Blogs

Fixing Healthcare

It’s hard to believe that 4 years have passed since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010. As it turns out, despite the blizzard of political controversy and protests, obvious and unfortunate missteps with the enrollment Website, and legal challenges, the law touches, or will touch, the lives of nearly every American to some degree. Politics aside, its basic objectives remain intact: making affordable healthcare coverage accessible to millions of Americans who are uninsured; placing controls on insurance companies’ costs and reimbursement policies while generally holding them more accountable for their actions; and placing more emphasis on promoting wellness instead of treating disease. No question, that is a pretty tall order, and there is no shortage of skeptics who are quick to disparage the law’s lofty goals.More »

Pharmacy Crime Statistics

In a recent edition of US Pharmacist, I wrote an article about armed robberies in pharmacy, Here's a chart with some statistics about your chances of being robbed.More »

Black Is the New Gray in Pharmaceuticals

For generations, many greedy, scheming businessmen in this country have been buying and then selling goods from the so-called gray market to unsuspecting consumers. While the notion of a gray market may vary from person to person, it is defined basically as a market created by selling legal goods outside of a manufacturer’s authorized trading channels.More »

Pharmacist dispensed M&Ms instead of pain pills

A Utah pharmacist recently pled no contest to charges he filled a fraudulent prescription with M&Ms instead of pain pills, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune. Robert Lammle, 53, pled no contest to felony, third-degree charges of falsely obtaining or dispensing a prescription.More »

Too Little, Too Late

There is nothing more heartwrenching than watching someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness slowly slip away after all medical treatment and drug-therapy options have been exhausted. This is particularly true when the person is a close friend or relative, and the experience engenders a feeling of overwhelming helplessness.More »

The Ethical Pharmacist

During their careers, most pharmacists have to deal with a number of state and federal regulatory issues. The laws that pharmacists must follow as a condition of maintaining their license to practice pharmacy in good standing are pretty clear and are enforced by such regulatory agencies as State Boards of Pharmacy, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FDA, to name a few. However, as is the case for most medical professionals, pharmacists follow other, more personal rules and regulations that are not always so well defined. These fall under the general heading of ethics, and the difficult decisions they engender have plagued many pharmacists in performing their daily professional duties.More »

Advice-Caution!

I work in mostly rural Texas and like to share my observations traveling and doing relief - The narcotic usage is getting scary - doctors see patients and treat with hydrocodone and Xanax or Valium - patients like the outcome and are back for more and the doctor builds a clientele and an income base that is steady as clockwork. Now I know that is not true of all doctors, but true of some.More »

Substance abuse patients suffer from privacy rules, agency says

As a follow up to my article in the May 2014 edition of US Pharmacist on protected healthcare privacy rights under the 4th Amendment, here is a story about how sharing protected health information may impede patient care in substance abuse treatment. My question is what's more important: unfettered access to protected data or patient confidentiality that can be waived by the patient when necessary?More »

Court Warrant Needed for Access to Prescription Records.

The May edition of US Pharmacist will have an article I wrote on police access to prescription drug monitoring programs. The Wall Street Article published an article on May 7, 2014 on a similar subject in a more generic version. See: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230478840457952425395... for more details.More »

Not Your Average Joe- An Insight Into Addiction

“I didn’t choose to be a junkie, I woke up one day and was one! I’m 39 years old and I’ve lost everything….my wife, my son and my business. And yet, I can’t promise that I will never do it again”. Meet “Joe”, an otherwise friendly, intelligent, and good natured guy plagued with one major flaw, he’s a recovering heroin addict. He share’s his story of how prescription pain killers led to his demise.More »

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