The Next Step

The severe winter weather is behind us and summer is starting to spread its warmth in many parts of the country, bringing budding trees and blooming plants. This time of year also signals the beginning of the college graduation season. Over the next few months, thousands of pharmacy students will be entering the workforce, many still undecided about where they want to practice.More »

Ethics and the Pharmacist

During a typically busy day in a retail pharmacy, pharmacists have to deal with a variety of issues regarding the prescriptions that are filled and dispensed under their watchful eyes.More »

Taking the Pulse of Pharmacy

One thing I’ve learned during my years in this profession is that pharmacists have strong opinions and are not shy about voicing them. That’s why we feature a poll every month on the U.S. Pharmacist website ( Though this poll may not be considered statistically valid by some standards, it does allow us to quickly take the pulse of pharmacy on a number of issues. Over the last half decade, in fact, we have posed some 70 questions to pharmacists visiting the site. The results are immediately tabulated and available so that you can see how your answer stacks up against those of other pharmacists. While space does not allow me to list all the questions, I’ve chosen some I thought would be of interest to most pharmacists.More »

Taking a "Shot" at Pharmacists?

“I tell everyone… do not get a shot… of any kind… at a pharmacy”. With a stern look on her face and her words spoken firmly and with purpose, she delivered her message loud and clear. Thank you very much Debbie Russo for “black balling” the entire pharmacy profession and labeling all pharmacists as incompetent immunizers! What an insult! Nothing like a direct blow to my ego to start the day off right. I was so angry that I had to refrain from throwing my remote control at the TV screen but instead muffled a few not so lady like profanities under my breath. I was mad and had every right to be!More »

The Glass Is Half Full

I’ve been a licensed pharmacist for 45 years. For the first few years after becoming credentialed, I bounced around from one retail pharmacy to another searching for the ideal position. I even managed a supermarket pharmacy for 3 years and did a short stint in a relatively small hospital pharmacy. But what I really wanted was a store of my own. My dream eventually came true … twice. I became the owner and operator of two independent pharmacies that brought me a great deal of personal and professional pleasure.More »

Is "IT" In You?

Having been a retail pharmacist for 15 years, I can’t help but notice those student’s that just seem to have “it” while others just don’t. Throughout the years, I have been able to evaluate and observe various students while on rotation or hired as technicians. I got to thinking, how is it that they are all put through the same process while in school and yet there are such definable and distinct differences in preparedness, attitude and respect for this profession? I wonder, what is it that they think awaits them once they graduate pharmacy school? What experiences have enabled some to gain the “it” factor while others fall short of the mark?More »

Old Timers’ Disease

I can’t remember exactly when I first heard about a disease where older people “lose their minds,” but I guess it was at a pretty young age because what stuck with me was the name of this odd disease—what my friends and I called old timers’ disease. Little did I realize we were making fun of a very grave illness that we have since come to know and respect as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). And now that I have reached the age of an old timer, it really doesn’t seem quite so funny.More »

Project Medicine Drop

One of the questions pharmacists are frequently asked by patients has nothing to do with side effects, adverse events, or any other pharmacologic result; it has to do with how to discard unused prescription medications.More »

Ebola…It’s Not a Movie

Unlike the upheavals in the 1995 movie Outbreak and the 2011 film Contagion, the current hysteria and panic over the spread of Ebola virus are not taking place on some sound stage or movie set. The characters are not Dustin Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, or Gwyneth Paltrow. The outbreak of Ebola currently playing out on the world’s stage is not dramatic fiction but a real event, involving a known deadly virus with actual doctors and thousands of patients cast in one of the most widespread epidemics in modern times.More »

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The Off-Label Debate Rages On

For the nearly 45 years that I have been a licensed pharmacist, and likely for many years before, promoting a drug based on its off-label use has been hotly debated, contested, and considered illegal.More »

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