NACDS responds to WSJ article citing cynicism, inaccuracies

ARLINGTON, Va. — A recent Wall Street Journal article, “10 Things Drugstores Won’t Tell You,” has caught the attention of National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson, who responded to the article by saying that it put sensational headlines and statements ahead of the facts, thus depicting pharmacies inaccurately.

The original article was published in the March 17 edition of WSJ that was distributed through other regional and local newspapers. The WSJ does not publish letters to the editor regarding articles distributed in this format. However, at the suggestion of a WSJ editor, NACDS was encouraged to engage in the dialogue online, and therefore, NACDS posted its comments online in response to the article.
The text of the response is below:
The “10 Things Drugstores Won’t Tell You” might make a good headline, but this cynical piece incites an inaccurate portrayal of pharmacies, rather than emphasizing how they can help patients improve their quality of life.  
One blatant inaccuracy is “Pharmacists at the clinics ... provide services people once turned to their primary care physician for,” such as physicals. Fact: Clinics provide patient services that are administered by nurse practitioners or doctors — not pharmacists.

What is probably another eye-catching headline is just another falsehood: “You say cold symptoms? We say meth addict.” This assumption is irresponsible and erroneous. Fact: Pharmacies are subject to federal and state laws in selling pseudoephedrine (PSE) products. They do not assume their patients are “meth addicts.”
Consumers are “better off” when they work with their pharmacy to help stay healthy. Fact: A well-researched “10 Things Drugstores Do for Patients Every Day” would better serve patients instead of snappy headlines and unsubstantiated assumptions.

Commenting further on the matter, Anderson stated, “It is unfortunate that this article undervalues the important role of pharmacies when so many patients rely on them to stay healthy and make their health care more affordable. As the face of neighborhood health care, pharmacies help patients use medicines safely, as well as providing vaccinations, disease testing and other patient care services. Every opportunity a pharmacist has to interact face to face with a patient is an opportunity to help a patient feel better or live better. There is no substitute for that personal interaction.”

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