Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

No R.Ph. shortage

In your Feb. 3 issue, there is an article about jobs in pharmacy ("Help wanted"). I believe that this article is more wishful thinking than actuality. There will always be a shortage of health professionals in rural areas for obvious reasons. Ms. April Shaughnessy states that she has heard that there is a shortage of positions in the cities of the Northeast. I am from the Northeast and have observed the following:

*Both pharmacy schools in New York have had to cut enrollment by 40% because of the surplus of pharmacists.

*Hospitals are dismissing pharmacists at a record pace, many of whom have 10 or more years of experience.

*Automation, such as robots, means loss of jobs.

*As medical procedures advance, there will be fewer hospital stays and more layoffs. Many hospitals now have closed several floors, and, within the next several years, hospitals of 200 beds or fewer will not be in existence.

Within the next seven to eight years, 90% of the prescriptions will be filled by six or seven chains. As new chains open, in many instances they will buy out the neighboring independent stores and employ these pharmacists as their staff. As chains buy out chains-CVS purchasing Revcomergers result in layoffs as the nonprofitable stores are closed. With the prediction of increased prescription volume, chains have developed technology that will allow a 250-Rx-a-day store to fill in excess of 400 prescriptions a day with the same staff.

In conclusion, there will always be pockets of areas in the country that will need pharmacists. However, I believe that the number of jobs available in the future will be lower than it is now. Unfortunately, to the detriment of students, pharmacy boards are making the state part of the exam exceptionally difficult, resulting in fewer students becoming licensed. Of course, this raises another question: If more and more students fail the boards, then how do these schools stay accredited?

Robert S. Katz R.Ph.

Belle Harbor, N.Y.

A poem for troubled times

I thrill at each new "challenge"

I cheer for unknown change

I really love the shifting sands

Of pharmacy's New Age.

The public votes us number one,

In polls both old and new

So why don't any doctors know

Just what it is we do?

Ted Hayes R.Ph.

Cookville, Tenn.

Not funny

In the Dec. 9 issue of Drug Topics, there was a cartoon on page 43 ("Name That Drug") depicting (supposedly) a troll in a nun's habit.

I am a registered pharmacist, and I also wear a habit similar to the one depicted, except that it is white. I regret that you published that cartoon. I felt it demeaned religious women, so few of whom wear a habit.

You have such a fine journal otherwise, and I am most grateful to receive it.

Sister Marie Virginia Walters,O.P..R.Ph.

Sinsinawa, Wis.

Editor's note: Our column "Name That Drug" is designed to bring a light touch to our publication. We apologize if our Dec. 9 installment inadvertently offended anyone.

Never ending

This ephedrine/pseudoephedrine thing is never going to end (Drug Topics, Feb. 17, "Back and forth"). However, pharmacy has a unique opportunity to control it both in sales to home chemists that make methamphetamine and to dieters. We are the one professional group (the most trusted) that is both convenient and qualified to determine legitimate use and also control sales through a Class V nationwide classification just like Robitussin AC. …

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