Does anyone know if both K-Mart stores have a pharmacy, and are they connected to a database stateside?
Only the west end store has a pharmacy. You'll have to call but my guess is they are NOT connected to any stateside database. Becky?
lol, connected to a state-side database... they still use an abacus to count their pills! 😉
actually, i'd be surprised if any k-marts share pharma data between them. why take the risk when HIPAA is in full effect? just an extra risk for very little reward.
save yourself a lot of hassle and just take your RX or call it in to the golden rock pharmacy just outside of christiansted. kmart does all the Medicare & Medicaid Services RX here and so you'll always wait in a line for more than 15-20 minutes just to pick up (not including refill time). based on what i've seen when i got my rx there, i would bet that 7 out of 10 people have something wrong with their refill, wrong amount, wrong co-pay, etc or something that requires them to tie up the line while the cashier tries to figure out the problem which usually involves having the pharmacist solve the crisis.
My husband is a pharmacist at the Sunshine Mall Kmart. His name is Russell and he would be happy to help you with whatever you need - he can explain all the ins and outs of getting a Rx transferred if that is indeed what you are inquiring about.(340)692-2622. The other two pharmacists are Nixon and Leon, and they would be happy to help you as well.
SINCE Kmart holds the contract for all Medicaid scripts on island, you just naturally are going to have a LOT of things to do. They average 450+ prescriptions a day and have 4-6 employees going at full tilt all the time. With the new Medicare/Medicaid in place, it has been a circus on the government end.
Sorry, Nerd, you hit a nerve.
sorry about that becky. i didn't mean to sound like i was anti-kmart i personally have never had a problem with kmart refilling my RX and i still have 1 there i can't get elsewhere on the island.
on that note, i can say that i've gotten some "mystery pills" from golden rock before. i got my refill home and took one before i realized that it looked different, at first i thought that they were generic or something. but the next day i took them back and asked them to check if they were wrong, after a few minutes the RX tech came over and asked me how many i had taken... i said just 2, one yesterday and one this morning, she said ok, i'll get you the right ones, and here's a few extra for your troubles! so i'm still not sure what it was and she wasn't telling.
Thanks Becky, I am going to ask for your husband or one of the other pharmicist you provided.
You may have only had a different generic from a different pharmaceutical company - I have one Rx that looks different every month, depending on where it comes from. It may have also been a milligram difference. In the instance you are speaking of, I would hope you consulted with the pharmacist to find out just what you had taken...we wouldn't want any part of your body to stop working suddenly....
As a note of interest, a technician may fill a prescription, but the pharmacist is ultimately responsible for the final check to make sure it has been dispensed correctly, which includes visually inspecting the container and label and pills. That's the law. Most pharmacies have scanners now that read the SKU number from the label of the stock bottle and display it on the computer screen for verification and comparison to the doctor's order, and then print the label out, but the pharmacist still has to doublecheck it. If your doc has lousy handwriting, that means a phone call to his office and a wait time on the phone, which further slows the flow of business down. Allpharmacies are having difficulty with the new Medicare claims, about half of the people aren't even listed in the system. A pharmacist has to call on each one of those.
My husband and I generally call in our presciption renewals well before the day we need them. Would our stateside doctore be able to prescribe blood pressure & diabetes medications? Thanks for your reply.
I had to ask, Judi - I leave the medicine to him! Yes - your stateside doctors can prescribe your meds. If your current prescription is with a Kmart, he can get the info - however, it's best if you bring in your bottles and let him get the transfer going from his end. If your Rx is not with Kmart, have your doctor call it in or bring your bottles in and he can get them transferred...or just bring in the paper Rx from the doctor.
NJgoombah,Rx, had to weigh in on this thread. I am still looking at a PMV this winter, but haven't had much time to post since I took a transfer with my employer to the Memphis, Tn. area recently for a much needed change of scenery. Anything is an improvement over lovely New Jersey. Sounds like things are rolling for your husband at the big KMart. I have heard lots of horror stories about the new Medicare Part D snafu. How about the licensing exam? That part worries me a bit also. Is your husband happy with the chain store experience and has he had a chance to compare KMart with any smaller independents on island?
No snow here in Memphis yet, but the people tell me I haven't been here for summer yet!
We're from Arkansas - summer is miserable, sorry!
So far he likes it, although it is very fast-paced. One or two of the smaller independents have gone out of business. He's been too busy working and studying to worry about anything else!
The licensing is a horror story. He applied in mid December, sent everything in...NABP called on Wednesday to let us know, oops, fees went up - sorry, we won't process your application without the extra money (after they tell me the check was for "insufficient funds", which I assured them was not possible since it was a cashier's check...language barrier and all). So we sent them more money. I am sure we are in for another 6 week wait just to hear from them...NABP has to notify VIBP to let him take the test...don't know when that will be...then we will wait for grading, etc. I am sure we will have this worked out no later than Halloween 🙁 Neither one of us would really care except that he is working for grad student wages while we wait, rather than fully licensed pharmacist wages, which we didn't factor into the cost of living scenario. Live and learn. I guess if we ever move to Guam we'll know better!
