Why all the rudeness & hostility ?









It seems like everyone/store has stories about rude/hostile customers.  How often have we heard the term “role model” used on a daily basis. Role model can be anything from a movie/TV star, sports star and others.  Today’s role models generally  have little resemblance of the role models of a generation or two ago. Think …Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver and other similar shows..

Today, we have all of these “reality shows”.. showing sorts of hostile/rude behavior… and it is now coming out that these reality shows are really SCRIPTED.. how many people watching these shows… really understand that they are basically watching a “soap opera ” type show. Think HOUSEWIVES of whatever !

I don’t watch these shows, but have seen clips.. When you watch TV.. just pay attention to all the rude and hostile behavior that these role models display on a regular basis.

Do these same people come away from watching these shows or news report.. that what they see on these shows is acceptable social behavior ?

We Pharmacists tend to be passive pleasers and with some of the corporate employers offering gift cards to people who complain.. no matter how nebulous the reason or concern… they are just reenforcing that this type of “bad behavior” is acceptable… and that whatever the person expectations are.. we should be able to meet/exceed at every encounter.

Has it become the time for us to start educating/training pts what is acceptable behavior toward the Rx dept staff ? What would be worse than encouraging this few per-cent of a store’s pt to move their business to a competitor… Because the “good pts” at your competitor will not put up with all of these distruptive pts and will be looking for a new pharmacy maybe yours ?

I can barely remember my mid-30′s

10 reasons I’m still proud to be a pharmacist






10 reasons I’m still proud to be a pharmacist


From the article:

3.     We are family. We all know it’s tough out there, so we adhere to an unspoken code and take care of our own.

4.     We don’t eat our young. We nurture and encourage our pharmacy students and residents as if they were our own children, challenging them to develop to their fullest potential in order to ensure the success of pharmacy’s next generation.



From the article:

Don’t let the door …

The way older pharmacists are viewed is starting to resemble this relationship. Employers and coworkers no longer value experience and the skills it brings. The young stallions don’t think the old nags have anything to teach them.

Why do they think this way? There’s enough blame to go around, but let’s start with expanded educational requirements, residencies, and an increasing number of pharmacists chasing a static number of jobs. You can connect the dots yourself, and you can probably find more. We have many troubling issues in our profession.

A few weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a student in her final rotations prior to graduation. I’ve been serving as her preceptor. Keep in mind that I do this on my own time and get paid nothing by her university, while the school gets paid full tuition. I do this not because I agree with the arrangement but because I think it is important to mentor. It’s what they usually ask the old dudes to do. The kids don’t want to do it.

Anyway, she was concerned about two older pharmacists, both past retirement age, who were still working at a local pharmacy. The reason for her concern? She wants to stay in our town after graduation, and she wants one of their jobs.

“It’s just not fair,” she said. “They have had their careers and now they need to retire and let me have mine.”

The second article is from a pharmacist with 25-30 years more practice than the first..

Maybe we don’t eat our young..but.. with the growing surplus..  It would seem that age and experience is viewed as a liability and the first sign of age or weakness and the “cannibals” start building a fire under the “cooking pot”

Maybe if we were really a “family” we would bind together for the good of the family rather than the narcissistic needs of the individuals within the family ?

3.     We are family. We all know it’s tough out there, so we adhere to an unspoken code and take care of our own.

4.     We don’t eat our young. We nurture and encourage our pharmacy students and residents as if they were our own children, challenging them to develop to their fullest potential in order to ensure the success of pharmacy’s next generation.

- See more at: http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drug-topics/news/10-reasons-i-m-still-proud-be-pharmacist?page=0,0#sthash.TXqek7kL.dpuf


Why don’t you just sue them ?

I have often hear someone saying why doesn’t the ACLU https://www.aclu.org/  defend someone by suing them.  Comes to find out.. the ACLU only sues THE GOVERNMENT when it is violating its own laws… it does not sue corporations for wrong doing..

That being said… I ran across this website http://www.instituteforliberty.org/

Our Vision for IFL’s Future

IFL is an aggressive defender of the rights of individuals to pursue the American dream. We inject the perspective of small businesses, and the working families that depend on them, into the public policy debate.

