business news in context, analysis with attitude

We got a number of emails yesterday about the US government’s decision not to seek financial penalties against the former Ahold executives who have been implicated in that company’s accounting fraud.

One MNB user wrote:

AMEN! That's for your comments regarding Ahold getting a walk on their fraud and negligence. Thousands of people lost their jobs and their retirement because of what these people did. It was a select few people who made the decisions and were responsible for the scandal. They should be held accountable.

Martha Stewart can go to jail for being a little naughty...but these arrogant, selfish and greedy executives get a free pass. I am not saying that Martha was innocent, but the scope of her crime was much smaller and the people hurt were minimal.

It's an outrage.

And another MNB user wrote:

WHAT???!!!!!! And Martha is IN jail???!! I am stunned speechless.

Isn’t anyone going to revolt?? What message is the SEC trying to send us???

Talk about a double standard!
We agree.

We never made the Martha Stewart connection, but it strikes us as a legitimate one.

Economic hardship was perpetrated upon US investors, and continues to foisted upon US employees of the company. (Just ask anyone at Bi-Lo or Bruno’s, who are facing new ownership because Ahold needs to reorganize to compensate for its problems.)

The US should have prosecuted this bunch, just as it did the former Rite Aid executives.

And, we continue to get email about the importance of the pharmacist, a subject that was widely discussed here on MNB yesterday.

MNB user Michele M. Bunn wrote:

I loved the stories about the pharmacists! Using the pharmacist is extremely helpful and is a service that should and must be utilized. In MOST cases these days however, a pharmacist rarely even sees the "client" because we do not have very many "locally owned and operated" pharmacies.

When I visited in Winnipeg, I was informed about their pharmacy practices and was truly amazed at their level of commitment to "patient care" and safety. They told me that the average rate of error on prescriptions coming into was 15% - much of it doctor error in writing the prescription, dosage levels, contraindications with other drugs, and with other over the counter medications.

Buying prescriptions from may not only save money, but buying from a reputable Canadian pharmacy may also save your life.

MNB user Denise Remark-Lundell wrote:

When you come to NE Ohio to visit West Point Market, I'll take you to the Ritzman Natural Health Pharmacy in Wadsworth, OH, as well. The Ritzman family has owned and operated local pharmacies for several generations. The sons & sons-in-law of the founders are pharmacist-owners. The shop's not fancy, but the warmth of the staff and great customer service are the reasons for patronizing it.

Several years ago they adapted parts of several stores to meet the growing requests for dietary supplements and related categories. My parents and I have shopped there for years and although I do not purchase prescriptions there anymore ( I live in another city), every time I am in town & stop there for vitamins or personal care, the pharmacists greet me & ask how my dad is, or mention that he was just in & how well he get the picture. Everyone should be so lucky to have such a terrific pharmacy with people who clearly care about each individual. For that it is worth a visit!

Another MNB user chimed in:

I have an excellent and long-term relationship with my Pharmacist and I still pay, on average, 50% less for my medication than my friends in the United States. What's wrong with this picture? Who says you can't have both? The drug manufacturers perhaps?

MNB user David J. Meador wrote:

I wish I had a nickel for every time a patient has told me he trusted my judgment because I knew more about him, his condition and the drugs he was taking than anyone else. Even with all the modern technology, that professional knowledge of what our patients are taking, their history, compliance, habits and personal aspects have yielded far better results. That's why a pharmacist is so important!

We see people much more often in their real life environment not in a sterile, time restricted setting. Like some of the other readers said, a good working relationship with your pharmacist is essential for good health. Often times they are pressed for time, but if your pharmacist won't take the time to explain or answer questions that you need to ask, get a new one.

And MNB user Bob Hodgin wrote:

Not sure, but this may be one of the best blasting you have had. I’m a lot like you as I really don’t care about whom really fills my scripts. All that said, I have to admit I have been loyal to our local King Soopers pharmacy because they are just so darn nice and always wanting to help out; they have even stayed open as we were “on our way”- twice. Not only do they remember my name, many times they will have the scripts ready as they see me walking towards the counter – perhaps I visit too often, as I am either over medicated or have too many kids getting sick too often. Although, it does seem like there are 20 different people who work behind the counter which lessens the relationship value and my ability to know their names.

Putting all the fuzzy stuff aside, if we think about the practical aspect of this, it makes valuable sense for pharmacist to nurture relationships. According to FMI/ACNielsen, HH’s filling prescriptions at a supermarket spending $3,403 annually for other products, versus $2,414 for non-fillers. Time for a smile; what retailer does not want that shopper?
KC's View: