Support for independent pharmacies

Another healthcare-related letter to share. Interesting given role of pharmacists during COVID vaccine push.

Dear Editor,
Pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs) are not known to the average person, but they often play an integral role in helping you get your medications when going to your local pharmacist. My pharmacy relies on the work PSAOs do, allowing me to get out of the office and go work with my patients at the front of the store.

Running a business is difficult work, especially in the healthcare space. There is an oceans worth of bureaucracy and paperwork that must be completed on a daily basis just for me to get the medications my patients need. On top of this, we are often forced to negotiate with powerful, multibillion dollar pharmacy benefit managers, that try to take advantage of small pharmacies and their customers. All I want to do is provide care to my community members, but too often these administrative tasks fill up my day.

PSAOs were especially valuable during this pandemic, when pharmacists were dealing with medication shortages AND administering the COVID-19 vaccine. With their help, the voices of independent pharmacies are raised up within the industry and in public policy.

Jonathan Harward
Pharmacist - Josef's Pharmacy, Raleigh