Blogs: The Reinvented Pharmacist

Why Is "Any Willing Provider" Such a Hard Sell?

Published Online: Thursday, July 3, 2014
In a recent blog posting on, Professor Edward Lawrence takes issue with NCPA’s push to resurrect the “any willing provider” legislation of primary interest to independent pharmacy. He suggests that this whole effort is more to placate a membership base than a really important public/professional policy issue.

Often we take a position on something like “any willing provider” without truly analyzing the other side and refuting what they say with studies or the opinions of those outside our interest group. I have often wondered why “any willing provider” is such a hard sell because it seems so intuitive to me. Reading the opinions of observers not in either interest group can help me gain a new perspective. I am not trying to change your mind, but I do challenge you to check out this blog posting and draw your own conclusion.

Is pushing “any willing provider” really the best use of pharmacy resources in a changing health care environment? Remember, don’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like the message. Instead, give factual reasons to support your perspective. Independent community pharmacy has been the backbone of pharmacy. Must it continue to be for pharmacy to be successful in a changing system? I guess I am willing to at least entertain another possibility. What do you think? 
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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