When is a climb down not a climb down?

When it’s a re-assessment of the situation.

So the over 70’s get their medical cards back. The IMO get their very own Dorgan review. I wonder will the results of this review be as irrelevant as the pharmacy one was. There will be a lot of savings by just giving a flat fee for the over 70’s but this won’t make up for all of the €100m shortfall. The rest is to come from savings on dispensing costs. The only way I can see this to bring in compulsory generic prescribing or allow/direct pharmacists to substitute generically.

This is not permitted under the IPHA agreement until 2010 but lets see them dance around this provision. Or maybe the HSE might just ignore an agreement like they have done in the past.

All this does not take away from the cack handed way that the Dept of Health and the Govt have handled this situation. They totally under estimated the public feeling and anger. So it looks like my original post saying that the over 70’s medical card would not go because of the political activity of the old folks was right after all.

It’s a good job that the govt don’t own any breweries as there would be pretty few piss ups there.

Oops I got it wrong!

Looks like I got it wrong when I said that the over 70s medical card was safe. It’s a brave move on the govt’s part. They are effectively taking an electoral gamble that most of the over 70’s will qualify for medical cards on income grounds. The saving for them is that they will only have to pay the docs the going medical card rate for them instead of the special over 70’s rate that they managed to negotiate.

An interesting figure was that this move will save the HSE €100m in a full year. This coincidently in the same amount that they tried to take from pharmacists with their illegal 8.2% cuts. It makes you wonder why they didn’t do this from the start. There is a year wasted and a load of legal fees to pay. I wonder how many hip replacements the HSE’s legal fees would pay for.

It’s official

From the HSE web

Monday, October 13

In compliance with a recent High Court judgement, the wholesale mark-up the HSE pays pharmacies for medicine supplied through the various medical card schemes will be increased on November 1 from 8% to 17.66%.
This will increase the wholesale cost of medicines by approximately 9%.
This move will add approximately €8 million per month to the cost of the various medical card schemes provided by HSE or almost €100 million a year, as well as increasing the price paid by patients for their medicines by approximately 9%.

For more information, please contact: Paul O’Hare
HSE National Press Office

It’s typical PR to effectively blame the pharmacists because the HSE broke the law. Also to blame pharmacists for increasing costs when the HSE set these prices themselves. I think that maybe they are still in denial. Roll on the court cases to get the 6 months back money back.

I got an email this morning

I got this email this morning

“The Union received an email this evening stating that in compliance with the recent Commercial Court judgment, the HSE will be reinstating the 17.66% margin to claims dispensed on or after the 1st October. The HSE intends to issue a circular to all pharmacists tomorrow.”

If this is the case then We’ve won.

Now to get back the €50m that is owed for the last 6 months. I’ve no doubt that this is time for budget day in the hope that it is buried. If they don’t pony up quickly then we will all be in court for an injunction.

Yes children we will have meat for dinner this week.

We won!

Hickey judgement just out.  In your face Prof Dum-Dum.

OK so I know that there is going to be an appeal to the Supreme Court and that it will be  probably 2-3 years before we have a final outcome.  A lot will depend on the exact wording of the High Court Judgement which we should have shortly.  Still it’s a nice first round win.

It essentially amounts to legal bullying by the HSE.  “We know we are going to lose but lets see you survive 3 years while you are waiting.”  I for one am going for general damages as well as the 8.2%, (plus interest plus costs).  It is kind of sad that the only way to get any satisfaction with the HSE to to fight them in court, when they know that they will lose and they are using tax payers money.  That’s yours and mine!

Maybe if the HSE still refuse to pay we could seek a bankruptcy order against them.  I know that they are morally bankrupt but it would be nice to see them given a big can of whoop ass as well.

Follow up to “Do you want fries with that?”

I found an article from the Ohio University School of Pharmacy about drive thru pharmacies in the states. It is an interesting follow up on a recent blog post. It is summed up in the extract

“The drive-through window, overall, poses a huge problem with respect to causing dispensing errors, contributing to communication errors, delaying processing and forcing staff to take more steps,”

I don’t know how they got this past the UK Pharmaceutical Society or the local PCT. The PJ in the UK has also picked up on this. At least there are still some pharmacists who can see past the profit motive of the multiples. I wonder what is the likelihood of blame being heaped on the employee pharmacist when (and not if) something goes wrong. What is the chance of the chains being held up for some form of corporate responsibility for failing to provide a working environment where the pharmacist can do their job safely. That is safely for both the pharmacist and the public that they are serving. I can already hear the corporate PR unit say that it is the pharmacist’s responsibility to speak up if they think that their conditions are unsafe. What you won’t hear is when they say “Of course public safety is our primary concern but you can kiss good bye to any chance of advancement or even keeping your job.”

Now do you want salt with those fries?