Rushville Republican

Columns

May 20, 2014

The move to machines is costing us relationships

Have you noticed how many ads there are on television about buying medications directly from a mail order pharmacy instead of buying them from the neighborhood drug store? The “come on” is you can save money by making your purchases on-line and skipping the local retailer. I’m sure there are other products, besides medications, which can be purchased using the Internet instead of buying locally.

On-line banking is another service that comes readily to mind as a way to avoid the trouble of actually going to the bank. I have no doubt that some money can be saved by skipping the local pharmacy, for example, but think about the broader implications of the harm that’s being done to local businesses and local jobs by skipping a hometown store – regardless of the product or service being purchased.

Let’s suppose, for example, you have a question or concern about a particular medication you bought from a mail order pharmacy, who are you going to ask? The mail order pharmacy you purchased your medication from and saved a few bucks is merely a distributor who isn’t going to be able to answer your questions or address your concerns. They could care less about you as an individual. They’re in business to make as much profit as they can by undercutting the home town druggist.

What if you’re going on a trip and you know you’re going to run out of a particular medication you have to take while you’re gone? Do you suppose the mail order people are going to do anything about it to help you until a computer says the day has arrived when your prescription is supposed to be automatically refilled? Nope! On the other hand, the local pharmacist who knows you and is familiar with your particular situation will probably provide you with enough of the medicine you need in advance of the refill date and subtract that amount from your next refill.

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