.  50 techs to 1 pharmacist?  Sure!  Huge warehouses of nothing by filling machines and techs certified to check off prescriptions? You got it!  You want Cozaar? Too bad you’re getting Diovan and LOVING IT.  Got a complaint? Call this 800 number.  Meds get lost in the mail? Call this 800 number again!

Just think, $5 for Zyvox since the government can tell the manufacturers to either lower their cost or take a hike.  I’m sure they would get a deal also since they run the postal service.

Except… most of you (including myself) would be without jobs because the price would drive down so low that you couldn’t stay in business.  Much like what WalMart did to the local mom-and-pop shops.  At least the cost of drugs (brand name) keeps the chains vs independents in line with each other.  Obviously pharmacists are all about ‘helping the patient’ so our jobs really mean little in the whole grand scheme of things.  Techs on the other hand are set!  You only need a bare staff of pharmacists to just sort through the massive amount of medical data the government would be collecting from filling your prescriptions.

Drug reps would be a thing of the past because doctors wouldn’t have any choice in what they prescribe, it’ll just be what the government approves of.  Hell, maybe they can pay-per-view drug-rep battles to see who’s PPI gets on formulary!

Just a thought you know, because some of you feel that having the government play the healthcare game is a good idea (which I don’t expect you all to agree with me ALL the time, just most of the time when it involves crackheads and Soma).  In fact, the government stepping in is a great idea until they bottom out most of the private insurances (because what private company can compete with the government?  A private company backed by a few billion in shareholder cash that people choose to invest in vs the federal government which is backed by every working citizens taxes that they are forced encouraged to pay.  Lets see who’s going to win!); which turn cause a bunch of layoffs (cue whining), and give them a 4.8 trillion dollar bailout like every other failing corporation gets. But hey! Those laid off people will have AWESOME health benefits regardless if they are contributing taxes or not!

Just a thought I had.  Continue your discussions.