Letters: March 2009

March 1, 2009

Pharmacists speak out about contraceptives, moral objections, and $4 generics.

Key Points

"I am shocked that 50 percent of those who responded to the Web poll regarding pro-life pharmacies [October Instant Poll, http://www.drugtopics.com/] seem to agree on the issue of not stocking contraceptives (it didn't indicate oral products only) or the morning-after pill.

Pharmacies have a duty to serve all patients, and the pharmacists need to check their religious views at the door. Oral contraceptives do have labeled indications for uses other than contraception (menstrual regulation, acne), and other forms of contraception help to protect the public from infectious disease. Who can possibly consider any pharmacist refusing to dispense medication based on an ill-informed ethic a serious professional?"

John Pattison, RPh
ZANESVILLE, OHIO

Steven R. Ariens, PharmD
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL.

Wal-Mart is cheapening the profession

Regarding Wal-Mart, I could not agree more with the writers whose letters appeared in the January 2009 issue. I have been practicing pharmacy for almost 29 years, and it was not until Wal-Mart decided to cheapen the profession with its $4 prescriptions that I became disgusted with the practice of pharmacy. I spend more time now price-matching, transferring prescriptions back and forth from the same pharmacies in the area, haggling over prescription prices, and handing out $25 and $30 gift cards on prescription transfers.

Forget about patient profiles and drug interactions; many patients have prescriptions at two or more pharmacies. How much longer will independent and chain pharmacies be able to stay in business handing out gift cards, while behemoth Wal-Mart has the front end to protect its profits?

Will the new Wal-Mart pharmacy at the University of Charleston prepare pharmacy students for the future nightmare they will encounter with $4 prescriptions and the accompanying headaches? The students have my sympathy if they choose retail. I only have to practice 10 to 12 years more in this retail environment, while they will have a whole dismal future ahead in retail.

Gregg Levitan, RPh
BALTIMORE, MD

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