Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Cynical View Of Pharmacy

It seems as though there are more than a few pharmacists upset with Medco CEO's recent opinions about the role that community pharmacists play in healthcare. Snow was reported as saying -
In an attempt to demystify that role, Medco CEO David Snow told attendees at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit last week that pharmacists are not in fact doling out health information to patients. “I’m not dissing retail [pharmacy], but…there’s a fiction that a pharmacist comes out and dialogues with you,” said Snow. “In reality, a high school student hands you a script from the shelf.”
But, I'm not sure why pharmacists are "now" becoming upset with the opinions of a mega-corporate CEO? Are they upset with Snow finally just coming out and "saying" it? I mean, it can't be like they didn't already know what he, and probably many other corporate insiders, think about the profession of pharmacy just based on their treatment of pharmacists over past decades. Their actions seem to speak louder than any words ever could.

To me, becoming upset and trying to convince other pharmacists to rally against Snow's opinions is like a child trying to get his siblings to rebel against their parents. It only cements the fact that we've allowed them authority over us, and further proves that they control our actions. So then, by taking this route, why wouldn't Snow have such a low opinion of us?

To corporate insiders whose pay and bonuses depends upon improving the bottom line, pharmacists are considered expensive liabilities that need to be eliminated. Of course they will try to reduce our professional credibility if it'll help them achieve their goals. That's how they roll. It should be expected. Just like George Carlin described in his American Dream routine, "they don't give a fuck about you".

The way I see it, either accept the fact that corporations will always view you as being an "employee" instead of a "professional" and live with it, or fight against it by refusing to work for them. Saying "NO" with our feet is the only real power we have.


  1. What you say makes sense. Except that there are certain times when the corporate bigwigs will consider us professionals instead of employees.

    We'll be considered to be professionals when it comes to issues of liability. Although they'll reap the rewards of our efforts, they'll shift the burden of risk onto us whenever they can.

    Shifting the risk gets them off the hook whenever their policies or procedures cause pharmacists to become overburdened and make mistakes, or when they institute something that borders on unethical, or is not in a patient's best interest.

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