WASHINGTON, DC – As a result of successful congressional lobbying efforts by the “big corner drug store” lobby, doctorate of pharmacy programs nationwide will begin requiring students to be proficient in knowledge regarding rewards card programs at major U.S. pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, by 2017.
In a statement released by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the new requirement, widely criticized by health care education advocates as blatant corporate influence on education, was intended to “promote patient advocacy and education.”
“As physicians and other providers in America grow overwhelmed by an increasingly over-capacity health care system, we must begin training doctorate of pharmacy students to promote patient advocacy and education,” said Cynthia Avery, Director of the ACPE and RiteAid WellnessPLUS™ Gold Member.
“Pharmacists, like other healthcare professionals, should take the time to explain important medical and health-related topics with patients – just how many ExtraBucks® rewards and ExtraSavings® coupons a patient could already be earning should they sign up for a CVS ExtraCare® Rewards Card, is no exception.”
According to the ACPE’s website, student competency will be evaluated by “examination questions in the form of clinical-reward-card-scenarios seamlessly integrated into the institution’s existing curriculum.”
The ACPE site also contains a section with various example test questions that are “sponsored in part by Walgreens: At the Corner of Happy & Healthy®,” including the following:
“A 56-year-old with heart valve disease undergoes valve replacement surgery and is prescribed warfarin. The patient later makes an appointment with a new physician – who has yet to receive the patient’s medical records – where he is given a prescription of high-dose aspirin for shoulder pain. He presents to your pharmacy requesting the warfarin & high-dose aspirin. Assuming there are no current promotions, if he receives the two medications, exactly how many Walgreens Balance Rewards® points will he earn on the purchase with his Walgreens Balance Rewards® Card if he pays using the Walgreens Balance® Financial Prepaid MasterCard®?”
At press time, the public relations directors of CVS and Walgreens were not immediately available for comment; however, the companies’ public relations technicians recommended to try calling back in about an hour.
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