Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

Enough R.Ph. bashing

Unlike many of the other responses to the recent pharmacist bashing that has taken place, I would like to note that I am tired of the public, the media, the medical profession, and even the pharmacy profession dropping the responsibility for prescription errors on the shoulders of the pharmacy profession. [See "Newsbreaks," Drug Topics, Sept. 2.]

Yes, we should be responsible for our actions. And, yes, I was appalled at the number of pharmacists who did not refuse to dispense interacting medications together. I simply believe we are much too quick to shoulder all the blame for an ailing system.

In particular, I point the finger at the other medical professions who have once again passed all responsibility for correct prescribing onto the backs of pharmacists-as if they have none of their own.

Remembering back to my own days behind the counter, I became more and more concerned about the increasing number of prescribing "mistakes" made by doctors and nurses. How many times did doctors and nurses not even check for drug allergies or interactions or whether there were other prescribing physicians-or even ask what the medication was before they authorized refills?

Personally, I find the "holier than thou" attitude displayed toward pharmacy insulting. I would urge these professionals to look in their own backyards. When doctors are complaining that the average salary for the family physician has decreased to a meager "low in the six-figure range," I think they are certainly paid to prescribe in a more conscientious manner.

Pharmacists are also to blame by hanging their heads in shame and taking so much upon themselves without insisting on appropriate rewards. This is the same attitude that has brought us additional responsibilities, malpractice liabilities, and laws mandating counseling, which, without added time, monetary gains, and professional respect, have only sought to make us overworked, overly responsible, and sometimes downright resentful.

Although I am expressing only my own opinions here, I have discovered that many of my pharmacist employees feel the same way. Thanks for allowing us the chance to speak out.

MariJo DePaolo-Winston, R.Ph. Medi-Mail Inc. Chicago, III.

What's ahead for us?

I am responding to Michael Webb's letter in the Sept. 2 issue of Drug Topics, in which he was responding to Garry Olsen's letter in the Aug. 5 issue.

Mr. Webb said that he agrees with Mr. Olsen that "health care as a right is not in the Constitution. …

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