Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

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Super S
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Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by Super S » June 3rd, 2017, 6:57 am

http://www.columbian.com/news/2017/may/ ... harmacies/

One pharmacy will reopen and will be operated by Fred Meyer, while two others will close and records will be transferred to nearby Fred Meyer stores.

This is an interesting development, especially since Fred Meyer took over instead of a regular drugstore chain like Walgreens (who has a strong presence in the area) or Rite Aid (which has a much weaker presence).

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wnetmacman
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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by wnetmacman » June 3rd, 2017, 9:30 am

Super S wrote:This is an interesting development, especially since Fred Meyer took over instead of a regular drugstore chain like Walgreens (who has a strong presence in the area) or Rite Aid (which has a much weaker presence).


Not really, since Kroger's pharmacy operations are huge throughout their marketing area. They even operate Kroger pharmacies in states like Florida, where their only presence is in the convenience store area.

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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by Super S » June 3rd, 2017, 5:18 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
Super S wrote:This is an interesting development, especially since Fred Meyer took over instead of a regular drugstore chain like Walgreens (who has a strong presence in the area) or Rite Aid (which has a much weaker presence).


Not really, since Kroger's pharmacy operations are huge throughout their marketing area. They even operate Kroger pharmacies in states like Florida, where their only presence is in the convenience store area.


I just thought it odd that, being a clinic, they went to a general merchandise type of store instead of a traditional drugstore chain. But Fred Meyer is probably better on pricing anyway.

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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by Alpha8472 » June 3rd, 2017, 5:54 pm

Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid are not interested in clinic pharmacies. These drugstore chains want to attract the most customers to their stores which have front ends. The pharmacy itself can be a money loser these days.

The clinic probably abandoned their pharmacy operations because it was losing money. Walgreens makes money by running pharmacies with as little staffing as possible. It is like the fast food of drugstores. They cut costs and overwork their employees. People's lives are at stake.

When you understaff, mistakes and errors will happen. Patients will get the wrong drugs or the wrong dose. All Walgreens and CVS care about are filling as many prescriptions as they can without regard to safety.

The reason why pharmacies lose money is that insurance companies are paying less and less in reimbursement fees. Due to contracts, pharmacies have to accept certain insurances, but some drugs are money losers. Every time a patient fills a certain drug, the pharmacy loses money.

Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid want corner drug stores to attract customers to buy other merchandise in the store. The sales in the rest of the store make up for losses in the pharmacies. Walgreens does not want a pharmacy inside of a clinic as it doesn't draw as much street traffic as a visible store on a major road.

Fred Meyer apparently is willing to take a meager profit on this clinic pharmacy. Perhaps they believe that one day they can close the clinic pharmacy and get the people to go to the full size Fred Meyer and make more profit from non-pharmacy sales.

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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by storewanderer » June 3rd, 2017, 11:13 pm

I felt like the meat of this deal was in this statement:

"Fred Meyer pharmacists will also have prescriptive authority, under a collaborative drug therapy program overseen by The Vancouver Clinic, to assess and prescribe medication for minor ailments in all Clark County Fred Meyer pharmacies."

"That agreement means Fred Meyer pharmacists can treat patients with 25 different conditions, such as seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, minor burns and earaches. They can also refill prescriptions for asthma and migraines, as well as prescribe contraceptives, according to the news release."

I am not familiar with this sort or arrangement? So if I have an earache I can go see the pharmacist and get a prescription (without making and paying for an office visit?)? Is this a Washington thing? Is there a fee assessed by the pharmacy for diagnosis (like how car dealerships repair departments charge you a diagnostic fee on top of the repair fee?)?

Perhaps it is worth operating one clinic pharmacy in order to facilitate this arrangement?

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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by Alpha8472 » June 4th, 2017, 12:52 am

Washington State is one of the few states where they can prescribe some medications. However, they have to have agreements with certain doctors whose names appear on the prescriptions. The pharmacies also get paid fees from insurance companies just like how doctors get fees. There will be copays just like seeing a regular doctor.

This is a good idea to help people get medications if they have no primary doctor or if it is an emergency. However, it is not a substitute for a thorough examination by a doctor.

I can see how it could be useful if a person is having an asthma attack and needs asthma medication or if a person is too embarrassed to see a doctor for birth control.

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Re: Vancouver Clinic turning pharmacy operations over to Fred Meyer

Post by CPhT_Smith » January 28th, 2018, 12:51 am

Alpha8472 wrote:
June 4th, 2017, 12:52 am
Washington State is one of the few states where they can prescribe some medications. However, they have to have agreements with certain doctors whose names appear on the prescriptions. The pharmacies also get paid fees from insurance companies just like how doctors get fees. There will be copays just like seeing a regular doctor.

This is a good idea to help people get medications if they have no primary doctor or if it is an emergency. However, it is not a substitute for a thorough examination by a doctor.

I can see how it could be useful if a person is having an asthma attack and needs asthma medication or if a person is too embarrassed to see a doctor for birth control.
A few other situations that this would be good based on my professional and personal experiences in a state where the pharmacists don’t have prescribing privileges would be:

Women who are stable on their current contraceptives and out of refills, you can’t break open a package of birth control pills to loan a patient for a few day while you wait for the physician to authorize refills.

Vaccines. In my state we put all of the vaccines that are administered under the name of a physician that is designated by the state. In some states the pharmacist can be the prescriber since they are administering the vaccine.

Narcan, to battle opiate overdoses in my state, the Dr that’s over the health department has a standing order to allow Pharmacist’s to dispense Narcan to patients that are at risk for opiate overdoses. The Rph or PharmD have to have additional training by the state to do it. However, considering what the practice of pharmacy is... a pharmacist is probably the one of if not patient’s best healthcare provider to asses the risk of overdose. Especially for patients that are likely to not know they are at risk for it. I’ve worked with some amazing PharmDs that have gotten this potential life saver to patients and trained the patient and their loved ones on the use of it. Many of those patients also discussed those risks with their doctor and started to get on safer therapies.

Also minor ailments like what was mentioned on the Fred Meyer agreement. If someone might need Ibuprofen 800 for a back ache a pharmacist could easily assess if that’s appropriate.

Sometimes it’s hard to get an appointment with your PCP. There’s a shortage of primary care physicians, and giving pharmacists some limited prescibing rights might be away to improve access to getting treatment.

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