Letters to the editor: July 23, 2007

July 23, 2007

Vital Care is a franchise that has offered specialty pharmacy through community pharmacies for years.

In reference to your June 18 article, "New stroke guidelines stress speedy treatment," like pharmacist Mullarkey, I mourn the death of National Power to End Stroke Ambassador Yolanda King. As chair of the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Task Force on Power to End Stroke, I had the opportunity to work with this great woman.

The new stroke guidelines stress speedy treatment. Many states are working on systems to improve treatment for stroke victims, and many hospitals have become or are considering becoming certified stroke centers.

Even with the treatment advances and system changes, the patient must get to the hospital speedily to achieve the desired outcome, and I urge my fellow pharmacists to become a part of Power to End Stroke. The American Stroke Association will provide you with the information so that you can inform patients not only of the warning signs of stroke, but also the risk factors. As pharmacists, we are positioned to make a great impact on the lives of our patients and the health care of our country. Stroke is the No. 3 killer when it comes to disease, and it is the most costly when it comes to long-term disabilities.

Please join me in the battle against this disease that has hurt not only my family but so many other families in this country.

Leonard L. Edloe, BSP, M.Div., Pharm.D.
President and Pharmacist
Edloe's Professional Pharmacy, Richmond
Chair, Task Force on Power to End Stroke
Chair, American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate
edloe@earthlink.net

Some independents offer specialty Rxs

Regarding your June 4 article, "Independents launch first specialty pharmacy network," we at Vital Care Inc. have been providing specialty pharmacy services for about 15 years. We are based in Meridian, Miss., and have over 20 states with 140-plus pharmacies involved, all independent. If you would like to know more about us, please let me know.

Robert L. Jordan, R.Ph., M.D.
Vital Care Inc.
bjordan@VitalCareinc.com

Remediating errant pharmacists

Regarding "Fatal error sparks debate over punitive measures" (Drug Topics, May 7), the writer, subsequent blog comments, and Ohio Board of Pharmacy minutes all depict this hospital error episode as one of an incompetent pharmacist. After termination from the hospital and subsequent employment in a community pharmacy, the R.Ph. was involved in a frightening number of errors that were uncorrected through the many review steps in the Rx-filling process.

I believe this shows a pharmacist in absolute distress. Rainbow Hospital, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, and the employer took only minimal (if any) action to ascertain the effect of mental trauma on the competency of the pharmacist and the technician.

Some pharmacy boards and a few employers are working toward problem prevention. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy, prior to any formal action, contacts the pharmacist with suggested remediation, but, most significantly, opens the line of communication with the individual who now questions his basic professional capabilities. The Nevada Board of Pharmacy, on board order, employs Your Success Rx, a service to evaluate the pharmacist or pharmacy tech's professional well-being for continued job performance. Wal-Mart will pull a possible at-risk pharmacist off the schedule, maintaining his/her salary, for a multi-day program of retraining in systems and error prevention.

Joe Kellogg, R.Ph.
Henderson, Nev.
nevjo@aol.com

Patients still ask the same question

I so enjoy reading Drug Topics. In your June 18 issue, I especially enjoyed the very well written and humorous poem by Deborah Baumann, R.Ph. I was licensed in 1956 and so many things have changed since the computer and other technologies came into being. One thing has remained constant. It's this refrain from patients: "How long will it take?" Reading Baumann's poem, I can smile about it, since I am now retired.

Alan Gold, R.Ph.alanvg@frontiernet.net