Letters: June 16, 2008

This installment of letters covers drug disposal, use of honey to treat coughs and colds, workplace violence, and chemistry in pharmacy education.

Regarding your April Instant Poll about drugs in the water supply, the insurance companies have the right idea-do not allow more than a 30-day supply of any drug to be dispensed at a time, thus preventing many excess, unused drugs from going into the water supply when a patient expires. Also, we need to educate the public about correct disposal of medications and more involvement at the local level with waste management experts to try to arrive at some solutions, such as legislation. Drugs in our water supply are indeed a problem. That is why I have had a reverse osmosis system in every home I have built in the past 25 years (nine homes in all).

Ellen Nankervis, B.S., Pharm.D.

Honey, I shrunk the kids

Terry Richardson, Pharm.D.
Specialty Pharmacy Coordinator
Women's Health, Pediatrics, and Immunizations
Group Health Cooperative
Seattle, Wash.


Who needs chemistry?

It was quite interesting to read Dr. Lucinda Maine's letter (Drug Topics, April 14) and Mr. Dennis Miller's Viewpoint (Drug Topics, Nov. 19, 2007) about the role of chemistry in the education of pharmacy students.

Without the understanding of basic sciences, learning of an applied science remains incomplete or ineffective. Thus, I agree with Dr. Maine that pharmacy students need to learn basic as well as medicinal chemistry besides pharmacotherapy, clinical sciences, etc. However, it seems to me that many educators and many policy makers/administrators disagree with that.

Recently I browsed the curricula of some pharmacy schools, but I did not find there any requirement for a medicinal chemistry course! Nevertheless, the programs have been accredited by ACPE. This is an alarming trend. Apparently these schools will some day propose to discard all but clinical sciences from their curricula, which might be acceptable to ACPE and AACP.

I hope that does not happen. I also hope that Dr. Maine's leadership will guide all concerned in the proper direction, as she understands the value of science.

Rahmat M. Talukder, R.Ph., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Weatherford, Okla.

A history of violence

Did you know that over 9,000 healthcare professionals in America are verbally or physically assaulted every day? Along with many healthcare professionals, I am actually afraid to go to work. I have written a book about true accounts of violence in pharmacy. You can check out my soon-to-be released book at: .

Kimberly Nolan, Pharm.D.