Navigation Links
Community Pharmacists Rise to Meet Winter Weather Challenges, Survey Finds

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although the 2009-2010 winter season has presented patients with a variety of significant hurdles to obtaining prescription drugs and pharmacy services, a recent survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) indicated that local pharmacists stepped up to the plate to make sure that patients' health care needs were met.

(Logo: )

NCPA polled 85 community pharmacies in 26 snow-plagued states over a seven-day period in February, while much of the East Coast was still digging out from "Snowmageddon" and some areas braced for additional winter precipitation.

"Like many Americans, community pharmacists are anxious to put this long winter season in the rear-view mirror," said Joseph H. Harmison, PD, President of NCPA and an Arlington, Texas pharmacist. "Parts of the country experienced record snowfall. Certainly, that exacerbated the winter problems that community pharmacists experienced."

The survey findings reveal a deep commitment to continue serving patients despite the trying circumstances:

  • 79% managed to maintain normal business hours, with some pharmacies opening early or staying late as necessary. Some used generators to supply power and remain open. Others extended phone services to meet emergency needs.
  • 36% expanded their pharmacy's home delivery service area to accommodate additional patients. Sometimes this included traversing unplowed roads in four-wheel-drive vehicles or picking up groceries for homebound patients.
  • 45% witnessed an increase in the number of patients needing emergency fills due to the lack of mail service. Meeting this need usually required either contacting the physician or a lengthy phone call to the insurance company or pharmacy benefit manager for an override.  In other cases, pharmacists provided a short-term supply at no cost to the patient and without reimbursement to the community pharmacy.

"These community pharmacists truly stepped up when the patient need was greatest," Harmison added.  "That commitment is one reason why pharmacists are consistently among the public's most-trusted professions."

The survey included open-ended, descriptive pharmacist responses:

  • "We bought a generator to run the computers and a few lights; we made signs to position by the main highways and paid the radio stations to broadcast that we were open for emergency medications; and we cut the fingertips out of our gloves so that we could stay warm while filling medications in a cold building."
  • "We had three feet of snow … A patient walked out of his half-mile driveway and hitch-hiked to the pharmacy to get his wife's pain medication. Rite-Aid was closed and we were the only business in town open. He was desperate to help his wife and very appreciative."
  • "Our pharmacist and two technicians volunteered to stay overnight at the store to make sure we were open the next day!"
  • "I was out during the first storm making deliveries. I turned my SUV over to my drivers and before each storm I was encouraging patients to get their prescriptions filled before the storm hit on my radio show."
  • "Called physician for new prescription for blood pressure medication. After visiting with the patient they realized that the mail order was not saving them any dollars on co-pays. I was able to fill that Rx as well as a couple of other Rxs for the same or less dollars. In addition my pharmacy was able to provide an MTM visit with the patient. This patient saw the value of a relationship with our community pharmacy."
  • "Service is clearly what sets us apart from the chains!! We delivered prescriptions during the worst hours of the blizzard and were happy to do so."
  • "On one snowy and icy night, I had a patient bring in a Rx for pain medication and the pharmacy was out of stock for the Brand Name, which is the only thing that the patient's state provided insurance will pay for. … So after closing the pharmacist drove to another pharmacy in an adjacent town and acquired the medication, then drove it back to the pharmacy and made arrangements for it to be picked up.  The patient received the medication and her therapy was not interrupted."

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at

SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association

Back to top



SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Igniting the Power of Community: The Role of CBOs and NGOs in Global Public Health
2. California Worst in Nation in Meeting Community Healthcare Needs
3. Dementia study launched within the deaf community
4. Scientific community to set research agenda for infection prevention and control for next decade
5. gloStream's gloDNA Process, Partner Community and Product Lead to 100% Success Rate
6. AthletiCo Athletic Trainers Provide Valuable Health Resource to Community
7. With Launch of a Rocket Composter, Northwest State Community College opens a new frontier in green technology in the US.
8. Orion Health™ Helps Gestion Sanitaria de Mallorca Become the First Electronic Health Record Solution for Community Care in Spain
9. March Is National Social Work Month: Social Workers Work to Inspire Community Action While Facing Threats of Budget Cuts
10. GateWay Community College Receives Strong Endorsement for Re-accreditation
11. Prednisolone not benficial in most cases of community-acquired pneumonia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... To deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or ... Center of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant ... of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA ... the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer ... ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American ... function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no ...  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne ... needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ... announced today that it was added to the Russell ... comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on ... milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert ... progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: