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Drug Topics Voices 12-15-2013


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

Singing her song

Re: “She works hard for the money” [JP at Large, Novem- ber 2013]:

I’m one of those dinosaurs who managed to get my license in four years. I am now retired, after working 36 of the last 46 years.

The first blow to my confidence was 
the question asked at my first job interview: “What’s your religion?” (They
could ask questions like that back then.) 
I answered Roman Catholic, which didn’t
help. I was deemed unsuitable, since I might get married and of course pregnant.

My next application was to a three-store chain in a small town, where two-thirds of those looking for a fresh new RPh said, “A woman? No way.”

Then I followed my new husband to another state and applied for a part-time position. I was hired. While my first paycheck was somewhat better than what a clerk made, it sure was less than the other part-timer (a man) was getting.

Eventually things got better. I led the way; other women were hired after I worked out OK, even working up to the delivery day for two of my kids.

I took 10 years off while living overseas and came back to a climate that was much more welcoming, although not for management opportunities in the corporate world, even after I had run a little neighborhood store until my partner and I sold out.

By this time I had raised my kids and was ready to move forward. Lo and behold, the MBAs had arrived. Management was not to be left to mere pharmacists, male or female. Welcome to my world, fellas.

Now, of course, the big management (corporate) is handled by “civilian” MBA types, and even middle management is being done by nonprofessionals who are not bothered by thoughts of ethics and other such antiquated concerns.

But have you noticed? Respect for pharmacists is falling, the public’s trust is waning, and lawsuit settlements are growing as those guys running the show ignore the rules.

I feel so sorry for the new kids coming out of school with dreams of making a difference and stars in their eyes - which quickly seem to turn to dollar signs instead. The women may may have been invited to the dance, but the same old guys are still piping the tune.

Diane Kreisher



Seen at DrugTopics.com

Our article “Fired pharmacist sues WalMart over job policy” (November 1, http://bit.ly/ firedpharm) triggered some strong opinions. The following was excerpted from one post.

First off, you are welcome to contact me. Please do if you need help. It can be very liberating to speak with another pharmacist about one’s drug problem.

I am a pharmacist/pharmacy owner and recovering addict with more than 18 years' clean time. I have been completely open about it and never been exposed to the kind of close-minded bigotry expressed by some of [the posted comments].

Alcoholism and drug addictions are diseases. Sufferers deserve the same concern and tolerance that we would grant any other patient. With proper treatment, the symptoms ameliorate or disappear.

We all know the symptoms. What we may not know are the changes that can and do occur with recovery. The key is proper treatment, which includes followup monitoring.

Pharmacists, of all professionals, should be cognizant of the truth about addiction. The reality is, it exists in our profession: One out of six! Unbeknownst to you, the best pharmacist you know may be an addict. We addicts are very adept at maintaining our public image, despite living in despair and self-loathing. You may be

suffering yourself. If so, I beg you to seek help. Recovery is possible.

If you know, or suspect, that a colleague is suffering, be a friend and speak up, but speak with love and concern. You never know when you might need a helping hand.

Steven Streeper

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