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  • pmcmurrell pmcmurrell Oct 26, 2001 12:54 PM Flag

    WAG and Legal Problems

    WAG has been sloppy! They filled my wife's prescription at the Walgreens on Roosevelt and Ridgeland in Oak Park, IL, 3 times wrong. This was after warning them each time and after returning the medications 3 times. My wife has kidney damage from toxicity, so I wonder if they misfilled the prescriptions when we did not catch it! All failures were overdosed and could have cause hospital stays of up to about 30 days! We may have a basis to "sue the crap out of WAG now." They acknowledged the error at least once, and I received a letter of apology. But what about the people who did not detect an error? Are they now homeless after spending $1,000 per day in the hospital!

    What about PPA in cough syrup? Walgreens was clever in making "knockoffs" with PPA. Lawyers are now gathering information to SUE - for real. Come on, PPA has caused strokes. Maybe WAG was too clever. Maybe they should unintegrate some of their operations and spin off drugs mfg.

    Yeah, WAG is cute in selling candy and making big bucks on cigarettes (and liquor previously). The alcoholics lined up to buy - until better deals happened at other stores. Even the local Jewel Foodstore sells it now.

    So, that got to change and meet the competition! Sell WAG and buy CVS, it makes sense [alternative action analysis in business school].

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    • Yes. I know some who read them.

    • Do you really think gund managers read or even care about YAHOO message boards?

    • You must be in corporate. Any fund managers want to discuss the retail drug store industry?
      I would like to have a dialogue with someone with a busines and or financial background.

    • Neither one of us will convince the other
      so why go on. I think the future for pharmacist and Wag looks great and will only get better. Only time will tell. Take care.

    • First of all the job of a CEO is to increase shareholder value period. As far as the convenience, your under estimating the power of the PBM's/insurance to force people via costs to go to the pharmacy that is in the network. People are more resistant to changing doctors but do because it is too expensive for them not to use their network doctors. My brother, after changing employers, now drives 50 miles to his network doctor. Why? Because its too expensive for him to go to a out of network doctor. The PBM's will keep lowering RX margins until there is a push back. As long as you have grocery stores and mass merchandisers who take any fee the margins will continue to erode and people will be forced to go to preferred providors. The fact that the free standing store is a high cost providor of RX and HBA's is quite interesting. Economics has and will rule pharmacy. No industry is immune to the economics of lowest cost providors killing off higher cost providors of products and services. While there is some merit to your comments about convenience, time will tell as the market of providors begins to stratify and providors drop out of programs. When RXHUB gets going what do you think a patient will say when the docotor says "your insurance says you can get a 100 day supply of meds for one copay and save $20 via mail order or a 30 day supply at the local pharmacy. Do you want the prescription sent to the local pharmacy? The chains will find out what the independent found out, customer loyalty is worth about a dime. More and more companies are requiring mail order services. Yes your correct the chains survive because of the total growth of prescritpions. However, as soon as the central fills and mail order deals really get going, and the public gets use to the new way to get meds the erosion of the market will exceed the growth. That's when the chains will realize that pushing the pharmacists value to zero and keeping them away from the public as much as possible will come home to stay. The chains banked on production increases not enhancement of services provided by pharmacists that are charged for. Fast food drive ups hurt the front end sales as now a greater portion of the revenue in a chain is from the lower and lower margin RX business. The truth of the RX market is hidden in the growth of prescritpion volume. Were it not for growth in total market the chain CEO's would all be crying. The next few years as technology gets going will be very interesting. The fact that expansion of stores was cut in a growth industry is interesting to say the least. Especially since WAG says the shortage of RPH's hasn't hurt them. Incidentally do you think the CEO's will ever figure out that if they would improve the work environment, close the pharmacy a few holidays maybe some pharmacists who left might come back and the rate of those leaving will slow. Do you think they will figure out that the 24 hour stuff is taking an important resource, pharmacists, out of the high productivity times, days and putting more work load on the day shifts. What would happen if the 24 hours stuff went away and all the night phrmacists worked days to reduce the workload of all pharmacists? Think a few more pharmacists would come back to pharmacy?
      Opinions only what do I know about business

