Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Health Care Cost reason #1

If you can picture the scene of Mr Gauer the pharmacist in "It's a Wonderful Life", you can imagine the origins of the pharmacy bureaucracy. In those days a pharmacist actually mixed and diluted chemicals, measured and prepared strength per dose, and packed individual capsules. It required a Bachelors degree of chemistry and medicine. It was exacting procedures and took time and attention to detail.

Today all this is done at the manufactures. Today your grocery store pharmacy does . . . what? . . . I'll tell you, they count pills out of big bottles and put them in small bottles. They type your doctor's instructions onto little stickers and stick them on the small bottles. Drug interaction and consultation information is spit out by the computer behind the counter.

All this could be performed by a certified tech with a three month course in how to read drug names and decipher dose instructions from the doctor's. So why are we still paying for Bachelor degree educated people? Does it take a degree to count? 1 . . .2 . . . 3 . . .

I dropped off a prescription at the counter for 30 pills of a generic common pain killer . . . "Oh, that'll be ready in an hour."

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