Letters: December 2009

December 11, 2009

Pharmacists speak out about stress-busting, generics, business costs, and mail-order pharmacy

Key Points

Pharmacy stress-busting

"Re: "A thoroughly modern malady" [JP at Large, October 2009]:

I used to listen to pharmacists complain all the time about no bathroom breaks and no lunches. And I finally realized that it was no one's fault but mine if I let that happen. It's made my days more tolerable, and I think I'm a better pharmacist for it. (Only took me 30 years to figure this out!)"

Mark Hill, RPh

Generic truths

Regarding the letter of October 2009, "Where do your generics come from":

1. Every major pharmaceutical manufacturer has facilities outside the United States.

2. Look at the list of companies that have paid out billions of dollars for deaths, injuries, and pain and suffering caused by faulty products that they have produced. You will surely recognize every name - but no generic companies are included in this rogues' gallery. The myth of generic inferiority was put to rest decades ago.

Mort Leitner, RPh

Costs of doing business

I've seen more and more articles lately about pharmacists rendering MTM services to patients. They say we will be paid for such services and will receive recognition at last. Let's be realistic. The protocols are already set up. MTM goes only to the people the third party says need it, and the third party sets the compensation.

Pharmacists already have no control over what we pay for drugs, nor do we control what we can charge. This is brought on by those who sell $4 and $9 generics, give away free antibiotics, or give $25 for a prescription transfer. At $4 for 30 days, you lose money on every prescription.

Pharmacies stock thousands of dollars of inventory. We have inventory that goes out of date, and we lose money on many outdated drugs because of company policy or less than a certain amount in a bottle. Brand names approaching cost offer little or no profit. I won't even go into the mail-order destruction of pharmacy.

My advice to anyone considering a pharmacy career is do not go into retail. It is very disheartening in the environment we face.

Jack P. Padgett Jr, RPh