Alexandria, Va. - August 03, 2010
In response to Walgreens' announced initiative to expand the ability of patients to obtain a 90-day supply of their prescription medication at local pharmacies in Minneapolis, Minn., Joseph H. Harmison, PD, President of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and Arlington, Texas pharmacy owner, issued the following statement: "Patients value the relationship they have with the pharmacy and pharmacist they have chosen. They value the face-to-face interaction, counseling and coaching they receive from their trusted community pharmacist and prefer getting their prescriptions in person. "Overwhelmingly, patients prefer to receive their medications locally and to talk with their local pharmacist that they have chosen. Patients in Minneapolis will benefit from efforts to further the relationship between patient and local pharmacists on the frontlines of health care. This program helps highlight to patients that they should have a choice as to where they receive their medication and to see the local community pharmacist of their choosing. "Giving patients the choice of where to fill their prescription—whether a 90-day supply or other quantity or type of medication—maximizes the patient's comfort and confidence in their medication and counseling. That promotes a stronger patient-pharmacist relationship and better health outcomes, while reducing the chances for non-adherence. Conversely, giant corporate pharmacy benefit managers should not be dictating patient choice for the primary purpose of directing business into their own mail order warehouses."
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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