Letters: July 14, 2008

July 14, 2008

A graduate intern working with me stated that in her pharmacy law class, she was informed that the consultation laws in Wisconsin have been changed so that the pharmacist now does not have to hand every Rx (including new Rxs if the patient has been consulted) to the customer. This change was brought on by a recent citation of me, which caused the board to rethink this rule (see Viewpoint, April 14.)

A graduate intern working with me stated that in her pharmacy law class, she was informed that the consultation laws in Wisconsin have been changed so that the pharmacist now does not have to hand every Rx (including new Rxs if the patient has been consulted) to the customer. This change was brought on by a recent citation of me, which caused the board to rethink this rule (see Viewpoint, April 14.)

Thus I shall take credit for this change in Wisconsin law and will be in touch with the state board about it.

John R. Lemberger, BSDPh
Milwaukee, Wis.
drjohn@execpc.com

Boards of pharmacy are charged with the protection of the public's health. The enforcement of counseling regulations is of paramount importance in this endeavor. I offer a few suggestions to Mr. Lemberger and the company that owns his pharmacy:

Mr. Lemberger's points are valid and shared by many employee pharmacists. I urge all pharmacists to look at their state's pharmacy practice acts and make full use of assistants and focus on patient care.

Joseph J. Bova, R.Ph.
Carys Pharmacy
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
http://www.caryspharmacy.com/

Regarding Mr. Lemberger's Viewpoint, unfortunately pharmacists have permitted themselves to work in environments where multitasking and interruptions are the modus operandi. Would anyone have a professional relationship with a physician, lawyer, or accountant who would perform in similar multitasking and interruptive environments? Can you imagine a clinic or hospital telling physicians that they take too long to complete their work? Pharmacists must take a position and pharmacy schools must use their influence in changing the culture of community pharmacy.

Richard Levine, Pharm.D., MPH
St. Paul, Minn.
rjlevine@comcast.net

ALFA and co-pays

Just read your online article (June 12) about co-pays for seniors in assisted living homes and I could not agree more with ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America). My wife and I look after my wife's aunt who is in an assisted living home. She has no money but has small social security and very small retirement for income. The way the formula works out in Florida, the home gets all income except about $80 per month. With this $80, she is supposed to buy Poly-Grip, get her hair cut, buy groceries (she gets one meal a day at the home), maintain her small dog, AND pay co-pays! Needless to say without us to help her, she would probably skip the drugs and buy the food. I hope ALFA is successful in getting co-pays dropped for seniors in assisted living homes.

Tom Dyroff, R.Ph.
TDyroff@genoahealthcare.com