Magazine article Drug Topics

The More We Go Forward, the Behinder We Get

Magazine article Drug Topics

The More We Go Forward, the Behinder We Get

Article excerpt

Gadzooks! This has got to be a remarkably modern idea, the proposal that there be a new class of drugs. These drugs would be initially ordered by a legal prescription written by a licensed prescriber. After that, all bets are off because medications in diis new fourth class of drugs will be renewable at die pharmacist's discretion.

What a remarkably forward-looking idea. Pharmacists are perfectly capable to assist in the streamlining of the system, helping patients in need get die appropriate medications. However, you know and I know that the American Medical Association will hesitate to give up that kind of power. That organization of physicians even put up a fuss about Plan B being sold at the discretion of pharmacists. With AMA, it is all about power.

The old guard of doctors is having conniption fits all over the place because the young physicians out there are allowing the medical pyramid to be flattened. Docs are still at the apex, but the drop down to the foundation is not that far anymore.

I recently called a young doctor and had this conversation: "How about giving your patient a break," I said. "Let me dispense fluoxetine instead of what you wrote for, Cymbal ta, duloxetine. She has no insurance."

"Is there a price difference?"

"You betcha," I said. I gave him the figures.

"That much?"

"Can I change it?"

"Of course you can. Why are you even calling me? There can't be any therapeutic difference. It's OK with me if you change something like that."

"Ah, we're not there yet, doctor." He will learn. He is young. They'll beat some elitism into him whether he likes it or not.

"You can just call my nurse. Have her change the chart."

Ah, what an idea that is.

I did not read about this idea of a fourth class of drugs in a recent Drug Topics magazine. I read about it in a Drug Topics magazine dated April 6, 1964. Someone was making groundbreaking suggestions more than 40 years ago. That was a time when pharmacists could be reprimanded for putting the name of the drug on the label without the prescriber's permission. You could get in trouble if you dared to counsel!

In the late 1960s, I had a doctor in California work me over because I suggested that his patient avoid dairy products while taking tetracycline. He had written take witli food on die prescription. …

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