“What’s in it for me?”

I spent some time this week in Las Vegas attending some NCPDP work groups on standards, e-prescribing and pedigree/track and trace. Because I’m relatively naïve in these areas I learned a lot. The NCPDP is an interesting organization that appears to be doing a lot of the right things in driving standards and improving e-prescribing in the outpatient setting. Unfortunately acute care hasn’t been as aggressive in adopting these standards or implementing e-prescribing. That’s for another blog post.

Following the scheduled meetings I found myself sitting in on a few impromptu after hours sessions where I got my first glimpse of the political side of the pharmacy underbelly. Let’s just say that there are a lot of special interest groups involved in the process and much of what they want has little to do with better healthcare or improved patient care. Instead it’s a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality. It was disturbing to see the good work that NCPDP was doing overshadowed by groups looking to make a buck or make sure that their competitors didn’t get the upper hand.

Even though I was enlightened by the work done by NCPDP, I was troubled by the behavior of “industry leaders” and large healthcare providers. I believe we have forgotten the reason we’re in healthcare in the first place. I’m just sayin’.

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