Letters to the editor: May 8, 2006

May 8, 2006

I have just received your latest issue and immediately opened it tothe cover story. I had just closed the door to my pharmacy, which Iopened three years ago.

I have just received your latest issue and immediately opened it to the cover story. I had just closed the door to my pharmacy, which I opened three years ago.

One year ago I bought a new building and remodeled it. If I'd had a clue about the effects of Medicare Part D, I would never have remodeled, possibly never even opened in this community of 1,500. The next closest pharmacy is 30 minutes in any direction. That's what a major impact Medicare Part D will have on this whole town.

Dana Barton
Dana's Rx Shoppe
Sedan, Kan.
danasrxshoppe@sbcglobal.net

Regarding your Feb. 27 on-line article "Accutane iPLEDGE plan under fire by doctors," I agree that it is important to properly monitor and counsel patients, especially when they are taking a medication that could potentially harm them. However, I also feel that the iPLEDGE program is not effective in achieving this goal.

By making it difficult for the doctors, pharmacists, and patients, the FDA is discouraging rather than monitoring its use. The program designers should realize that there are better ways to solve the problem without making it so difficult for everyone.

As a pharmacy student, I see frustration coming from all concerned. If everyone had been better informed on the goals, purpose, and details of the program, it would work much more smoothly. In trying to fill a prescription for Accutane, I had to research not only what was required of the pharmacy to fill the prescription but also what was required of the doctor and the patient prior to dispensing.

Had iPLEDGE educated everyone with the restrictions and guidelines, the program would be less frustrating.

Robin Becker
Doctor of Pharmacy Student
University of Missouri-Kansas City
rdbhv2@umkc.edu

Let's move on e-prescribing

Regarding your April 17 article "Rules on e-prescribing would permit gifts," as an emerging professional in pharmacy, I am encouraged that the Department of Health & Human Services is flexible enough as well as wise enough to realize that not only are e-prescribing and electronic health records good ideas for the future, but they should be streamlined into the mainstream of health care as quickly as possible.

I work PRN at a hospital that recently began providing Lexi-Comp software to its employees free of charge, and this couldn't be more helpful for me, both there and in the community setting where I work. Not only is a tool like that great, but so is looking at a prescription and actually being able to read it. That same hospital has had electronic physician order maintenance (POM) in place for some time, so when I began working in retail, I could easily see why most hospitals have those kinds of systems in place. It is in the patient's best interest that his/her name, date of birth, and prescription are all legible to the person entering this information into whatever database is being used, so that the prescription is filled correctly. Electronic ordering helps eliminate illegible handwriting and ambiguity.

It seems to me that this is the next logical step in our increasingly wireless and paperless society, and if the people who make these systems are willing to give these great tools away, we should let them. Of course, I am biased as someone who will graduate within the next three years; however, I do feel that relaxing these rules is in the best interest of the patient. And that should always be the biggest consideration.

Leo Guidry
Doctor of Pharmacy Student
University of Missouri-Kansas City