If you have ANY intention of coming down to work, I'd suggest getting things rolling stateside and taking NAPLEX there. As with most other things, it just becomes more complicated here.
On the other hand, the weather is lovely!
Holy Cow, Becky R! Student wages? 30%? 50%? dare I say 75%? I would have thought KMart would have to treat their indentured servants better than that in order to recruit staff! After all, how lovely can the weather be? LOL!
Seriously, that does put STX in a different light... Ah, but they say rum is cheap and the trade winds always blow somewhere on island. Good luck to Russell when test time does finally roll around.
The wages paid are not commensurate with the cost of living, that's just a cold hard fact. Hence, I have pulled myself out of my self-imposed retirement to do a little contract work in medical transcription for the docs from the States I worked for previously. (No matter where you go, the internet is there!) But remember there is no sales tax and no state tax, so that helps a little - if they added taxes on top of everything else, we might not have made the choice we did. We understood the intern wages, we just didn't understand island time....but we're getting it. That's why I advised you to have your certification through NAPLEX before you come. It just makes your road a little smoother!
My husband makes what was considered an excellent salary in the States - my question is how your typical local makes it from day to day? Housing is through the roof, as are utilities and food...and we are not fancy eaters at all and require no entertainment other than the beach. He is a white collar professional ... so we thought that might smooth the way. Wrong. I suppose we will learn little tricks here and there - our major trick is getting the kid out of law school - now THAT will add to the budget!
Once again, the posts on this board are invaluable, as is a PMV. There is SO much we didn't know and so much we didn't know to ask. I will admit to skimming over some posts because I couldn't see the purpose - now I see the purpose! The internet is everywhere, yes - but what is your service like when you are working an internet-based business? Ah, I relied on my experience in the States...so wrong. Run out of water? Oh, that must be people who are just frittering it away...wrong again...but six months into this, and we "feel" differently, more informed, and more in love with STX - and we can almost pick out the newcomers that won't make it. It takes a certain amount of tenacity and forethought to make it work. It also takes people on the other end that help you get started and who try to point out the quirks in your very logical plan!
I thank everyone on the board for their unwavering support and advice, even if I didn't heed it. I hope I can provide that support to someone as well and help them transition without some of the bumps. Truth to tell, there are bumps you just can't get around - but forewarned is forearmed....and you just go over or through those bumps and keep on going!
A couple of pointed questions please. Can 2 people make do with 1 vehicle? My plan would be to sell my stateside vehicle and purchase transportation locally. What would an average budget be for housing/utilities/food? Another posting read that $50K annually is the bare minimum. Comments please. Thanks for all the information available on this forum.
NJG, I think you need to repost under a new subject line. I don't know how $50K would cover it. As far as two cars or one, we had one - for less than 2 weeks. Considering it was taking me 1 1/2 - 2 hours to take my husband to work from the east end to F'sted and then do it all over at the end of the day, it seemed pretty stupid to carry on that way. Housing is all over the board, depending on what you want. Our utilities are included in rent, I can't speak on that one. My grocery bill is absurd.
I assumed you were talking about gross salary with minimal deductions...I think it really depends on what it is you need and want....and where you live in relation to where you work. The gas prices are still stupid here considering Hovensa is next door to everyone.
I'm the one who said you can make it on $50,000. I should have also said that we have no car payments and no debt. Rents ARE all over the board and we've been lucky. We pay $850 for 2 br/2ba in the country. We drink cistern water and our WAPA bill is $130 or so. We have cable, phone and dial-up through Innovative with no complaints.
What you can live on is always contingent upon how you intend to live. If you are willing to live simply and don't have to have fancy cars and all the latest toys, you can obviously live on much less than if you intend to continue a mainland, consumeristic life-style in the islands. There are expenses to move here and get set up. Once you are living in the islands and have a furnished place to live and transportation, your greatest ongoing expenses will be food, utilities and travel. You may adjust your diet to include less expensive foods. You may learn to get by with less technological utility expense (do you need both home phone and cell phone? do you both need dsl and dial-up? etc.) and also learn to conserve power and water. It can be expensive to travel from the islands and to visit family and friends back on the mainland. You usually save $$ here on taxes and entertainment. If you have school aged kids, you may have a private school expense to consider. You will probably commute a shorter distance and save $$ on gas and other vehicle expenses. You will go through more tires here than on the mainland, but you don't have to drive a luxury car to be accepted.
Most local families do live on less than $50K per year, and not only the families living in government housing projects. If you have to pay private school tuition for 2 kids and take your whole family back to the mainland to visit grandma twice a year, then NO, you cannot make it on $50K.
I am considering moving to the island and working as a pharmacist.
What are the employment opportunities and what is the average wage?
