Feb 3, 2020 - Health

Pharmacists warn understaffed pharmacies are putting patients at risk

Photo: Joan Slaking/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Pharmacists at large pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens are warning that their understaffed and chaotic workplaces are putting patients at risk, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: If a pharmacist makes a mistake while dispensing a patient's medication, the consequences can be dire.

The big picture: A combination of large task loads and corporate performance metrics makes pharmacists more likely to make mistakes, they argue.

  • State regulatory boards and associations in at least two dozen states have received complaints from pharmacists, NYT reports, including one who told the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, "I am a danger to the public working for CVS."
  • Doctors also complain that pharmacies contact them with refill requests that patients haven't asked for or shouldn't receive.

The big picture: As the industry consolidates, it also faces declining drug reimbursement rates and pressure from pharmacy benefit managers — some of which are owned by pharmacy chains.

Go deeper: U.S. alleges CVS illegally dispensed invalid prescriptions

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CVS faces shortage of face masks and hand sanitizer as coronavirus fears rise

A shops in Alhambra, California on Feb. 27 Photo: Frederic Brown via Getty Images

As more people are buying out Clorox wipes, sprays and bleach, CVS is handling temporary shortages of hand sanitizer and fitted N95 face masks that began earlier this month, CVS spokesperson Joe Goode told Axios.

Driving the news: Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington announced Friday that four patients are presumed to have the novel coronavirus. Three of them were infected by unknown means, per the CDC, while the fourth case is likely travel related.

Go deeperArrowFeb 29, 2020 - Health

Walmart to expand its low-cost health care centers

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart is looking to expand its role in health care delivery, Bloomberg reports.

Details: Walmart stores already frequently house pharmacies and vision centers, but its new health centers — there are two so far — would offer more comprehensive medical, vision and dental care, along with X-rays and lab tests.

Go deeperArrowFeb 26, 2020 - Health

Insurer-owned clinics are taking on hospitals and physicians for patients

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Insurer-owned clinics are increasingly competing with hospitals and physicians for patients, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Doctor groups and hospitals have invested heavily in purchasing physician practices, and are worried about insurers steering patients toward their own clinics.

Go deeperArrowFeb 24, 2020 - Health