Small-town pharmacies battling mail-order competition in Clinton County

By Emily Elconin
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Small-town pharmacies like Hometown Pharmacy located at 128 S. Bridge St. in DeWitt are facing challenges with demand from growing mail-order pharmacies and larger insurance companies. In the process, face-to-face consultations between pharmacists and patients are being replaced with a technology-based service that eliminates any personal connections. But proponents of the change claim an ability to provide drugs at cheaper costs, something one study did not agree with. “What I’ve been told is that it’s a claim that’s it’s cheaper for the insurance companies to go mail-order,” Patty Wagner, pharmacy manager at Hometown Pharmacy said.

Doctors, hospitals worry about shortage of medication

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan is experiencing the nationwide problem of insufficient pharmaceutical drugs. Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies are struggling with a lack of IV drugs, said Christopher Kelly, with the Office of Media Affairs for the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based in Maryland. “We are continuing to see new shortages develop in 2013, especially of IV electrolytes and other IV drugs needed for adults and pediatric patients,” Kelly said. “These shortages have mainly occurred due to delays at one large manufacturer, and FDA is continuing to work with all of the manufacturers.”
Drug scarcity is a significant health threat that can result in serious and sometimes deadly outcomes for patients who cannot get what they need, Kelly said. Experts say the most common pharmaceuticals they are running short of are IV components, anesthesia, chemotherapy drugs, pain medication, and Adderall – which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.