As a pharmacist, the most important aspect of my profession is the relationship I have with customers and keeping up to date so I can give them the best service possible.
Taking care of the customers needs is my first priority. Medicare Part D plans are a way people older than 65 can afford medications they might otherwise not. Although the patients pay premiums, the cost largely is supported by taxes we all pay. Most Part D plans have two levels of participation for pharmacies -- network and preferred.
Customers usually have a lower co-pay at a preferred pharmacy, but their premiums are the same. The plans decide if a pharmacy can be network or preferred. This year, most independent pharmacies were denied preferred status by the plans. Large health care plans and chain pharmacies are engaging in confusing and misleading tactics to steer customers away from their current pharmacy. They make calls and send mail encouraging customers to change to chain or mail order pharmacies. They may even put their logo on the insurance card. This can cause the customer to believe they have no choice but to go to the plans pharmacy.
You do have a choice. You can go to a network pharmacy. The difference in cost can be justified by better personal service. Pharmacists want to give good customer service, but large corporations often put demands on pharmacists that make personal service difficult, if not impossible. Smaller community pharmacies emphasize customer service and developing a relationship with the customer. This leads to better patient adherence and better outcomes. Patients need to have ready access to their pharmacist.
If you and your taxes are paying for your pharmacy plan, you should be free to choose any participating pharmacy, without having to pay a penalty. Any pharmacy willing to participate in a government or corporate-funded plan should be given the opportunity to do so under the same rules as any other pharmacy.
A larger pool of providers means greater choices for customers and increased access to pharmacists, especially for under-served and rural areas. Please write your congressmen and senators and let them know you support pharmacy competition in Medicare Part D.
-- Hugh C. Dennis, RPH
Having it both ways?
This past weekend was a great day to be Wesleyan Colleges monthly marketplace venue. As I looked around at all of the handmade and organic products around me, I wondered if the vendors or the customers understood they were participating in something spreading around the country called transition. I am sure many are aware, but if we are to transition off of fossil fuel energy, then we have to understand how we got to the market. We had to use fossil fuel to get there. And how we can grow this idea of local markets? We also have to look at the sponsors of the event. Wesleyan College certainly helped with this venture, so my question to them is: Are your investments from gifts to the school in fossil energy? Hopefully not, but if I were a student there or any private college, I would be asking this question. You cannot have it both ways and feel very good about it.
-- Fred Gunter
Reason for poor governance
I acknowledge that my letters to the editor lack brevity, one of my shortcomings. However, writings should clearly deliver the intended message, if there is one. Finger pointing of the index finger at governmental inept action results in three fingers pointed at the main reason for poor governance, the voter(s) who elected our leaders.
We can identify what we observe as shortcomings as pointed out in opinion letters, but I, for one, emphatically state that we should not send additional tax money to Atlanta or Washington, D.C. in any form for officials to give back to us as a pittance for which we must adhere to inane rules and regulations of questionable value.
We are all guilty of overusing some words for emphasis, but sometimes they hit the bulls-eye especially if a significant goof is forced on the populace or overlooked such as the pathetic attempt by the powers to be in D.C. to improve our world-class health care industry through the ill advised, poorly written Affordable Care Act -- a gift from the feds that will be billed to the citizens for generations.
-- Arthur D. Brook
After shaking my head upon reading Frank Gadbois latest rant, I have come to a conclusion. Gadbois should run for elected office, seeing as he knows the cure for all the ills our state and federal governments are suffering. His party would be called the Combine Party, and his staff would consist of the following: Nurse Ratchet as his chief of staff, Billy Bibbitt as his press secretary, Charley Cheswick as his attorney general, Martini as secretary of state and Chief Bromden as his bodyguard. Whenever someone doesnt agree with Gadbois, he could have them brought in for shock treatment and threaten to tell their mother about their behavior. When everything returns to utopia-like conditions, he could ride off to jolly old England knowing he saved the world.
-- Ron Renno
Id like to know why stores bother to offer handicapped parking spaces to folks with disabilities if they cannot use them. I have noticed, over and over again, vehicles parked in these spaces with no sign of a handicapped card in the window or a tag.
These people should be ashamed. Store employees do nothing about this, so I intend to call the police every time I see a vehicle parked in one of these spaces illegally, and I urge others to do the same.
-- Joyce Arnold
O beloved, we will never cease to need our father with his wisdom, direction, help and support. We will never outgrow him. We will always need his grace. And his grace will never fail. It is not a well that will run dry, but it is an ocean whose depths we can never plumb. The will of God is simply that you submit yourself to him each day and say, Father your will for me today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine, your work for today is mine. Take one day at a time. Tomorrow will care for itself. And remember, he is God over all your tomorrows.
-- Elaine Nunley
Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to Prayer, The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail email@example.com.