    • That fact that the overall rx volume is growing is why wag is increasing its stores. Forget market share. Wag is making money and that is the main point. Our malpractice is low because it kicks in only after our employers ins pays. Most employers ins covers the majority of incidents. The last time I went to a mass merh. It took me 20 minutes to get there, 3 minutes to park and get to what I needed, 10 minute wait in checkout, 3 minutes to get to my car and 15 minutes to get home. Add to that a 20 min. to 1hr wait for a prescription and the fact it was during the slow time of day and you will see the value of wags convenience. Wag is a convenience store that sells rxs and make-up. Didn't I read that dairymart went bankrupt (not sure on this). We are taking over for the convenience stores. Wag cut back on new stores to protect the bottom line. They still have a duty to investors and some are getting impatient. As for automation relax. Did atm's eliminat bank tellers? I specifically went to my bank because it doesn't have an atm machine. I like the personal touch and so do alot of others. If wag eliminates rph than they eliminate the company. If you don't need an rph present than every gas station will start filling scripts (simplistic ex.). Relax, they told us in 1994 we were lucky to have a job and now look. Rph's despite what everyone says fills a void in healthcare no one else wants to take over.

    • RPH is short for Registered Pharmacist, clock98

    • Thanks for the answer. However here are my thoughts on the future or lack of for pharmacists and pharmacy. First of all the PBM's control the RX fullfillment profit. They have and will continue to squeeze the chains. The free standing chains are at risk as it appears there is no fee too low to take by grocery stores and mass merchandisers. Their cost of operating their pharmacies is much less as their fixed costs charges are much lower. Those million dollar free standing store are very expensive. People will be forced to go to network and mail order pharmacies. Just like they are forced to go to network doctors. The mass merchandisers learned from the chains methods on killing the idependent and they are doing to the chains what the cahins did to the independent. Lowering the RX margins by taking rediculous fees from PBM's The pressure is beginning to take hold. The real story is the growth in nonchain delivery of RX and HBA's is growing at a much faster rate than at chains. Were it no for the fact the total RX voulme is growing so fast, chains would have actually lost business. They are losing market share as the mass merchandisers now have the largest portion of the HBA market. And the mass boys are driving HBA margins to levels that people will not shop a free standing store unless its a one item need. In my town the mass folks are so much lower in price the free standing chain has turned into a "quick stop" source only. The're local convenience is being eliminated as the grocery stores now have HBA's and RX's. People have to go to the grocery store they don't have to go to the free standing pharmacy. While the smart chain is looking at efficincy in provement by working pharmacists harder, automation and central fill any real gain will eventually be taken away by the PBM's through fee reductions that the chain competitors will accept and force on the chain. As margins decrease the marginal cost to open new stores will begin to be higher than the marginal revenue. When that happens the growth dies. Didn't I read where WAG cut back on new store openings? Now as far as enhancing pharmacists roll I don't see it. All I see is a push by chains to push more and more responsibility down to lower cost workers. ie. 2 year RX fillers. If you think a chain will keep any pharmacist on staf that is not genrating revenue to cover their costs and provide a ROI your crazy. Most of what pharmacists do can be done by lower cost workers or technology. If we have so much value and importance how come the mal practice insurance for a pharmacists is only $150/year? Pharmacist better wake up and realize that as they welcome reductions in workload via automation central fill and lower costs employees, if pharmacist don't find a service to provide to replace the counting they will phased out, the shortage will go away and pay will fall. In the mean time lets see what happens as margin pressure is put on the chains by the mass merchandisers and grocery stores. Wasn't WAG down graded by some outfit recentlyt? Opinion only

    • Why don't you guys exchange e-mail addresses or phone numbers or something? This line of conversation is getting really old.

    • You eat lunch in the pharmacy. Every wag I worked in had a blind spot where you could do it. Even with overlap I never left the pharmacy to eat. Even Before Wag I worked In stores that did 200 - 400 rxs a day with no overlap in a 12 hour ahift and I was always able to take a lunch and dinner break. You get caught up and tell the next set of rxs that they would be ready in a half hour. Most people
      come back later so when you are done check the ones who waited first and get them out. Like I said before you have to take care of yourself also.

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