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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesST. THOMAS VETERANS WITHOUT PHARMACIST

ST. THOMAS VETERANS WITHOUT PHARMACIST

Veterans in St. Thomas have been without a pharmacist since December when the Vet Center pharmacist left the island. But another pharmacist should be here in four to six weeks.
Dr. Carlton Alexis, who runs the Veteran Center Community Based Clinic, said that in the meantime veterans are getting a 10- to 14-day supply of medication through local pharmacies to hold them over until they can get a 90-day supply from the Veterans Administration in Puerto Rico.
Alexis said he faxes them a prescription and it is filled and mailed back.
The situation came to light when a veteran called Radio One’s Sam Topp show complaining that no notice was given that the pharmacy was going to close.
Havensight Pharmacy is one of the local vendors that has been supplying the medication.
Co-owner Ralda Simmonds said it’s really not a problem. She bills the federal government and is reimbursed within 30 to 45 days.
“At first it took a little longer because there were no procedures in place, but now it’s fine,” she said.
Simmonds is a member of the newly formed pharmacists’ organization that was created out of a need to address problems with local government payments and insurance. In comparison to the local government, the federal V.A. has reasonable reimbursement policies, according to Simmonds.
“They have built-in increases to compensate for cost of living,” Simmonds said. “The local government needs to look at how they do it.”
One issue the pharmacists have raised where local government insurance reimbursement is concerned is that the insurance company doesn’t account for the costs, such as gross receipts, that druggists doing business here face.

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Veterans in St. Thomas have been without a pharmacist since December when the Vet Center pharmacist left the island. But another pharmacist should be here in four to six weeks.
Dr. Carlton Alexis, who runs the Veteran Center Community Based Clinic, said that in the meantime veterans are getting a 10- to 14-day supply of medication through local pharmacies to hold them over until they can get a 90-day supply from the Veterans Administration in Puerto Rico.
Alexis said he faxes them a prescription and it is filled and mailed back.
The situation came to light when a veteran called Radio One’s Sam Topp show complaining that no notice was given that the pharmacy was going to close.
Havensight Pharmacy is one of the local vendors that has been supplying the medication.
Co-owner Ralda Simmonds said it’s really not a problem. She bills the federal government and is reimbursed within 30 to 45 days.
“At first it took a little longer because there were no procedures in place, but now it’s fine,” she said.
Simmonds is a member of the newly formed pharmacists’ organization that was created out of a need to address problems with local government payments and insurance. In comparison to the local government, the federal V.A. has reasonable reimbursement policies, according to Simmonds.
“They have built-in increases to compensate for cost of living,” Simmonds said. “The local government needs to look at how they do it.”
One issue the pharmacists have raised where local government insurance reimbursement is concerned is that the insurance company doesn’t account for the costs, such as gross receipts, that druggists doing business here face.