In this day and age, with government expanding at an alarming rate, IFL is fighting on a variety of different fronts. We pursue public policy from an academic perspective, we help to organize grassroots activists and events, and we offer not just strategic and tactical solutions, but solutions that can and ought to be implemented by policymakers.

IFL is organized around a series of centers. Our Center for Health Security focuses on ensuring that America’s health care system isn’t destroyed by those who want to see it taken over by the state. Our Center for Strategic Policy works to give Americans a deeper understanding of how and why public policies are formulated the way they are. Our Center for American Regulatory Engagement works to involve massive numbers of Americans in the regulatory process, and inject the small business perspective into those debates.

Our goal is to be the preeminent organization pushing back against the expansion of the state, putting a stop to policies that will undermine that which has made this nation great.

Which sounds like “Joe Public’s ” ACLU…

Maybe what those in the chronic pain community have been looking for ?




Working their way thru California ?

DEA Looking into Safeway’s Record Keeping

Investigation Relates to Theft of Controlled Substances


From the article:

The Drug Enforcement Administration is looking into Safeway Inc. SWY +0.37% ‘s record keeping related to the theft of controlled substances, the supermarket chain disclosed Tuesday.

Safeway, which has agreed to be bought by a group led by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LLC, said in a regulatory filing that it received a subpoena from the DEA and is cooperating in the investigation.

First if was a 29 million dollar fine of CVS   http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=5203

Then there was the 1.55 million fine of a hospital  http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=6339

Then they were going after COSTCO   http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=5943

Federal budget sequestration hit the DOJ’s budget took a 1.5 billion “hit” in 2013 and 2.1 billion in 2014… http://www.justice.gov/usao/sd/pressreleases/SF2013-09-27-OpEdSequestration.html

the DEA can keep all the fines it imposes for operational purposes.. so all this increased fining of pharmacies … serves what purpose other than self-preservation of the DEA and the war on drugs and the people that it employs ?

Acetaminophen as effective as PLACEBO ?

Acetaminophen Painkillers Like Paracetamol May Be Ineffective Study Finds


From article:

Acetaminophen painkillers such as Paracetamol may be ineffective when it comes to healing back pain was the finding of a recent study. The pain relieving drug found in products such as Tylenol and Paracetamol, has been found not to live up to the claims that it actually reduces the amount of pain that a person feels. According to the first big trial presented by Australian researchers, there was no difference found between acetaminophen and the placebo drug.

Low-back pain is one of the leading causes of discomfort and disability for people worldwide. Usually, doctors recommend that sufferers take painkillers such as Paracetamol or Tylenol. Other remedies include exercises and stretching, hot or cold packs to reduce inflammation, and physical therapy.

At least a PLACEBO… won’t screw up your liver !

LIES or failure to disclose ?

Monitoring, Dose Adjustment for Pradaxa?


From the article:

Blood level monitoring and dose adjustment for dabigatran (Pradaxa) could reduce major bleeding risk by 40% compared with well-controlled warfarin, according to company documents allegedly hidden from physicians and regulators

An investigation by The BMJ released online in the journal concluded that “recommendations for use of new generation oral anticoagulants may be flawed because regulators did not see evidence showing that monitoring drug plasma levels could improve safety.”

“The company also withheld analyses that calculated how many major bleeds dose adjustment could prevent. The company says that this information was not shared because the analysis did not provide a reliable prediction of patient outcomes,” wrote BMJ investigations editor Deborah Cohen.

Profits over safety ?

Does no one really want to find a solution ?

Since I have worked in a pharmacy since before BNDD came to being… I have seen the 45 year evolution of this war on drugs. Of course, back then.. there was no computers, no databases and only some of the “hard stuff”/narcotics was where the rules were focused.

The first PMP did not come on line until the early 90′s. The software funded by Purdue Pharma and access was limited to law enforcement who had active investigations.. meaning that pharmacies were going thru all this data submission so that 3-4 dozen reports a year for law enforcement could be generated.

In 2005 President Bush signed into law the creation of NASPER National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act and the program has yet to be funded by Congress.

