At the beginning of each month I will scour the web for local independent pharmacy news stories that feature or impact pharmacies like yours. Here is the August recap.

In letter to the editor, Buffalo area health plan supports independent pharmacies

When a health insurance plan supports independent pharmacies over mail order, that’s news.

The Buffalo News published a letter to the editor from Martin Burruano, R.Ph. and VP of Pharmacy Services for regional health plan Independent Health in response to an article they published, “Home-delivered medications are a growing option for patients.”

In his letter, Burruano notes that ordering medications by mail can be a customer convenience, but it can’t replace the relationship each patient has with their pharmacist and doctor. He cites the statistic that up to 50 percent of all prescribed medications are not taken as directed.

Burruano concludes, “Effective communication about one’s prescription can increase patient adherence by 19 percent, which is why your local pharmacist, along with your doctor, can help your medication work the way it should.” Read the full letter to the editor here.

North Dakota independent pharmacists on edge over ballot initiative

North Dakota has been a holdout state when it comes to requiting pharmacies to be majority owned by registered pharmacists. Now, an initiative to permit non-majority ownership will appear on North Dakota’s November ballot.

Advocates of the initiative claim that increased competition will lower costs to consumers.

Independent pharmacies fear that allowing chain pharmacies to operate in the largely rural state will force them out of business.

Currently in North Dakota, there is a pharmacy for every 2,800 people. The national average is one per 4,800.

You’ll find the full story in the Valley News Live.

Arkansas Pharmacy aims for small-town feel

The Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, AR ran a story on pharmacist John Wirges, who resigned his position after the pharmacy where he worked was purchased by Walgreens and searched for a more suitable opportunity.

He found it when he partnered with Cornerstone Pharmacy, a network of independently owned Arkansas pharmacies. His store in Conway is now the 11th independent pharmacy in the Cornerstone network.

As Wirges put it, “It’s a huge blessing to be able to do this in the town we’re living and raising our kids. We think it’s a great service. We’re proponents of pharmacy. We try to provide that small town, independent pharmacy feel, call you by name when you come in.”

Read the full story