Harsh words about pharmacists from Medco CEO

Medco CEO David Snow had some harsh words about pharmacists at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit earlier this month when comparing us to his corporation’s pill-dispensing robots, which he claims are “twenty-three times more accurate” than real life pharmacists.

“I’m not dissing retail [pharmacy], but there’s a fiction that a pharmacist comes out and dialogues with you,” Snow told the crowd. “In reality, a high school student hands you a script from the shelf.”

Are you kidding me?

Mr. Snow’s attack on the one of America’s oldest and most trusted professions has my head spinning for all sorts of reasons.

Both robots and human pharmacists dispense drugs accurately (assuming Snow is telling the truth about Medco’s machines). What robots don’t offer is patient consultation. Despite Snow’s attempts to demean and diminish the community pharmacist, the truth is thousands of retail pharmacists have life improving and life saving conversations with their patients each and every day.

Snow tries to undercut the importance of patient consultation by calling me a high school student and making my job description taking a bottle off the shelf. I am not a high school student. If community pharmacists have less time than we used to, it’s because we have to fill far more prescriptions to compete with PBMs like Medco that push mandatory mail order.

Mr. Snow, your comments are not true. The truth is you and your corporation have been pushing a misinformation campaign for years.