Letters: September 2009

October 8, 2009

Pharmacists speak out about radio broadcasts, name-calling, generics, and chronic pain

Key Points

Pharmacists well represented on airwaves

A few months later, a local radio station invited me to do a talk show for an hour every Thursday. In less than a year, the show was expanded to [90 minutes], with each program rebroadcast three additional times.

Leonard L. Edloe, BSP, MDiv, PharmD

Insults don't foster cooperation

The author [of "Proper use of Plan B pill," Letters, July 2009] used the adjective "ignorant" to describe a physician and a nurse practitioner. If I called a physician or a nurse practitioner by that term, I wonder how willing they would be to work with me from a clinical perspective to change the number of refills.

I can think of two potential clinical scenarios for which this might be proper. A patient who receives isotretinoin capsules needs to use two forms of birth control. One may be condoms and the other can be Plan B. Another instance is when a patient has developed venous thromboembolism due to use of estrogen/progestin tablets and is nauseated by the daily administration of progestin-only tablets. I am certain there are many more clinical scenarios that others have come across in their practice.

To make a blanket statement with negative adjectives does not work toward ensuring that the patient has the best care.

Andrew C. Seger, PharmD Brigham & Women's Hospital

Do you know where your generics come from?

I must respectfully disagree with [Emmanuel] Palmero regarding ["Generic bashing not supported by the facts," Letters, June 2009]. I do not want to be a victim of contaminated heparin or take medication from a company that had most of its generics recalled.

Why, as Americans, must we accept products from Third-World countries? The sad thing is that the pharmaceutical companies are putting profit ahead of health safety. The good news is that FDA will be working with Europe and Australia to detect unsafe products. I would like pharmacists to look on the shelf and count how many generic products are from companies that you've never heard of. It is almost impossible to trace where these products are actually being produced. Remember, health is wealth.

Bob Katz, RPh

MTM programs should address chronic pain

It is amazing that a single disease state, chronic pain, for which the cost to our economy is second only to diabetes, is not considered under any MTM program that I have seen. With a estimated 50 million to 100 million people affected by chronic pain, are we allowing our fear of using opiates to overpower our commitment to helping patients gain/maintain the best quality of life?

Steven R. Ariens, RPh