Blogs: The Reinvented Pharmacist

Are Chains Bad for Community Pharmacy?

Published Online: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Is there a place for corporations in America today? How about in health care? Dennis Miller, RPh, would probably suggest that at least in pharmacy, corporations are destroying community pharmacy. After 25 years in pharmacy, he quit because, as he puts it, “I was so fed up with slinging out prescriptions as fast as my hands and feet would allow.” He claims that “the big drugstore chains have embraced the McDonald’s fast food model with disastrous consequences.”
To expose the problem and to inspire efforts to bring about change, he wrote Pharmacy Exposed: 1,000 Things That Can Go Deadly Wrong At the Drugstore. I know that many community pharmacists probably agree with his perspective. They feel powerless to change things because, as I have heard stated many times, most chains are more interested in the bottom line than in having adequate staff to assure safe practices. That’s one of the charges Miller makes in his book. You can read more about the book here.
Do you agree with Miller’s position? Would community pharmacy be better off if there were no chain pharmacies? Didn’t most chain pharmacies start out as independents? How many stores under single ownership is OK? If we accept Miller’s position, when does a chain become too large? Wouldn’t decisions in life be much easier if everything were black and white instead of gray?
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times
Blog Info
This blog focuses on what our Editor-in-Chief sees as the future of pharmacy.
Author Bio
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, is the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Eckel is a professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists.

In this blog, Eckel will provide commentary on relevant issues impacting pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, including the merging of pharmacy benefit managers, the implications of health care reform, the conversion of major drugs from prescription to over-the-counter, trends in pharmacy careers, and opioid abuse. He will also discuss legislative issues that impact pharmacists, and comment on the evolving role of the pharmacist.
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