Fox in the henhouse

May 15, 2012

How much sense does it make to put employees of major drug chains on state Boards of Pharmacy? Depends on whose chickens that fox is guarding.

The million dollar question

Now that I have you thinking about your boss, here's the real question I want you to answer: Would you trust your boss, or those above your boss, to make the right decision, even if it went against the interests of your employer? Because that's exactly what many states in this country do in appointing employees of the major drug chains to State Boards of Pharmacy.

The new reality

Back in the days when pharmacists were independent professionals, you could make a case that it made sense for Pharmacy Boards to be made up of members of the profession. Control of pharmacy was spread over thousands of power centers, and egregious practices at any one of them were likely to be soon corrected. The pharmacist as independent practitioner long ago stopped being the model though, and the number of power centers in our profession today is far smaller. So the number of people you have to convince that a major change is not egregious is also far smaller than it used to be. Which means that the need for an outside, independent panel to judge the impact of pharmacy on the public is far more important today than ever.