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 »

Phony Rx Products Cause Big Headaches

Despite the efforts of the FDA and a number of federal and state law enforcement and regulatory agencies, many Internet pharmacies continue to sell and ship illegal and potentially dangerous drugs to patients who have obviously ignored the profusion of consumer warnings about buying drugs online. And while U.S. postal authorities have stepped up their efforts to intercept shipments from these sites, packages continue to slip seamlessly through the system. But what happens when a well-known package delivery company that allegedly knew it was handling such products is accused, charged, and indicted?More »

Rethinking how students and residents learn about career options

Two events collided for me recently that suggested there was a real and significant information gap for students in PharmD and other training programs regarding types of jobs to prepare for and pursue following completion of said training. The schools of pharmacy offer some additional career guidance but it's limited, as first-hand interactions with a number of students confirmed for me.More »

MSL Tribe - a blog on the MSL role

Though PharmQD is a pharmacist social network, I recognize that many pharmacists either are MSLs, work with MSLs or at a minimum wonder what MSLs do. I also recognize that many pharmacists don't know a great deal about the pharmaceutical industry, at least what it's like to be a professional within that industry. Having worked in pharma for nearly 14 years, in various medical affairs roles and companies, I'd like to call attention to the various resources you, as pharmacists, can access to understand this group of professionals, many of whom are pharmacists.More »

If ALS Got An Ice Bucket What Do We Do For Obesity?

A picture on Facebook, a causal run in at the supermarket or at our kids school, we’ve all come in contact with people that we notice have “put on a few pounds”. We think to ourselves oh my goodness, so and so “got fat” or wow she put on weight or holy cow, he got really heavy? Sound familiar? Yes, admit it. You’re guilty of it too! It’s no secret or surprise that we as a society are extremely judgmental especially when it comes to physical appearance. As adults we blame our weight struggles on our bad genes, our age, metabolism, stress and lack of time to exercise. Feel free to add to the list just in case I've missed any. Maybe some of these explanations do hold some weight (yes, pun intended) but truth be told most are just excuses for us being down right lazy and/or over indulgers.More »

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