Saturday, December 09, 2006

Morton Pharmacy, City Center, Wins!

Anyone who knows me well knows better than to say 'boo' to me before I've started my third cup in the morning, not to mention my utter hatred of telephones. Friday morning I was jolted by the phone after only one cup. The voice on the other end said something like:

Me: Mall Wart?
Me: Mall Wart??

We went back and forth this way until I convinced her not to use nasty words. It was the Living Healthy Clinic. They were calling about my prescriptions and suggesting I go to Mall Wart. I reiterated that I don't go there. I don't do Mall Wart!

She finally got it across to me that she wanted me to take advantage of their $4 Rx plan. My reply was that Target has the same plan. She disputed this. I finally told her I would do the legwork locally and reminded her that the Target plan and Rx list is posted online.

Living Healthy Clinic...background...

Located at 510 Doctors Court off Bowen Street, it is the place of last resort among the uninsured. Many of its clients are low income working folk. It is an off-shoot of the UWO Nursing School and gives practical hands-on experience for students. There are no MD's there. NP's see patients, that is Nurse Practioners; nurses with extra training but below that of an MD. They are able to prescribe drugs. It is funded by Affinity, Aurora, and Theda Care Medical Groups. Funding also comes from Winnebago County (your tax money at work) and recently an 'earmark' courtesy of Sen. Herb Kohl.

I have used this clinic since losing group health insurance in 2003. I was Wal-Marted out of my insurance by the closing of Cub Foods after the Big Box Mall Wart opened. They have extra-ordinary people staffing the Living Healthy Clinic. They go the extra mile to help patients, a courteous and very professional staff.

I went to Target and spoke to a pharmacist. Of course they have the $4 program. It was introduced in Wisconsin one and one-half to two weeks before Mall Wart did theirs! The printout was front and center on the Pharmacy counter and I was given one. He referred me to the store manager who made it clear to me that they would contact the Living Healthy Clinic and provide them with the information.

When I got to the car I thought: I'll go price-check Mall Wart. I parked in the handicapped zone and made the short walk into the store. Saw a lady I know coming out. She said "Hi Gary." I replied "You shop in this rat hole?" With a quizzical expression she said "You're going in there". I explained that I was doing a price check and that I've never spent a dime there.

Price check in hand I went downtown to Morton Pharmacy, City Center. I did the same price check there.

DRUM ROLL.......................................

Hydrochlorothiazide 25mg. A simple water pill often used for high blood pressure.
30-count: $4 bucks at Target and Mall Wart.

Anyone knows that the best prices are often in even numbers such as a 100-count bottle.
Mall Wart 100-count: $11.36
(Note that I'm saving the best for last)

DRUM ROLL and RIMSHOT..................................

Morton Pharmacy 100-count: $10.95 !!!

Morton Pharmacy wins! Morton is no big chain operation. It's a small group of stores in northeast Wisconsin. I find the pharmacists helpful and at least one remembers my first name. They come in 4% cheaper than the "Always High Prices, Always, MALL WART.

That ends my price checking expedition but more detail follows...

Looking for a wonderful charity? Look no further than Living Healthy Clinic, 510 Doctors Court, Oshkosh,WI. 54901. Write them a check today. They do a lot of good in Oshkosh.

Pharmacists... First year grads will earn about $90,000 at Walgreens with a $20,000 'kicker' as a sign-on bonus. Mall Wart is paying $60,000 plus. Who do you want dispensing your pills? I certainly would not want the one at the bottom of the pay scale. That would be the Always Low Wages, Always, MALL WART.

Shop downtown Oshkosh when you can. Remember: If you can't find it at Fleet Farm and Target, you can probably get by without it.

Stay well.

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