Letters: February 2012

February 15, 2012

Readers speak out about mail-order concerns and changes in the profession. One reader even waxes poetic.

What a waste

Re: "Is mail-order pharmacy waste rampant?" [Chains & Business, November 2011]:

Mail-order pharmacies waste medications! While working for the VA, patients told us daily that they kept receiving medications they did not need and could not stop the delivery of. People would bring us full boxes of medications to see if we could use them, because they just hated to throw them away.

Sandra Perkins, RPh
ZACHARY, LA.

Doing a good deed can backfire

When Pfizer started marketing their $4 Lipitor card, I was all for it. I saw it as a way to save my patients money, while at the same time building customer loyalty.

I signed up dozens of older, non Internet-savvy patients myself, handing out their phone numbers, doing whatever it took to get the $4 card into their hands.

Now, I feel duped. What I did was hand Pfizer a mailing list of all my patients on Lipitor. Now, Pfizer has hired a mail-order pharmacy to directly mail Lipitor to my patients, while taking away sales of atorvastatin from my pharmacy.

In the future, we need to beware of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Kurt Wages, RPh
SPRINGFIELD, MO.

Eyes wide open

Re: “Now. Hear. This.” [View from the Zoo, November 2011]

I read David Stanley’s commentary and felt I needed to comment from another area of California.

The pharmacy profession itself has led to many of the problems we have today, because we allow ourselves to be walked on by everybody. We’re busy concentrating on MTM and expanding clinical services, while we are being downgraded to a mere employee-employer relationship and being treated as an overpaid clerk or worse by many employers.

When a pharmacist is told that he or she can’t be trusted to adjust a refrigerator temperature after 20+ years in practice, because the pharmacy owner lost their entire supply of flu vaccine by stuffing it into a cheap dorm-type refrigerator that allowed it to freeze, rather than timely replace a broken refrigerator, we have a problem.

Likewise, when a pharmacist can lose his or her job for refusing to break the law and not report controlled drug losses as required by the DEA, we have a problem.

We need to get a backbone and get some respect from our employers and others, before we venture off on another tidbit to expand our scope and still be treated as a common employee.

I probably didn’t make any friends writing this, but maybe it will get our colleagues to open their eyes and look at how their employers look at them. We also need to remember that some employers look at the pharmacist as a professional, and, as such, those pharmacists are unaware of what is happening at other pharmacies, hospitals, or health systems.

Douglas Barcon, PharmD
DIAMOND BAR, CALIF.

Waxing poetic

A Simple Solution

Oxycodone is the answer

to the problems of mankind,

and the Oxy Docs who write ‘em

are not very hard to find.

But in spite of complications,

and the problems one expects,

when IS the last time that you saw

a forged C-2 Rx?

Ted Hayes, DPh
COOKEVILLE, TENN.

We want to hear from you

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