Local pharmacy reacts to '60 Minutes' DEA investigation

Local pharmacy reacts to ’60 Minutes’ DEA investigation

Madison Wade, WBIR 6:43 PM. EDT October 16, 2017

Link: http://www.wbir.com/news/local/local-pharmacy-reacts-to-60-minutes-dea-investigation/483813107

KNOXVILLE, TENN. – A 60 Minutes and Washington Post investigation released Sunday claimed Congress helped “disarm the DEA” from fighting the nationwide opioid crisis. 

The investigation reported a law passed in 2016 and signed by President Barack Obama made it impossible for the DEA to step in and stop suspicious narcotic shipments from ending up in pill mills. 

An ex-DEA agent came forward and said Congress, lobbyists and several drug distributors fueled the epidemic by allowing the bill to pass. 

Several lawmakers are also facing backlash from the report, including drug czar candidate Tom Marino and U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

The Washington Post said Blackburn, who is now running for the senate, was a sponsor of the bill. The report said she received $120,000 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry.

According to our partners at the Tennessean, a spokesperson for Blackburn responded, saying “if there are any unintended consequences from this bipartisan legislation, they should be addressed immediately.”

Pharmacists at Belew Drug off Broadway in North Knoxville said the report seemed to address drug distributors instead of pharmacies. 

“It seems like they were focusing on entities doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason,” said Brandon Lock, a pharmacist at Belew Drug. “I think they were naming out the old pill mills that there used to be where you had doctors and pharmacists in one building inappropriately dispensing medications.”

Lock said they do not take the opioid epidemic lightly at their pharmacy.

“We have the ability to say no when anything comes across our desk. if we don’t think it’s appropriate we don’t dispense it,” Lock added. 

Lock they count every pill in every prescription more than once, and they also cannot simply order a surplus of narcotics.

“If a pharmacy orders more of a specific substance in a class then that order would be denied,” Lock said. 

They also run every patient through a controlled substance database that gives the pharmacist more insight into the patient’s previous opioid medications.

“It’s a lot of communication to make sure the right thing is being done,” Lock added.

While the opioid epidemic continues to affect lives and suspected drug overdoses continue to take lives, Lock said it’s important to triple check every prescription.

“All we can do is do our best to control it from our end,” Lock said. “There are not always good people writing prescriptions and you need to find those people and stop that.”

© 2017 WBIR.COM

Pharmacies Offering Prescription Delivery Services

Prescription Delivery Services: Could You Benefit From Offering This Service?

Offering Prescription delivery services could set you apart from the competition in tough times.  There are many challenges both patient and independent pharmacy are facing today. “One of the biggest threats to community pharmacy is the mail order pharmacy. Because they are owned by the PBM, they can essentially force patients to use mail order by refusing to pay for their medications. But they also gain many customers just on the notion of convenience – because they can deliver their medications to the patient’s door”.  Many independent pharmacies are asking themselves what they can do to compete.

Prescription Delivery Services may not be for every pharmacy so it is best to do your research on your community to ensure this would benefit both you and your patients. Independent pharmacies like The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy locations have been offering delivery services for years.

Tips and thoughts to consider before getting started with prescription delivery services.

Patient Benefits to Pharmacy Delivery Services:

Executed prescription regimen
Minimal effort

Many patients have conditions that don’t allow them to drive and pharmacies offering delivery services are critical for them to receive needed medications. Many pharmacies have found that by offering these services they have even begun to attract new customers.

Factors to consider planning for prescription delivery services:• Know Your State Laws and Requirements

  • Know Your State Laws and Requirements
  • Research Your Community: Would the surrounding area benefit from this service?
  • Analyze Your Patients
    • Do you have a lot of homebound customers in which other people come in and pick up prescriptions for them?
    • Do you have patients who have a hard time staying on track with their refills? Offering delivery service could help them adhere to their prescription regimen.
  • Survey Your Geographical Area: Can you service a rural area that has no pharmacy to service them? Are you in a populated area and could deliver to a whole street block and eliminate long lines in your pharmacy.
  • Set Yourself Apart: Are there other pharmacies in your area offering this service? If there is, you may want to offer it to compete with them but, if there is no other delivery service in your area this could be your competitive advantage.

“Our small pharmacy can’t afford to do delivery services”.

With today’s shrinking reimbursements, this may be a common thought. There is no way your pharmacy can take on an extra expense and this may be true for your pharmacy because prescription delivery services aren’t for every pharmacy. It is best to do your research on your community and have a clear plan but, before you write it off here are some tips that are helping other pharmacies incorporate this service.

Tips To Help You Integrate Prescription Delivery Service Into Your Pharmacy

1. Instate a delivery charge – a small fee may be a small price to pay for the ease and their items right to their doorstep.
2. Set a delivery service distance parameter.
3. Offer free delivery service with a required minimum purchase of over the counter products.

MyTherapy App_Managing Prescriptions_TrxadeBlog

Managing Prescriptions Made Easy With These Trending Apps

August 2, 2017: Technology is everywhere we look, does society really need another app? While some may say no, over three and a half million people are finding the benefit to using apps when it comes to managing prescriptions.  And this is where you, their pharmacist comes in.

Your patients come to you for a variety of reasons but one is because of the individual care and attention you provide. It is no secret that independent pharmacies are up against a rock and a hard place so it is vital for you to stay current, fresh and anticipate the next product your patients are looking for.   If this product helps them keep their medications organized and takes the hassle out of managing multiple prescriptions, you will be doing them a huge favor.

“Studies show that taking 5 or more medications increases the risk of errors”.

Keeping track of prescriptions may not be the hardest task and an app may not be the solution for everyone but there are plenty of people who have adopted the “work smarter, not harder” mentality and will download a new app in a flash!

MyTherapy a tech, medical and health company has launched an app that sends the user reminder when it is time to take their prescription.  “Whether it’s medications, measurements or exercise, MyTherapy’s reminders are reliable so you won’t miss a thing again. MyTherapy gives you peace of mind so you can focus on the other important things in life”.  This app sends reminders, communicates with caregivers, and allows the user to include family members for additional support.  It also tracks the health of the patient and provides a visual of their treatment patterns to be discussed with the caregiver.

A second app making waves has integrated functionality to let the pill bottle cap do the talking.  Medisafe, headquartered in Boston stands firmly behind their mission that “people should have the tools, support, and information they need to take their medications the way they’re supposed to”.  Like MyTherapy MediSafe app allows the user to keep their prescriptions organized and reminds them to take them while having a place to track their progress and connect with their caregivers.  They have partnered with iCap™, “A wireless Bluetooth cap for prescription pill bottles that works in conjunction with the Medisafe app and allows patients and caregivers accurately track when pill bottles are opened to help determine whether medications are taken or missed”.

Whether you think your patients could benefit from this technology or not it surely can’t do any harm knowing that these tools are out there.   The next time one of your regulars expresses their doctor just increased their prescription count and they are now finding it tough to organize and remember to take them, you will be right there with a suggestion to help!


Image Credit: MyTherapy

KSAT ABC 12  | iConnect  | MediSafe | MyTherapy

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