Tuning into real health reform
This year makes 19 years for me as the editor of Drug Store News. Looking back on it all, I have seen a lot change. In many ways, it reminds me of a series of TV commercials that was popular back then — AT&T’s “You Will” ads.
“Have you ever borrowed a book from 1,000 miles away,” the voice of Tom Selleck asked. “Have you ever crossed the country without stopping for directions? … You will.”
Today, e-books and GPS are pretty common; but 20 years ago, they seemed like science fiction.
The comparisons to the transformation of community pharmacy over that period are really quite remarkable.
When I started 19 years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine getting a flu shot from a pharmacist because pharmacists were not licensed to do. Today, pharmacists in all 50 states can administer flu shots and at least two other vaccinations.
Back then, it would have been hard to imagine being able to receive 80% of your primary care needs in a community pharmacy setting — the retail clinic was very much still just a concept on a dry erase board. Today, there are more than 2,000 retail clinics in operation, with many more expected in the years ahead.
To be sure, as the editor of DSN I have seen the drug store re-emerge not just as a place that dispenses prescriptions, but as the center of health care in neighborhoods all across America.
I frequently tell people that if they could see what I see, if they could see how community pharmacy, in so many examples, is leading the way on lowering healthcare costs, expanding patient access and driving better health outcomes, they would have a pretty good sense of how to fix health care.
That’s why we have produced this special edition of DSN. Just like those AT&T commercials, you may not have thought a lot about what community pharmacy could do to help fix health care was possible. But when you read this, you will.
To see the full report, click here.