How Big Pharma is Swallowing Main Street Pharmacies
Unfortunately, small pharmacies face more and more difficulties simply attempting to operate their businesses in the face of pharmaceutical and insurance companies. The obstacles play out in a number of ways:
Compensation Gap: The insurance companies do not compensate the independent pharmacies at the same rate as they compensate the big chain pharmacies. In some cases, the discrepancy is so big, that the insurance company shows a “negative reimbursement” and actually charges the pharmacy for a drug instead of compensating the company for the treatment.
Medication Therapy Management: Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is when an insurance company does an assessment of a patient’s health profile, and then reaches out to the pharmacy to recommend, for example, that a patient with diabetes add a cholesterol medication. The insurance company then expects the pharmacy to reach out to the doctor with the recommendation and expects the doctor to prescribe it. Of course, the pharmacy then gets compensated for the sale.
The People’s Pharmacist
Dr. VanDeWater became interested in the field of pharmacy as a teenager and truly loved working with people. She noticed that many pharmacists kept a distance from their patients, and decided she would complete the training required to become a pharmacist who would keep her relationship with her patients as a priority. By the time Dr. VanDeWater completed her education and obtained her license to practice as a pharmacist in 2006, the industry had gone through a dramatic shift. Ads on television for pharmaceutical products had become increasingly common, and the standard day of work for pharmacists consisted of scrolling through the computer to hand out digital prescriptions.
Dr. VanDeWater fell in love with the practice of pharmacy as a manner in which she could help people on a personal level. She enjoyed speaking with patients to understand precisely what they needed, and strolling through aisles to help them find what they were looking for.
When Dr. VanDeWater entered the industry as a fully licensed pharmacist, she was thrown into a sterile, corporate world of drug dispensing with a big barrier between pharmacist and patient. She was actively discouraged from interacting with the public, and it was clear that her job entailed dispensing products as prescribed, no questions asked. After all, there was a ‘script count to keep up, and MTM recommendations to sell.
Dr. VanDeWater saw a number of doctors refuse in good conscience to prescribe an endless stream of medications to their patients, yet she also saw many doctors simply send back signed prescriptions in return. As for Dr. VanDeWater herself, she simply refused to forward MTM recommendations, even in the face of pushback from her managers. She couldn’t in good faith participate in the system she was witnessing.
“What Do You Want Me To Do, Make More People Sick?”
Dr. VanDeWater recalls saying to her manager at one point: “What do you want me to do, make more people sick?”
As she said the words out loud, a light bulb went off in her head, and Dr. VanDeWater began a journey of careful observation of the industry she loved.
She began her career at big pharmacy chains and then moved over to grocery chains. Dr. VanDeWater could not find a pharmacy among the chains that cared for the people as their top priority. She made a career shift into working at independent mom-and-pop style pharmacies where she found like-minded people and an atmosphere that prioritized patients.
Not only did Dr. VanDeWater not participate in the corrupt system she found herself in, but she fought against it. She took patients into side rooms with a list of the medications they were on and went one by one to determine if the patient truly needed every item on the list, or if some could be eliminated. Often, the patient was grateful and said she was the first person who ever asked them that.
Dr. VanDeWater knew at this point that her job would not be in retail, dispensing meds. She instead decided to work alongside doctors and be a voice for the patient. In January of 2020, such a job opened up for Dr. VanDeWater and she gave notice to her employer. However, COVID hit, and everything moved to telehealth, terminating Dr. VanDeWater’s position before she had gotten a chance to begin.
Dr. VanDeWater found herself an observer from the sidelines when COVID hit, but she didn’t stay quiet for long. As restrictions and mandates closed in, Dr. VanDeWater went to her town square with a literal bullhorn to encourage citizens to rise up, that this was our 1776.
“You’re a Warrior, and We Need You”
Dr. VanDeWater was correct about the COVID restrictions. Through her bravery and courage, she connected with some Medical Freedom doctors, and when The Wellness Company started up, she was contacted and told, “You’re a warrior, and we need you.”
The Wellness Company is an alternative to to Big Pharma-driven corporate medicine that is unapologetically standing up for medical freedom by providing the following and more to patients in need:
- Custom telemedicine guidance
- Affordable, convenient healthcare
- Other kinds of health support
Dr. VanDeWater has finally found her calling at The Wellness Company, a place where she can truly put the health of her patience first, uphold medical freedom, and provide patients with the education they need to make informed decisions regarding their health.
“I joined TWC to make a difference in people’s lives by providing authentic and genuine care resulting in restored health and vitality.”
You can visit The Wellness Company to find out more about its products, resources, and services using the links below.