Steve, I have PM'd you with some info - if you don't see it, check your spam box!
Just a quick pop in from someone who takes more than a dozen prescription meds...
Through proximity and fate, my local pharmacy hero is Rick at Plaza Extra East. He has made transferring scripts from stateside easy, and goes out of his way to make sure they have the quantity of meds I need in stock when a refill is due. If you take a hard to get drug or a large quantity of any one med, having a pharmacist that remembers to order your meds far enough in advance to account for shipping glitches (which can be a problem, particularly during hurricane season) is a godsend. I'm sure there are other caring, and very competent, pharmacists out there (including Becky's hubby) but can only speak from experience about Rick.
I have used Golden Rock in a pinch. Seemingly nice folks there, but they don't have the same good hours that Plaza East offers, and they charge more for the same meds I get through Plaza (sometimes as much as 20 percent more).
And here's something I don't recall seeing on the board before (but that certainly doesn't mean it hasn't come up), you are not required to have a prescription to purchase insulin or insulin needles. Because diabetes is so prevalent in the VI, my understanding is that this public policy was enacted to try and eliminate barriers that may prevent diabetics from getting treatment for their blood sugar problems. It's certainly made it easier for us to care for our diabetic cat.
On the cost of living subject, it is possible for two people to live comfortably on $50k on STX, but it may require you to make compromises to do so. Home owner's insurance with the added hurricane coverage is required if you use a mortgage to purchase a home, and it is expensive relative to homeowner's insurance in the northern VA, the midwest, etc. Our insurance, which only covers the amount of our mortgage and not full replacement value of the home, makes up 40 percent of our monthly mortgage payment. Owning a more modest home than you had stateside can help keep your housing budget down.
Not eating or going out often, having only one car with no payments and no other debt also help you control costs. Car insurance has cost us far more (we pay more here for one car here thanwedid for two cars in VA,and that's for a policy with larger deductibles all around) -- what I wouldn't give to have my Geico coverage back! Even though it's true that you don't have a heating bill to pay anymore, watching your utility costs is a must. The electric bill for our 2000 sq. foot home averages $250 a month, but would be a lot more if we weren't careful. It is balanced out for us by having no water bill -- I love using a cistern. Cable TV is actually less here than we paid before, land line phone costs and cell phone service are about the same.
We didn't notice to much difference in food costs from what we paid in the DC area except for dairy products and produce, which still give me pause sometimes. Bulk foods are plentiful here, so we've found some things like cereal to be much less costly than where we lived before. We also purchase a lot of our non-prescription meds and personal care/grooming items (such as stomach remedies, pain killers, vitamins, etc.) online from discount stores like Drugstore.com that offer free or low-cost shipping -- we have found they are much cheaper that way than if bought on-island, and you can save even more by watching for sales at these online stores. And careful shopping at Cost-U-Less, the STX version of a Costco/Sam's Club box store, is a favorite pastime for those wanting to make their ends meet and maybe even have a little left over.
It's just as important to have a nest egg when you move as it is to have a $50K income after you get here. Our experience is that I wouldn't make the move without having at least $10K on hand after paying to ship your car and belongings if you're bringing any. Anyone who has moved here will tell you the same story of watching cash fly out of your hand faster than you ever thought possible as you set up your new life here.
If this long-winded ramble didn't help with anything folks would like to knowor there'ssomething that ylou'd rather not talk about in public, please feel free to private message me.
Best of luck to you all...
from the wordy, rambling, but hopefully kinda helpful HipCrip
Hip, let me make a minor correction for any diabetics out there - that is a pharmacy policy regarding the sale of needles. Kmart West DOES require a Rx. If someone is purchasing insulin (which you don't have to have a prescription for) and they don't have an Rx for the needles, Kmart will sell the person a package until they can get their little piece of paper - but they will not sell injection needles across the board.
I asked my husband about this, since that seems kind of crazy to me...if you are buying insulin, it's a pretty safe bet that you'd need injection needles as well....wouldn't you think you'd need the Rx for the needles AND the insulin? Hmmm...another topsy turvey on the islands....but apparently the policy regarding the sale of needles is a store policy and not island-wide. The reasons for not selling without a script are pretty obvious.
Many thanks to you and your husband for the correction to my misinformation. I agree that it does seem a bit crazy on the surface to sell insulin without a prescription but require thlose same folks to have one for the needles necessary to take it. However, after watching all of the arguments Congress put forth about preventing the District of Columbia from ever operating a needle-exchange program (even if no federal funds were used for that program) I can also see another side:
Since insulin can be purchased without a doctor's prescription, I can imagine that there are those folks who could imagine cases in which someone who is IV drug dependent buying insulin just to get access to the needles.
Of course this holds no weight at all if the need for a needle script is store policy instead of public policy, but we all know that making sense was never a requirement for why things get done the way they do -- here or anywhere.
Thanks for educating me about this!