Drug Topics Voices 11-10-2014


E-mails, posts, and letters from Drug Topics readers.

It's not the pharmacists

Re: “Are pharmacists pill-happy?” [Dennis Miller, Sept. 25, drugtopics.com]:

Our entire healthcare system revolves around the quick-fix consumer culture that ensures grand profits for corporations, and unfortunately most people buy into it. I enjoy having the conversations with customers who are tired of the pills and want to investigate other options. These conversations, however, are the exception.

Most people I encounter want to be told what to do and aren’t interested in the details or thinking for themselves. Better to depend on the Big-Pharma-trained MD to solve their problems with a pile of meds or the many pharmacists whose mantra is “better living through chemistry” ... It is MUCH easier to swallow pills than it is to take responsibility for one’s health.

Dr. M. Crown
posted at www.drugtopics.com

Pharmacy in action

In my pharmacy, when someone comes in for an OTC pain reliever, we ask, “Where is your pain?” and then we steer them toward a lifestyle change. (This might mean a paid consult with the pharmacist).

Digestion. If they come in for an antacid, same thing. “How long have you had heartburn? Does it happen at night? Do you get bloated after meals? Gas? Here, let me show you how you can take care of that once and for all, and get healthier, overall, in the process.”

Osteoporosis. “Don’t like those Fosamax pills? Let us tell you how the bone maintains itself and what you can do to prevent thin bones. It starts with your diet. Here’s some vitamin D3 + K2; take one daily with food. Get your level of vitamin D up between 50 and 80 ng/mL. Here’s a 7-minute scientific exercise chart [http://bit.ly/7minchart]. If you can spare 7 minutes daily and do this, it will keep your bones strong.” (Print this out and have copies ready to hand to patients. Tell them the intensity should be 8 out of 10.)

For pharmacists who say they don’t have the time for lifestyle counseling, here are three quick questions/responses:

1.Do you have 3BMs/day? If “No,” then we need to talk about fiber and/or probiotics/diet change.

2. Do you eat protein for breakfast? Really? Tell me what that is. Oatmeal? Fruit? Peanut butter? Toast? No, I’m sorry but that is not enough protein. You need 30 g in the a.m. Try Greek yogurt, fish, eggs (2 eggs = 15 g protein), chicken breasts, bacon, sausage, etc.

3. What is you HbA1c (or fructosamine) level? Oh! HbA1c of 5.6%? That’s too high. Yes, I know, your doctor said it is okay, but it is NOT. Average blood sugars above 95 mg/dL are damaging your arteries and your brain. Alzheimer’s disease is type 3 diabetes. Start walking 30 minutes daily, with a couple of 5-10 lb dumbbells. Eventually, you should be curling the dumbells repeatedly while walking. This will cure your diabetes.

By “curing” digestive problems you will “cure” or vastly improve 60%-65% of ALL ILLNESS.

By putting on some muscle mass (at the expense of fat mass) you will “cure” metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes and hypertension and anxiety and insomnia and arthritis and ... and .... and ...

Mark Burger
posted at www.drugtopics.com


BOP unchained

Re: “Should only pharmacists lead state boards?” [Mark Lowery, Sept. 5, drugtopics.com]: Yes! Boards should be made up of pharmacists and a consumer advocate. No board member should be connected to a chain. Ideally, board members would be retired pharmacists current with their registrations and completely familiar with all laws and regulations. This would ensure a fair decision to any pharmacy involved in violation of the law.

Robert Katz, RPh
Stamford, Conn.

Clarification: In “California pharm techs to take on more responsibility under new law,” published Sept. 29 at www.drugtopics.com, it was reported that the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) and the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) pushed for passage of  S.B. 1039. However, CSHP was the only sponsor of the bill, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in mid-September.

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