Support local pharmacy | Letters

I am a practicing cardiologist with PeaceHealth medical group based in Anacortes outreach clinic. I see many Lopez Island patients with various cardiac conditions.

The world of medical care and coverage for care and prescription medications is rapidly evolving.

I would like to highlight an issue that many Island residents may not be aware of or fully understand the implications of their decisions.

I see many patients now who receive their medications through ExpressScripts or other mail order pharmacies.

I fully understand there may be cost benefits to obtain prescriptions from these mail order options.

What I would ask is for all to consider the Lopez Island impact for a purely economic decision in use of a mail order pharmacy.

Rick and Marge at Lopez Pharmacy are an incredible resource for the island. I trust them implicitly as part of the caregiver team for patient care. They will always answer any question or concern from the patient in regards to medications. Do you get that same level of service and care from a mail-order pharmacy?

The economic reality is that by choosing a mail order pharmacy, it reduces the revenue stream for the Lopez Pharmacy and makes it more difficult for them to stay in business. The Island population is limited to support a local pharmacy in general and the mail order option further decreases their ability to be sustainable as a valued island resource.

I urge all island residents to ponder this. Everyone’s situation may be different to make a personal decision. My point of this communication is to make all aware of potential unintended consequences of a mail order prescription.

Don McAfee

Lopez Island