Drug Topics Voices 02-10-2015

February 10, 2015

Letters, e-mails, posts, and comments from Drug Topics readers.

Attention must be paid

Re: “Should Americans be able to buy cheaper drugs from Canada?” [Jan. 21, Mark Lowery, www.drugtopics.com]:

Why should U.S. pharmacies and citizens pay higher prices than Canada does for drugs manufactured in the United States? Permitting the purchase of meds from Canada hurts U.S. businesses, particularly the pharmacies that border Canada. It also creates a nightmare for FDA and others to protect U.S. citizens from fraud and possibly tainted meds - and at a cost to these agencies probably higher than any savings.

How will counseling and education occur? Also, generic Viagra is available in Canada, but not in the U.S. How will this be controlled? Individuals in leadership roles should be addressing the rising costs of generics (a much larger problem as it continues to happen, because insurance companies will pass on the increased costs of these generics to all of us via premiums and such), and develop legislation that protects our own people from unscrupulous and unfair practices. Congress needs to pay attention to us.
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Cure the disease

Importing drugs from Canada is treating just the symptoms, not the underlying disease. Fix our pricing problem and we don’t have to worry about Canada. There’s no reason the United States should be paying for the rest of the world and then go ahead and pay Canada to make an end run around our problem. Why don’t we learn from Canada’s success at not being robbed by Big Pharma, and cure our underlying disease?
Joseph Jorgenson
posted at www.drugtopics.com

If we can’t do it, how can they?

If it is not legal for a licensed U.S. pharmacy and its licensed pharmacists to purchase products from Canada to provide to their customers, why should it be legal for the unlicensed general public to purchase these products? Do these Senators plan to allow U.S. pharmacies to make these purchases as well, so that the business remains in the U.S.? Or is this just another way to destroy the U.S. economy by sending U.S. dollars out of the country? And what kind of jurisdiction will U.S. regulators such as FDA and DEA have on these “Canadian” drugs?
DOUGLAShei
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Unbridled greed

I firmly believe Senators Klobuchar and McCain do not go far enough. A better bill would allow purchase of medications from the E.U. or, alternatively, mandate American price ceilings no higher than the average E.U. price. The cost of drugs in the U.S. reflects nothing more than unbridled greed of executives who have no sense of shame or loyalty to the country that made them all very rich.
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Outrageous profits

I can see the wholesalers’ cost and then the charge either to the patient or insurance on the prescriptions I fill, and for the most part the percent profit is outrageous. I believe the company I work for is taking this profit, along with the manufacturers.

I’d not only buy from Canada but from India, Mexico, etc., wherever I could get a better price. The issue about the quality of the drugs, in my opinion, is baloney - just a tactic to prevent “regular” folks from getting the drug and a price break. I’ve personally seen drugs coming from India, for example, packaged with the Burroughs Welcome label and all its manufacturing information.

Most of the drug companies don’t reside in the U.S. So, in a way, most of the products we use are imports already!
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

 

No jobs in Florida

Re: “New pharmacy school planned for Miami” [Jan. 23, Mark Lowery, www.drugtopics.com]:

Shame on you, Mr. Michel. [Jack Michel, president of Larkin Community Hospital, which will build the school.] Obviously you are all about the money and not the well-being of future pharmacy students.

Wake up! There are no jobs for pharmacists in Florida. We already graduate close to 1,000 students a year in this state and no one is retiring, so there will be no jobs for new pharmacists. Stop ruining our profession!
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Down go the wages

I agree! Too many pharmacists chasing too few jobs. ACPE is causing a glut which in the long run will drive down wages.
Alfonso Deluca
posted at www.drugtopics.com

That bubble’s gonna blow

Re: “Family donates $1 million for new pharmacy school in Miss.” [Jan. 16, Mark Lowery, www.drugtopics.com];

Amazing. This is the first I’ve heard of another new school, and I live in nearby Alabama.

A recent article I read in the New Republic, titled “The pharmacy school bubble is about to burst,” quotes a prediction of “20% unemployment of new grads by 2018.” Even now, new grads we see find it mandatory to have done at least one or two residencies, and all of our residents are getting BCPS certification.

Has there ever been a more suicidal profession in the healthcare industry?
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

 

You’re kidding, right?

Re: “Meredith named dean of B.U. pharmacy school” [Jan. 8, Mark Lowery, www.drugtopics.com];

Are you serious? Just what we need, another new pharmacy school, at a time when 27 pharmacy departments are being closed, as reported by another article in this magazine.

Wake up, kids! Become a physician assistant.
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Food for thought

Re: “What I wish I had learned in pharmacy school” [Jan. 7, Dennis Miller, www.drugtopics.com];

I have to agree, especially about all calculus, literature, and physics classes! When I did pharmacy, there was a program where you could get dual degree in food science and pharmacy! I actually think that some more nutrition classes might be valid, as well.
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Get ahead with psych

I can certainly attest to the usefulness of a psychology background, and not just a semester. I got a degree in psychology before pharmacy school (as well as a few years working on a psych unit). I can honestly say I use it every day of my life.
Mr. J Blossom
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Don’t forget business management

I enjoyed this article and would like to add that a few courses in business management would be essential for a more well-rounded graduate. We should be cognizant of the fact that healthcare is a business, yet many practitioners are clueless about modern business practices.
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Quarters give more bang for the buck

With the six-to-seven-year programs that exist now, there’s plenty of opportunity to pick up a social sciences background (if the student doesn’t already have a degree in the field).

We had a couple of social science courses in my pharmacy curriculum, which, because they were poorly placed in the second professional year, were attended by five designated note-takers while everyone else was studying med chem, pharmacology, and clinical pharmacy. The classes weren’t meeting anyone’s needs at the time (early 1980s).

I think Dennis would have had plenty of opportunity to audit the social sciences if his college/university had been on a quarter system instead of a semester system. The semester system significantly reduces a student’s options for additional courses, giving that degree less “bang for the buck.”
Anonymous
posted at www.drugtopics.com