Letters: April 2009

April 1, 2009

Pharmacists speak out about nonprofit university pharmacies, the pros and cons of generic drugs, and the right to refuse to dispense.

Key Points

Unfair competition

"In the February issue, there is an article about the new pharmacy at Middle Tennessee State University (Upfront). I am sure the local independent is not thrilled to see a nonprofit take away business. I hope the new pharmacy pays the same costs as the independent and pays all federal, state, and local taxes, and full salaries to students. The students should not replace salaried employees. Nonprofit hospitals and universities should not build competing medical buildings and pharmacies and then go begging for donations from their competitors."

Jackie Nussbaum, RPh
WILMETTE, ILL.

I understand that, many years ago when generics were first available, many of the products were inferior. In modern times, we have the FDA to monitor the conditions in which drugs are manufactured and to perform equivalence tests on generic medicines. It sounds to me like Jeanne Monaco ["Generics are not the same," Letters, February 2009] is practicing in the past. Yes, brand-name medications are expensive. Most pharmacists know that generic medicines are an excellent way to cut healthcare costs for their patients. I find it quite remarkable that Monaco believes that "various antidepressants have little to no therapeutic effects on the majority of my patients." As a matter of fact, I don't believe it. I guess Monaco would be happy to pay for the brand-name medicines for her patients.

Kenneth Kuenzel, PharmD
PARAGOULD, ARK.

Generics are not always best

I completely agree with [Jeanne Monaco]. We pharmacists have acquired a lot of knowledge, but we selectively apply it with little to no consideration to ethics, morals, professionalism, and not to mention conscience. We know that for drugs with very narrow therapeutic margins, substitution with generics is not always the best thing to do. The fact is that we have decided to relegate professionalism and professional ethical considerations, as well as morality, to the background in favor of money.

Ike Morah, RPh
BALTIMORE, MD

Pharmacists should not be forced to dispense

We are living in difficult times when extremes are the norm, and everyone has to be satisfied no matter what the cost. When pharmacists are denied their freedom to choose what can and cannot be dispensed, where does it stop? The government does not stop anyone from voicing their opinion on any subject, so why are we silenced?

Annette A. Endler, RPh
PICAYUNE, MISS.