Drones! Great for the military. Not so great for delivering medications. When will the mega corporations realize that it is not about getting more pills to the people? It’s about taking care of the people who need the pills! While the mega corps will tell you their drones will not deliver medications, I think we all know where this is going. From companies who define mail order Rx’s as “home delivery medications” each step they make, such as the introduction of drones, moves them one step further from true patient care.
I’d like to introduce you to my drone. His name is Mike. He’s retired. He golfs. He tells jokes. He’s my friend. When Mike comes into the pharmacy to gather the bags for his route, he visits with all my techs. He gets the current low down on everybody’s family, stirs the techs up, listens as they tell him about each delivery: Mrs. So and So’s family can’t make it for Christmas, she seemed really down when she called. Mr. Fred reported his blood pressure was up. Mrs. Jean called to say she didn’t need anything, but you’d best not forget to stop by for your hug. One by one Mike files the stories away. When Mike heads out the door he knows he does more than take someone a sack of pills. Mike represents the initial contact for many of my patients into the healthcare system. Mike is a person who cares.
Community Pharmacists depend on people like Mike. They learn things while visiting with a patient that may not otherwise be communicated to either healthcare or social services. If Mike enters a home and there is no food, Mike will refer that person to our Community Health Worker and we will contact the local food bank and Meals on Wheels on that person’s behalf. If Mike sees that leaves are piled up in front of a house impeding a possible EMS team, he will let us know so our CHW can contact a local church youth group about raking leaves. Mike is an integral part of our healthcare team, extending our reach past the walls of our pharmacy in order to better serve the patients for whom we care.
I’m betting your pharmacy has a Mike. I’m betting your Mike does something similar. I’m betting your Mike would never forget to stop by Mrs. Jean’s house for that hug. I’m also betting it’s hard to hug a drone.
Merry Christmas from everyone here at ESPhA. Thanks for all you do for your patients.
Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD
Richard Logan, Jr. PharmD, community pharmacist, community pharmacy advocate, and ESPhA founding member