Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

Even the Army knew

I had an opportunity to read a column in The Indianapolis News of Monday, May 27, 1996, written by David S. Broder and distributed by the Washington Post Co. It was titled "Remembering 44 years ago." I will quote the applicable paragraph.

"There were other lessons, more mundane, the Army taught us draftees. It was there that I learned that a 10-minute break every couple of hours on a long day of marching and digging and sweating could revive your body and spirit. All you had to do was stretch out, put your helmet under your head for a pillow, and close your eyes. A brief nap, until the whistle blew, was as good as starting the day over."

I propose that all R.Ph.s take a break from third-party problems, impatient customers, and ringing phones on a scheduled basis. Our patients surely take breaks at work. Management should also recognize the value of a refreshed pharmacist. This will lead to a higher quality of patient care. Ten minutes of rest for the pharmacist might extend a patient's life 10 years! Steve Comex, R.Ph. Little Elm, Texas

Calling in a substitute

I hope you can run a reminder on the generic substitution of Fastin [SmithKline Beecham], Adipex [Lemmon], and lonamin [Fisons]. Talking with other R.Ph.s, I hear that some are substituting phentermine not only for Fastin but for lonamin 30 mg, which is phentermine resin, and for Adipex 37.5 mg tablets and capsules.

However, when I substituted phentermine for one prescription for Fastin, the customer called, worried that she had gotten the wrong pills; the preceding time, she had a capsule with little pellets inside.

My generic phentermine is a yellow capsule. I wasn't aware of a generic that came as the patient described, so I was only able to tell her that that is the generic for Fastin that I use. I gave her the numbers from the pill to reassure her.

I believe I have an understanding of what can be substituted for each of the brand names, but I believe some pharmacies and pharmacists do not, and this makes it very difficult to explain to customers why their pills are different! Cwn M. Marranca. R.Ph. Harrisburg, Pa.

Shame on you!

I read with disgust the article about the New York independent pharmacists' campaign to fight against the rising tide of managed care cost-cutting [Drug Topics, April 8]. One HMO, IHA, dropped the dispensing fee from $2.85 to 85 cents per prescription.

There is only ONE way to stop this downward spiral in dispensing fees: Pharmacists have to stop accepting it. If you are going to offer pharmaceutical services for 85 cents per prescription, why would anyone be willing to pay you more?

It is shameful and embarrassing that pharmacists continue to accept these contracts. At some point, one has to show a little selfrespect. If you have no respect for yourself, how can you possibly expect anyone else to respect you? It hurts me personally to be associated with a group of professionals who are willing to dispense medication for an 85-cent fee. Shame on you. Shame on you!

Alan Medoff, R.Ph. San Diego, Calif.

Pharmacy as it was

The following piece was written by my daughter who is pursuing an M.A. in English at Oregon State University.

When I opened my pharmacy in 1966, she was four years old, and her sister was two. …

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