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NCPA: Walmart Medicare Drug Plan a Prescription for Poor Pharmacy Care

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 9:33am
Bio-Medicine.Org

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world's largest corporation, today announced a Medicare prescription drug plan that imposes higher co-payments on seniors who choose to continue using their trusted local, community pharmacy.

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In response to the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) President and Arlington, Texas pharmacy owner Joseph H. Harmison, PD, issued the following statement:

"This is simply Walmart's latest 'loss leader,' intended to bring more people through its doors at the expense of patient care and quality customer service. Patients taking a brand name drug or who can't or don't want to take a therapeutic substitute for the drug their doctor prescribed may see little, if any, savings.  What's more, patients are being financially coerced to get their medications at Walmart stores which make up less than seven percent of all of the retail pharmacies in the U.S.

"The newly released J.D. Power and Associates 2010 National Pharmacy Study affirms that patients continue to give Walmart pharmacies very poor marks. The company garnered industry-low customer satisfaction ratings for both its retail and mail order pharmacies.

"The negative views patients have toward Walmart pharmacy persist despite high profile, multi-million dollar campaigns, such as promoting $4 generic drugs. In fact, many independent community pharmacists saw patients return to their pharmacies once they experienced the wait times and assembly-line service first-hand.

"By contrast,

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