APhA Responds to U.S. News' Suggestion for Rx Price Shopping
A recent article in the U.S. News &World Report urging consumers to price-shopfor prescription drugs may encouragemany Americans to use multiplepharmacies to fill prescriptions—a riskypractice at best, the American PharmacistsAssociation (APhA) warned.
The article, "Shopping Around: Pricesat nearby drugstores vary by hugeamounts," appeared in the national magazine'sSeptember 20, 2004 Special Reportissue, "How to Save Money on Meds - AGuide to Finding the Best Deals."
In response to the article's suggestionthat consumers "shop around" forthe pharmacy offering the best priceon their prescriptions, APhA ExecutiveVice President John Gans said that"medications are not inert productslike toasters or cars," and that "therisks of problems with medications ismuch, much higher than the risksfrom burnt toast."
Shopping around for prescriptionsat multiple pharmacies undercuts thepharmacist's ability to monitor medicationuse, Gans warned. "Keepingtheir pharmacist informed of theircomplete medication profile is theonly way pharmacists can identifypotential contraindications and othermedical errors," he said.
"At a minimum, your article shouldhave told consumers of their responsibilityto tell each pharmacist involvedin their care that they are obtainingmedications from more than one pharmacyand what those medicationsare," Gans told the magazine.