Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I’m taking Cheryl’s excellent tip to keep my ToL fabric in better condition. Her tip was to start in the upper right corner and work the right sections first. I had already started in the upper left corner, so rather than stopping there and counting over 333 stitches (and more than likely getting it wrong), I’m going to continue to work that smallish top border all the way over to the right. That should bring me over to the correct spot to stitch the top right motif.

I just love samplers!

I was thinking I should explain my hatred of Walmart. I've avoided shopping there for the past few years. Quite frankly, I'd rather do without whatever they have than give them a nickel of my money. But in the past I just had an aversion towards WalMart. Now it's bloomed into hatred.

WalMart has spelled the death of many small stores in my town and in the neighboring towns. I think it's the reason that our local JoAnn's closed, and nothing has reopened in its place. Now WalMart is attacking my small business, too.

Yep, the $4.00 generic prescription scam has come to Pennsylvania. And saving money is one thing, but deceiving people and being cavalier about their health is another. Here is the view of the PPA, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association:

"First launched in Florida in September, Pennsylvania is one of the states with the Wal-Mart Generics Drug Program that uses the 'bait and switch' to lure Wal-Mart store traffic....Medications on the list of covered generics represent only about 1 percent of the total drugs available in today's market, leaving the remaining 99 percent at questionable rates. Wal-Mart promotes its list of 300 listed medicines but in actuality the list is less than 50 drugs. For example, the Wal-Mart list includes 12 different versions of the antibiotic amoxicillin. "While the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association supports fair competition, it does not believe that such below cost pricing strategies are the solution to the rising costs of prescription drugs in this country," Epple said. "State residents deserve access to affordable and safe prescriptions and not publicity- stunt marketing tactics or gimmicks."

"If there's ever been a case of buyers beware: this is it," Miller warned. "Consumers need to look closely at the fine print of the program, as prescriptions available on Wal-Mart's list frequently are the oldest and weakest in their drug class and may have side effects that newer medications do not."

PPA is deeply concerned about the possible short- and long- term effects of these ploys on patient safety. "These ploys imply that prescription drugs are a commodity to be cranked out fast and at a low price. What does this say about real patient care and safety?" Epple said. "Buying prescription medications is not like buying makeup, shampoo or a pair of jeans. There must be safeguards in place for patients' which cost money and take time -- and this is the critical role community pharmacists play and that is the important cost left out of this equation."

A Nov. 9 survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) two months after the rollout of the Florida Wal- Mart Generic Drug Program found that although 77 percent had heard of the program and 69 percent shopped at Wal- Mart regularly, only about 5 percent had turned to Wal-Mart for their $4 generic drugs. The survey found that fewer than half of those who had tried the program had a positive experience. Those not satisfied complained that the drugs they were taking were not covered, the drugs were not cheaper, or that wait times were long. Sixty percent of survey respondents said Wal-Mart's program did not offer the cost savings it advertised and was more of a way to get customers to shop in other departments. Our nation's consumers are savvy: more than half in the Florida survey agreed Wal-Mart's program was aimed at forcing community pharmacies out of business."

Well folks, we all like to save money, but usually you get what you pay for. That couldn't be more true in this case.

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