I was highly disappointed by the recent WSJ Sunday article “10 things drugstores won’t tell you.” I have been a pharmacist for 18 years and felt it was sensationalistic, misleading and offensive. The article painted drugstores in a dark light and misrepresented the responsible care we provide.
The article chastised the industry for providing medical care once provided by physicians. Unmentioned was that many services compensated via health insurance are a less expensive option for those who are not covered. It also states that we are motivated by profit to sell you more prescriptions. We do not work on commission. Wait times may be on the rise, as the article mentions, due to increased activities such as giving immunizations on demand.
When the article states, “We know your most private secrets,” it makes it sound sinister that we know your medical history. We do. We are part of a system that wants you to be well. We need your health history to provide appropriate care. We do not sell your history, or tell our friends about it. It is criminal to do so.
What I take the most offense with is, “You say cold symptoms, we say meth addict.” No we don’t. It is sad that meth is made from a drug that provides great relief from the common cold. When someone comes in for a box of cold medicine, we presume you have a cold. If you ask for 20 boxes, we presume you are a meth addict.
I take my responsibility seriously. You may have to wait if I can’t read your Rx or I am giving multiple flu shots. I will ask you questions about your history in order to provide you with safe care. I do not think you are a meth addict. The WSJ article was an unfair portrayal of drugstores and pharmacists.
Doctor of Pharmacy
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