A leading Charlotte investigative TV reporter did a thorough and well-researched story on some of the problems resulting from the CVS Caremark merger. A Connecticut newspaper profiles a local community pharmacy’s challenges, such as mandatory mail order. Dallas County health officials work with local pharmacies to dispense H1N1 vaccine. Excerpts and links below:
FTC investigates CVS after couple protests prescription prices
by STUART WATSON / NewsChannel 36
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You might think the bigger the pharmacy the cheaper the drugs. After all, big pharmacy chains can buy in bulk and pass the savings on to you.
Jan and Max Hauser pay close attention to their drug costs. But earlier this year, the retired truck driver and his wife found something most Medicare patients miss.
“That’s when I discovered the difference in the price of drugs,” says Max.
He’s right. Medicare pays some pharmacies a lot more than others for the exact same drugs.
“When we seen that big a difference it was unreal,” says Jan.
And Max says most Medicare patients don’t know anything about it: “They are under the impression, like I was, everybody got paid the same.”
Mail-orders take a toll on local pharmacies
by Brendan Cox, Citizen’s News
It’s an old story, and one we’ve heard many times: Small, privately-owned business struggles to compete with corporate giant. Companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, et al. edge out local mom-and-pop stores because they can afford to offer lower prices to consumers. And mom and pop aren’t happy.
But the story is a bit more complex for local pharmacy owners. Bill Bradley, owner of Beacon Falls Pharmacy and founder of the Beacon Falls Merchant’s Association, says the vast majority of his business’s revenue is generated by selling prescriptions and pharmaceutical services. Retail operations (sales of greeting cards, newspapers, candy, and the like) are something of any afterthought.
“Prescription sales are our bread and butter, really,” added Jerry Russo, owner and manager of Nelson’s pharmacy in Naugatuck.
More than 100 pharmacies in Dallas County offer swine flu shots to those at risk
By JEFFREY WEISS / The Dallas Morning News
More than 100 pharmacies will distribute the swine flu vaccine starting today, courtesy of the Dallas County health department.
The county announced Tuesday that it is working with four pharmacy chains and one independent pharmacy to distribute 16,000 doses of the still-scarce vaccine.
Each store will start with at least 100 doses, and most will get more. They will offer the vaccine only to county residents who fit into one of the official high-risk groups for a severe case of swine flu.