Copy Cats – what is next..

Last night we had dinner we some friends… after dinner.. I stopped by to pick up a Rx for me… I .. like most RPH’s hate the drive-thru… 95% of the time I will walk into the pharmacy. The Pharmacist was alone, tech was on meal break… there was someone at the drive thru window.. and I heard the RPH ask the person… if they wanted brand name/or generic and the RPH.. left the Rx dept and went out to retrieve a OTC for the person in the drive thru… My first thought, was I didn’t know any Rx dept was doing that AND.. how lazy have we gotten – as a society – that we can’t walk into a drug store to get OTC’s. Of course, this person didn’t have their rewards card and the RPH asked the person their phone number… and then I hear the RPH say.. I got the area code… but.. not the rest.. I recognized the area code as one from back at our Indiana home.. some 650 miles away.. so I looked out the drive thru window and saw our friends in their car.. at the drive thru .. wanting OTC products thru the drive thru.. OMG !.. what was pathetic.. we have been friends with this couple for some 20 yrs.. and seeing who it was .. did not surprise me.

It got me thinking..  community pharmacies have always been “service” copy cats… banks and fast food started with drive-thrus… and now for the last 30 yrs +/-.. all new pharmacies now have drive-thru’s and as many has been retrofitted as possible.

Banks figured out how to allow people to do their banking 24/7 with ATM cards… grocery stores & big box stores soon followed suit.. as did chain stores with some of their stores.

Restaurants started their “value menu” and we started the $4 Rx and some even went as far to start giving certain meds away for free..

Grocery stores then started “frequent buyer cards” .. and here we go with with community pharmacies offering some sort of “reward cards”

I have noticed recently that one of the major chain stores – number three actually – has started a Rx home delivery service..the drive thru is not enough of a convenience factor.

There was grocery stores and big box stores that have tried picking groceries for a customer and providing curbside pickup .. I saw where Walgreens at a pilot program of this.. but.. have not seen anything about it after the first announcement.

What “service” is next for pharmacy?  Compliance is a big issue for us… are we going to start offering a service of email/texting/calling a pt when each dose is due? What service that some other industry is going to think up and we will have to be a “me too” service for pharmacy.

Where is the line between being a customer convenience to taking on the task of being a nanny?

One Response

  1. Drive-thru, home delivery, shopping for otc’s for the customer in the drive-thru….these are all things we need to be doing in my area. There are so many ‘disabled’ people that can barely walk. They need all the help they can get. They come to Wal-Mart and ride the electric carts. A great convenience to them. We are having more and more of these type customers. They are simply disabled. They weigh so much that there muscles cannot carry around all the flab. So, they must sit or ride. We should be offering a case of Pepsi’s and big bags of potato chips with each prescription purchased. Never mind the coupons or discount cards…these folks need food! It takes a lot of food to keep that 500 lb body functioning. Instead of free antibiotics, we should be giving away free insulin! We need to offer medication dosage dispensers that fit wheelchairs. Each day a pharmacist should rotate their jobs and on one of those days go into the home of these patients and fill their medication dispensers. This, of course, should be a free service.

    If this all sounds like the right thing to do, then please contact me, because I have a bridge I would like to sell. 🙂

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