The state level PMP’s has yet to be implemented in all 50 states and it wasn’t until 2010 that some states started to attempt to link their PMP’s together. Right now, the vast majority of PMP’s are very time consuming to request reports from… as we all know.. time is money…

There are basically a few things that we should be worried about when presented a prescription

* The person is who they say they are..  they have presented you with a legit driver’s license

* The person has insurance when they claim that they are wanting to pay cash

* They are not a prescriber/pharmacy shopper

There are an three existing databases and one that the bureaucrats that could easily mandate be created.. if it doesn’t already exists

* State’s driver’s license

* SSN database


* Database of all people that have some sort of medication insurance.

Imagine a pt presenting a new controlled Rx and a driver’s license – SSN for those that doesn’t have a driver’s license.

The driver’s license (or SSN inputted ) is scanned at receipt of Rx… the system goes to the state’s driver’s license database and brings back a display of the driver’s license from the state’s database.  IF SSN was put in… the system would go back to the state’s driver’s license and check for a existing driver’s license that was not divulged.

System then queries the SSN database and return the name/DOB for the SSN given or retrieved from driver’s license database.

System then queries the insurance database and comes back and indicates if this person has medication insurance

System then queries the state’s PMP or multiple PMP’s if the pharmacy is operating on state(s) borders. The PMP would routinely internally run programs that would flag a pt’s record as a “person of interest”

System would display if this particular person is a “person of interest” by the state’s PMP.

Within seconds… the computer display in front of you at intake would give you a image of the driver’s license, SSN & DOB, if the person has medication insurance and if the person is a potential prescriber/pharmacy shopper.

If all the data points do not match… why would you fill a controlled Rxs without questioning.. conversely if all the data points match.. why would you question the Rx(s).. unless it is from a known or questionable prescriber.

Pharmacists are suppose to do due diligence and responsible for implementing “corresponding responsibility” on all controlled Rxs.

Three of the four databases currently exists..

The states refuse to grant access.. to the driver’s license database(s)

the SSN database is only to be used by employer to determine if they are hiring legal residents

The PMP’s are difficult and time consuming in getting a report

The insurance database may already exist.. we just don’t know about it…

So the tools that Pharmacists need to perform timely due diligence .. is either restricted/limited access or troublesome to use.

Did I hear someone say “hands tied behind their backs ?”

Granted.. nothing is going to be 100 %… but is 50% less legal drugs getting to the street… while allowing legit pts to get their meds… worth the effort ?

Last three US Presidents were “users” ?

Prohibition doesn’t work.. has never worked.. never will work…

Media pointing out pharmacy’s shortcomings UPDATED 07/22/2014

Houma, LA 07/22/2014   http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20140722/ARTICLES/140729939/1320?Title=Suit-claims-pharmacy-gave-wrong-drugs

Pittsburgh, PA 07/22/2014   http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6482670-74/lawsuit-says-pharmacies#axzz38BoSvSti

Mobile AL 07/10/2014   http://www.local15tv.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wpmi_rx-errors-happen-more-often-than-thought-12761.shtml

Knoxville 06/27/2014   http://www.wate.com/story/25891473/knoxville-woman-sues-cvs-claiming-a-pharmacists-mistake-almost-killed-her

Houston, Tx 06/19/2014  http://www.click2houston.com/news/houston-man-sues-cvs-pharmacy-claiming-loss-of-vision-from-wrong-prescription/26575928

Tampa, FL 06/16/2014  http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/pinellas-park-woman-says-florida-pill-mill-crackdown-deprives-her-of-pain-medicine-she-needs

Tampa, Fl 05/16/2014  http://www.wfla.com/story/25539482/more-chronic-pain-patients-say-theyre-denied-their-medication

Las Vegas 05/16/2014   http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Patients-being-denied-medications-259444711.html

Tampa, Fl 05/15/2014  http://www.wfla.com/story/25517995/government-crackdown-on-pill-mills-has-unintended-side-effect-for-legitimate-patients#.U3PyP7RxxOc.facebook

Austin, TX 05/08/2014  http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/whos-checking-pharmacy-errors-17926.shtml

PORT ST.LUCIE, Fla 04/29/2014  Walgreens Apologizes For Giving Woman Wrong Prescription

Las Vegas 04/25/2014   http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Pharmacy-checklist-questions-prescriptions-256746291.html

