Is There a Druggist in the House?
A Florida county brings the pharmacy to its workplace
Manatee County, Florida, is getting a handle on its employees' prescription drug costs by putting in a retail pharmacy at the county administrative offices.
The on-site pharmacy, which has been running for more than a year, not only makes it easy for employees to fill prescriptions, it also offers the face-to-face services of a clinical pharmacist. The pharmacist vets employees' individual prescriptions for conflicting medications, pushes low-cost generic brands when appropriate and encourages patients to take their drugs as directed.
The on-site solution appears to be lowering Manatee County's prescription drug costs. According to Bob Goodman, the county's health benefits manager, use of generic drugs has gone up by 6 percent and the use of drugs from an approved formulary has gone up by 7 percent. County costs have declined by $3.16 per prescription since the program started in January 2005. "We're not only reducing our pharmacy costs," Goodman says, noting that the on-site facility also employs four nurses, "we're also improving quality of care."
Although not many governments have gone the in-house pharmacy route, a growing number of companies, including Toyota and Eastman Chemical, have set up workplace pharmacies in recent years. If the trend in drug management has been toward bulk-buying and filling prescriptions by mail-order, these programs aim to bring back something of a personal touch. "Most chain pharmacies today are really pill counters," Goodman says. "We believe in a people-to-people program, rather than these telephonic things where you end up on the phone with someone in India."
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES HEADLINES
Rick Scott Rejects Florida Senate's Budget Compromise3 hours ago
Feds Will Take Over IT for Hawaii's Health Exchange4 hours ago
In Texas House, Both Sides Claim Some Wins7 hours ago
Assisted Suicide Still Happens Where It's Illegal22 hours ago
To Curb Indiana's HIV Crisis, State Steps In When Governor Won't1 day ago
Citing Personal Story, Vermont Governor Makes Assisted Suicide Law Permanent1 day ago