Shopping Discussion

"Fee" charge @ Wal-Mart pharmacy?

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  • Feb 18th, 2011 4:30 pm
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Apr 11, 2003
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dishguy1977 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 3:22 pm
What about the initial input of the prescription into a computer? Will the computer be able to make out the "chicken scratch" that most doctors write in? Is there handwriting recognition software this advanced? I'm not for or against robots...just wondering about this initial integral part of the process. Not that I completely trust a human to do this either - I get A LOT of prescriptions and am well educated about what I'm getting and even knowing what the rx is supposed to say I can't read it and most of the time I am very impressed that I end up with what I am supposed to be getting.

Everybody is going online these days, my doctor is online and they either print or fax the prescriptions to the pharmacy from their computer, so we have no problem reading the prescription anymore.
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brunes wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 6:10 pm
Shoppers Drug mart, Walmart, Costco, Pharmasave, Sobeys....

I don't know a pharmacy that DOESN'T do that.
Read beyond the first sentence.
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I remember superstore only charges 2 dollars.
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Thanks Takada for your post. Far too many people don't know about what pharmacists do, or their true value to the healthcare system. I guess it's just one of those things that people will only realize when they're gone.

For the poster who had trouble with SDM, by law, pharmacies can not take back medication that has already been dispensed (imagine if pharmacies were forced to cut so many corners that they dispensed returned medicines!). Maybe you should consider visiting an independent pharmacy instead of receiving the hospitality of a corporate chain?
What about the initial input of the prescription into a computer? Will the computer be able to make out the "chicken scratch" that most doctors write in? Is there handwriting recognition software this advanced? I'm not for or against robots...just wondering about this initial integral part of the process. Not that I completely trust a human to do this either - I get A LOT of prescriptions and am well educated about what I'm getting and even knowing what the rx is supposed to say I can't read it and most of the time I am very impressed that I end up with what I am supposed to be getting.
If it's truly ineligible, they'll call the doctor to confirm. I've seen prescriptions come in printed, but those are still uncommon. However, reading the doctor's handwriting is a very minor part of a pharmacist's job. You don't go to university for 5+ years to read illegible handwriting.

The reason you can't read it is because, besides the name of the (brand-name version of the) drug, there are also dispensing instructions in latin abbreviations.
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Aug 26, 2010
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Cas77 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 10:21 am
$4.11 FTW!

Plus they always have 2-3 pharmacists on hand and a half dozen technicians.

Just a note that Costco's dispensing fees seems to have fallen a wee bit (3.89 from the former 4.11).
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pharmacists are overpaid. I dont see what value can they add that doctors cant do.
someone should make computer vending machine to replace pharmacists and install at doctors office.
that should help to reduce health care costs.
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SoroSuub1 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 10:25 am
You don't know what you're getting into for going to the cheapest pharmacy. I've spoken to a pharmacist who's filled in when another was away and had to order one of the pharmacy techs to get an error corrected, which is apparently a pain because everything has to be documented and it functions like an assembly line (so everyone has to redo their work). The implication is that if errors are made, they're not usually fixed.

It's not about price. It's your health.



That's very concerning, since pharmacists are experts on medications. They know more than your doctor.

Really?
I must be getting all the lazy,stupid and lame pharmacists and doctors then.

I have asked some pharmacists for a few items this year and most had no idea what they were-even though they were common enough.

one was a cream for dry skin called Kerasal (finally the pharamcy beside my house could get it).
-also asked for some special first aid items I used to buy at two stores and pharmacist had no idea, even though it was items they normally stocked.

-then I even had a doctor give me some expired medications.
went to a orthopedic doctor andall the samples he gaveme were expired by 1+ year, this was at a actual hospital too.
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dishguy1977 wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 3:22 pm
What about the initial input of the prescription into a computer? Will the computer be able to make out the "chicken scratch" that most doctors write in? Is there handwriting recognition software this advanced? .

Er... are you saying prescriptions in Ontario are still hand-written? What's next, stone tablets????

I have not seen a hand-written prescription in at least 3 years. They're all electronic.
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Bookpreviews wrote:
Feb 17th, 2011 6:06 am
Really?
I must be getting all the lazy,stupid and lame pharmacists and doctors then.

I have asked some pharmacists for a few items this year and most had no idea what they were-even though they were common enough.

one was a cream for dry skin called Kerasal (finally the pharamcy beside my house could get it).
-also asked for some special first aid items I used to buy at two stores and pharmacist had no idea, even though it was items they normally stocked.

-then I even had a doctor give me some expired medications.
went to a orthopedic doctor andall the samples he gaveme were expired by 1+ year, this was at a actual hospital too.
I don't know how doctors are relevant to this conversation. It just further illustrates that doctors can't be relied on to also dispense medicines on top of diagnosing (and treating when necessary).

Both items that you mention are frontstore items, not prescription medicine - although pharmacists are still often asked about them. In most chain pharmacies, pharmacists don't even have to worry about frontstore stock. However, they would've been able to help you if you told them the symptoms you were trying to treat (eg. tough, dry feet).
pharmacists are overpaid. I dont see what value can they add that doctors cant do.
someone should make computer vending machine to replace pharmacists and install at doctors office.
that should help to reduce health care costs.
Maybe you should have read the thread.
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Jan 18, 2003
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YOU don't pay dispensing fees cuz your health benefits plan covers the dispensing fee...doesn't mean dispensing fees don't exist...

