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State closing pharmacy for the mentally ill

Al Harris October 30, 2009 2

A Virginia program that provides prescription medication to thousands of mentally ill patients is getting cut because of a shrinking state budget.

Closing the state pharmacy will save the state $800,000 by eliminating nine positions. The pharmacy obtained drugs at discount prices by participating in a national consortium.  The pharmacy serves more than 3,300 patients a month.

But now the $13 million that the state spends on the medication will be sent directly to the 40 Community Service Boards that distribute the medication on a local level to patients who had been discharged from state mental hospitals and unable to pay for their prescriptions.

The local boards will have to source the medications on their own, and some are worried they won’t be able to achieve the same discounts obtained through the state program, according to an article in today’s Washington Post.

From the article:

Still, mental health experts and patients are watching with concern as the pharmacy, which was widely acknowledged as well-run and saved Virginia millions of dollars annually, is shut down.

“There’s no guarantee this is going to work,” said Mira Signer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Virginia. “It’s a budget decision, not a policy decision. And that’s really unfortunate because you’ve got really vulnerable folks at the end of this. It’s just going to be a matter of time before someone falls through the cracks.”

The state pharmacy is scheduled to stop filling prescriptions Monday and close Jan. 1.

Some of the local boards have said they have been able to find better prices at Wal-mart than the state was paying through the national consortium, but said that the responsibility of procuring drugs will add to their administrative costs.

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2 Comments »

  1. PepsiJuror October 31, 2009 at 11:37 am - Reply

    The altruist plan should now be to wean these VA’s safely off these mind altering medications before it kills them (typical of coming off these drugs cold turkey) and find some real help!

    This is absolutely wonderful news. I am 100% behind closing this dope peddling, state funded drug dispensary, providing drugs on the level of cocaine to our honored VA who put their lives on the line for our country!

    Beyond the obvious reason of not enough state funds; guess why this facility is closing..??..

    It roughly costs big Pharma 2 ½ cents to make somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 pills. Big Pharma turns around and sells a prescription of 30 pills at $140-$170. Do the math and you will see 1. these medications only, only, only treat the symptoms (they don’t cure) 2. (like the heroin dealer) these drugs create a lifelong customer 3. big Pharma ran this facility dry.

    As for the Psychiatrists or “on the take” MDs who knowingly proscribe mind altering, mood stabilizing drugs, who accomplished getting these honored VA addicted to drugs deemed by the FDA as addictive as cocaine, these charlatans need to be put behind bars or better yet, serve a life sentence in one of their own so call mental prison hospitals.

    Then there are those “naive” customers whose analytical judgment fell to zero the moment they felt the euphoria of such a drug or combination of (and don’t think for a moment any differently) – which I might add is no different than the heroin user on the street. Since when do we as Americans put any faith in the judgment of a heroin addict, let alone their dealer? Their yardstick is “ohhh, I feel better. I don’t feel quite so depressed”. No kidding you feel better, you’re hooked on DRUGS man!! WAKE UP!

    When my parents inject themselves with insulin to treat their diabetic condition (after of course taking all the precautionary and appropriate readings with their fancy little blood reading machines), they know exactly what they’re doing and how much to take. There’s no question as to what they’re balancing.

    What exactly does heroin or Pysch drugs balance?

    What about Psychiatrists? At least a heroin dealers freely admit to being to being dealers.

  2. bob dobbs February 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    PepsiJuror wants to replace psychiatry with Scientology, drugs are just a straw-man argument,Scientology is even opposed to talk therapy.

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