Las Vegas 04/24/2014   http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Preview-Patients-struggling-to-fill-medications-243393411.html

California 04/22/2014  http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/04/22/wallgreens-store-redesign-raises-privacy-concerns/

Manhattan 04/04/2014  http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/04/04/66785.htm

Federal Subpoenas http://www.advfn.com/nyse/StockNews.asp?stocknews=CVS&article=42660125

Miami 04/02/2014  http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/20/4006705/consumer-group-alleges-walgreens.html

Indianapolis 03/30/2014 http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/30/pharmacy-boards-actions-raise-questions-ethics-patient-privacy-safety/7088079/

Chicago 03/25/2014   http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Automatic-Prescription-Refill-Programs-Raise-Questions-252126721.html

Illinois 03/24/2014  http://palos.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/walgreens-sued-in-death-of-hickory-hills-man#new_comment

Indianapolis 03/21/2014 http://wishtv.com/2014/03/21/woman-turns-to-i-team-8-after-apparent-pharmacy-mistake/

DC 03/21/2014     http://www.walgreensgonewrong.org/latest-updates/markey-walgreens

Hawaii 03/17/2014  http://www.kitv.com/news/hawaii/deadly-prescription-overdose-kills-mother/25028750

Indianapolis 03/14/2014   http://www.wthr.com/story/22916123/2013/07/23/walgreens-pharmacists-now-turning-away-some-customers-who-need-pain-meds

LA TIMES 03/13/2014  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20140314,0,2146387.column#axzz2vs3UT9Dm

HealthDay newsletter 03/13/2014 http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/drug-center-16/misc-drugs-news-218/avoiding-pharmacy-errors-646512.html

Las Vegas 02/03/2014  http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Preview-Patients-struggling-to-fill-medications-243393411.html

01/13/2014 http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Locals-in-need-of-prescription-medications-being-turned-away-240035271.html

LA TIMES 03/10/2014  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20140311,0,1949776.column#axzz2vd90UrZC

Dallas/Fort Worth 02/28/2014   http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/02/28/pharmacy-mistakes-what-you-can-do-to-save-your-life/

Chicago   http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Family-Says-Pharmacy-Error-Nearly-Killed-Boy–247413951.html

Washington DC   Link to first segment


Link to second segment


Third segment















06/2014 Denver http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23453409/lewis-tale-two-pharmacies

04/2013 Palm Beach Fl http://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/prescription-mistakes-rampant-and-under-reported

03/2012 Denver http://kdvr.com/2012/03/09/woman-says-pharmacys-medication-mistakes-couldve-hurt-her-family/

Jan 13,2014 Las Vegas http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/contact-13/contact-13-investigates/Locals-in-need-of-prescription-medications-being-turned-away-240035271.html


You shouldn’t screw with an attorney’s ID !

Sewickley lawyer sues pharmacies, alleges ID theft with pills


From the article:

CVS and Giant Eagle pharmacies allowed other people to fill oxycodone prescriptions made out in his name and, in Giant Eagle’s case, then charged his health insurance, a local attorney says in a proposed class-action lawsuit moved to federal court on Monday.

Andrew Gabriel, whose office is in Sewickley, is suing the pharmacies for negligently handling the security of personal information, identity theft, invasion of privacy and other claims. He’s suing on behalf of a national class that numbers in the “hundreds of thousands,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says Gabriel learned that the pharmacies had allowed other people to obtain oxycodone and other controlled substances in his name on May 14, 2012, when a Pittsburgh police detective called to tell him he was the victim of identity theft.

The person presenting the prescription also showed prescriptions in several other names, the lawsuit says. Because the prescriptions were for frequently abused drugs, the pharmacies should have taken extra care in filling them, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants repeatedly failed to conduct themselves as trusted professionals in favor of profit-seeking behavior by consciously ignoring or being indifferent to these well-known medical identity theft risks,” the lawsuit says.

Another example of how if Pharmacists had the ability to cross reference the driver’s license presented against the state’s BMV on-line database to validate if the license presented is valid… these controlled meds would probably not have been dispensed.  BUT… fewer drugs on the street.. means less work for the DEA and/or they would have to go after the really “bad guys”… you know the ones that are ARMED and SHOOT BACK !

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