Fairview Pharmacy has dispensing fees...period.
everyone's plans are different...
and of course, there are ppl without any health plans...

ie. i don't pay fees for lawyer...it is covered in my benefit plan...but that doesn't mean my lawyer gives free services to everyone...

longitude wrote:
Feb 16th, 2011 9:39 am
I know my plan doesn't pay for dispensing fees, but I never had to pay them!

Something's wrong then.
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brunes wrote:
Feb 17th, 2011 7:44 pm
Er... are you saying prescriptions in Ontario are still hand-written? What's next, stone tablets????

I have not seen a hand-written prescription in at least 3 years. They're all electronic.

I cant tell if you are being sarcastic....but ive been getting scripts for over 40 yrs & have NEVER seen one that was printed...much less by a machine.
maybe they do things differently in NB?..i dunno.

as for dispensing fees...we pay around $9- at zellers. its not my pharmacy of choice but it is on the list of stores that we HAVE to use according to hubbys health plan.

one thing that really pissed me off was this..i come in every 3 months with a 90 day script....they give me one month at a time so i end up paying a disp. fee THREE times. > :(
WHY the hell didnt they just give me the 90 day supply at once?? in the longrun it was actually CHEAPER.
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sonic wrote:
Feb 18th, 2011 10:12 am
I cant tell if you are being sarcastic....but ive been getting scripts for over 40 yrs & have NEVER seen one that was printed...much less by a machine.
maybe they do things differently in NB?..i dunno.

We're so behind (well ON and QC at least apparently NB is a little less 3rd world ghetto) when it comes to these hand-written scripts. When I was in the US and some parts of Europe I visited it's all done electronically.

It amazes me how brainwashed everyone is about the pharmacy scam. Like whoever said a robot can't read a doctor's script? Or that AI can't replace a pharmacist. A robot beat out 2 of the more intelligent people on the planet in Jeorpady this week. IBM already has major U.S. healthcare providers inquiring about buying a Watson because they're finding doctors are no longer able to keep up with all the daily changes in healthcare. The article said this A.I could be used in conjunction with doctors to provide extremely quick up to date information instead of having doctors waste time digging for info in books and databases. They would therefore be able to treat more patients in the same amount of time.

Now whoever thinks a pharmacist can't be replaced by a robot is either stuck in a time machine or belong to one of the lobby groups trying hard to convince people that pharmacists are more important than doctors.
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ccyk wrote:
Feb 17th, 2011 3:30 am
pharmacists are overpaid. I dont see what value can they add that doctors cant do.
someone should make computer vending machine to replace pharmacists and install at doctors office.
that should help to reduce health care costs.

There is one, maybe more now. It's at one of the hospitals in TO on hospital row. It's video linked to a live pharmacist though to answer any questions and explain things like drug interactions and only stocks the more common drugs. It was installed as a pilot project with the intent to install such vending machines in remote and under serviced areas. It was on all the news shows about 18 months, maybe 2 years ago.


BTW, electronic scripts are part of the whole e-health project here in Ont. We won't see them being used commonly till we get e-health fully up and running. TIll we get electronic health records up and running, we will be "behind"....
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Cas77 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2011 10:43 am
We're so behind (well ON and QC at least apparently NB is a little less 3rd world ghetto) when it comes to these hand-written scripts. When I was in the US and some parts of Europe I visited it's all done electronically.

It amazes me how brainwashed everyone is about the pharmacy scam. Like whoever said a robot can't read a doctor's script? Or that AI can't replace a pharmacist. A robot beat out 2 of the more intelligent people on the planet in Jeorpady this week. IBM already has major U.S. healthcare providers inquiring about buying a Watson because they're finding doctors are no longer able to keep up with all the daily changes in healthcare. The article said this A.I could be used in conjunction with doctors to provide extremely quick up to date information instead of having doctors waste time digging for info in books and databases. They would therefore be able to treat more patients in the same amount of time.

Now whoever thinks a pharmacist can't be replaced by a robot is either stuck in a time machine or belong to one of the lobby groups trying hard to convince people that pharmacists are more important than doctors.

So you advocate replacing a pharmacist with a purpose build $31Million dollar supercomputer that can play Jeopardy that's roughly the size of 10 refrigerators, and costs who knows how much to actually run. Sure. Sounds like a great plan. Also, there's one thing a pharmacist does that can not currently be replaced by a computer. Confirm understanding of instructions. All you have to do is look to IVR systems to see how poor they are. Most people hit 0 to talk to a real person rather than try to navigate the options and talk to the computer. Think an automated drug dispensing machine is going to be any better? Think that machine will be able to converse with your Grandmother and make sure she really understands that she can't take her meds with her morning grapefruit, and her glass of pomegranite juice, creating an interaction that will kill her? Yeah, I can see that happening.

Until the state of the art gets to the point where an AI actually exists (which it doesn't), and that AI can understand and interact on a meaningful level, stuff like automated drug dispensing is not only stupid, it's dangerous. Anyone that advocates it with the current state of the art simply doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.
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brunes wrote:
Feb 17th, 2011 7:44 pm
Er... are you saying prescriptions in Ontario are still hand-written? What's next, stone tablets????

I have not seen a hand-written prescription in at least 3 years. They're all electronic.

Yes, we are. At least, I only see prescription in printed form once in my life time here. It was from a walk-in clinic.
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