New Year’s resolutions in resolution

This year my New Year’s resolution is to stop all that last-minute rushing around all the time and quit bragging about how Drug Store News always has its finger on the pulse of the industry. I really don’t have the time for that any more—literally; it’s Friday at 2:57 EST, and this page needs to be at our printer in exactly one hour.

But I did want to take a moment to thank Santa Claus for FINALLY bringing me something from my Christmas list this year. Yes, (413 N. Lee Street, Old Town Alexandria) Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.

In the Dec. 10, 2007, issue of Drug Store News, I wrote an open letter to Santa on behalf of the entire retail pharmacy industry. Well, I didn’t even have to wait until Christmas Day for him to bring me something from my list this year.

By Dec. 14, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth had the good sense to grant an injunction that, at least temporarily, pulls the plug on the reduced AMP-based reimbursement formula for generic prescriptions that CMS had proposed until he has had an opportunity to fully review the new payment plan, and carefully consider community pharmacy’s lawsuit against CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Thanks to Santa, Steve Anderson, Bruce Roberts, the entire retail pharmacy lobby and the communications teams behind them, Christmas came a little early this year for thousands of community drug stores across the country; as many as 12,000 were expected to shut down as a result of the new Medicaid reimbursement structure.

But I don’t have the time to talk about that kind of stuff, plus I promised not to do it anymore.

The Drug Store News Group made one other resolution for 2008: to keep raising the quality on both our print and online offerings. If you have been to www.drugstorenews.com lately, you may have noticed the introduction of our new video capabilities through DrugStoreNews.TV. We recently sent senior editor Antoinette Alexander out into the streets of Manhattan to talk to parents about how an FDA panel’s recent vote against OTC cough-cold products for children under age 6 might impact their purchasing decisions. It’s something we call Shopper Buzz; it’s also the kind of thing you can expect to see more of from Drug Store News in 2008. Just like Michael Johnsen’s story on the cover of this issue about what “green” means for retail pharmacy.

It’s also something you will only be able to find in Drug Store News. But I made a promise to stop doing that kind of stuff this year; besides, there’s no time for that. I have to write my column.