Letters to the editor
Third class of drugs won't work Regarding your February Instant Poll on whether this country should set up a third class of drugs, let's imagine the following scenario.
Here I am at the pharmacy's busy hour with a two-hour wait on prescriptions to be filled. John Smith walks in and wants Mevacor (or whatever). I don't know John or his medical history. With no physical examination, blood work, etc., from a physician, I have to rely on his self-diagnosis. I don't think this is the proper direction for our healthcare system to be taking. And, by the way, what chain store pharmacist will take (or have) the time to discuss this request by the patient?
My pharmacy served our community for 45 years. I am now retired. Daniel Hussar from my alma mater seems to favor a third class of drugs, but I can't see this in the everyday pharmacy setting. It will be abused via the Internet, just as Rx legend drugs can be bought at present. You better raise your professional liability insurance!
Definition of stem cells Mr. Katz's response (Drug Topics, Feb. 7) to my letter concerning embryonic stem cell research is a prime example of the prevailing misunderstanding over the different forms of stem cell research. The key word is embryonic.
The embryonic stem cells can be obtained only from the destruction of a fertilized embryo at the very beginning of his or her life. The taking of a human life to enhance another's life is never justified. Other forms of stem cells, such as from the umbilical cord, can be extracted without the destruction of human life, and stem cell research from these cells is perfectly acceptable.
I have no problem with Katz's conclusion that a woman has a right to choose what happens to her body and her unfertilized cells. She does this every time she chooses to have or not to have sex. But the fertilized human cells are also persons and should have the same rights.
James Haninger, R.Ph.
Another freebie we offer I loved Jim Plagakis' column (Drug Topics, Jan. 24) regarding free advice. He hit the nail right on the head. Just to add to his list of free services, the service I enjoy providing the most is translating for our patients their ever changing prescription benefit plans, particularly in the area of increasing co-pays. I enjoy serving as the middleman between the patient and his/her insurance company. What a benefit for insurance companies-a valuable, educational service provided to their enrollees by trusted professionals ... all for free. That gives me such a warm feeling.
Anton T. Sheridan
Letters (including e-mail) should be as brief as possible and sent with the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number, and date of the issue you are referencing to: Editor, Drug Topics, Five Paragon Drive, Montvale, N.J. 07645-1742. E-mail address:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity.