Mortgage lender uses fear as a sales pitch

Kim Burge, vice president of the Better Business Bureau of the Southland, said there's no correlation between a company's rating and its accreditation status. But she said the letter from Network Capital Funding is "a concern" and that she plans to follow up with the company.

All I know is that if letters like that can still get you an A+ from the bureau, I'd hate to see what a company has to do to earn an F.

Target refills

Target gets it. The company has told its pharmacists that they'll no longer be graded on how many patients they sign up for automatic refills.

Pharmacists at Target, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have said they feel enormous pressure to meet company quotas or face the consequences. Failure to hit quotas could result in loss of raises or bonuses or even reassignment to another location.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services and regulators in California and New Jersey are investigating to see whether pharmacies have been refilling prescriptions and enrolling people in automatic-refill programs without their approval.

While pharmacists at most major drugstore chains have told me they've been instructed to be less aggressive in refilling prescriptions, only Target has officially said it will no longer monitor how many people are being signed up for automatic refills.

"We made the decision to remove the AutoRefill metric from our pharmacies' reporting tools," acknowledged Jessica Deede, a Target spokeswoman. "The change took effect this month."

Props to the company for taking the heat off their pharmacists and allowing them to concentrate on meeting patient needs.

Promoting automatic refills can be good for patients and good for business. But it shouldn't be a pharmacist's chief concern. Nor should it be a factor in determining a pharmacist's compensation.

If you've had an experience with unwanted refills, contact the California Board of Pharmacy at Or you can call the Department of Health and Human Services at (800) HHS-TIPS.

One last thing

In response to all the emails about Friday's column on my getting bitten by our cat and being hospitalized for a week, yes, we're keeping the dang critter.

But if anyone knows of a good exorcist, drop me a line.

David Lazarus' column runs Tuesdays and Fridays. He also can be seen daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and followed on Twitter @Davidlaz. Send tips or feedback to

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