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    On the record with APhA

    David StanleyDavid Stanley“You don't get to complain until you've at least tried to do what was suggested.” That’s been an unwritten rule in my work life for many years now, and one that seems to get used more and more as we grow into an increasingly impatient society. We've all had patients who ask about the next step in their therapy before they even fill a prescription. Worse yet is the patient convinced that the doctor got it wrong, who doesn’t even want to try the recommended solution to the problem. Some of these people, I've said more than once, seem to be more interested in complaining than in following the correct procedure to get better.

    It wasn't until I saw the email from APhA, though, that I thought maybe I suffered from the same problem.

    See also: All wet: A pharmacy parable

    That guy in the basement

    I've been more than willing to criticize the American Pharmacists Association over the years, comparing it at times to a useless brother-in-law who sleeps all day on the couch in your basement and then asks you for money. While the organization seems very interested in signing pharmacists up for membership and collecting a not insignificant amount of money in dues, it does not seem nearly so interested in addressing the problems actual pharmacists encounter while trying to do their jobs.

    There before me, though, on the computer screen that morning, was a “Call for Policy Topic Ideas,” soliciting suggestions for issues to be addressed at the organization's next House of Delegates.

    I had always assumed that anyone with any exposure to the pharmacy profession was well aware of the crisis at the prescription counter, which includes, for example, the never-ending cycle of staff cuts, metrics impositions, “productivity goals,” and immunization quotas, which have made it all but impossible for the average retail pharmacist to deliver adequate pharmaceutical care.

    You know what they say about the word “assume,” though. Maybe no one had ever formally brought the issue to the attention of the organization that claims to represent us. Maybe, we've all been like those patients with so little faith in their doctors that they never give them a chance. Well, no more.

    See also: You talkin' for me?

    David Stanley, RPh
    David Stanley is a pharmacy owner, blogger, and professional writer in northern California. Contact him at [email protected]


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    • Anonymous
      With apologies to Rush... :)
    • Anonymous
      We've taken care of everything—the words you read and the songs you sing. ... Never need to wonder how or why... We are the priests, of the Temple of the Syrinx. Thanks David for continuing to take on this Goliath. Or should we say "self-indulgent, business-lunch-obesity-induced shills sucking dollars from the membership for their own gain?" It's unfortunate though, I think your request will probably suffer from the same self-censoring process that precludes reformers from ever getting a toehold in the management of that most self-perpetuating of professional organizations. The profession should be able to make its own music, not dance to the tune given to it by PBMs, chain-store bean-counters, and out-of-touch academics. The patients should be praising our names every night... I wake up with the sleep still in my eye, the dream still in my head, waiting for the day when rational thought will assume control of the pharmacy hegemony. I wish that it may come to pass, not fade like all my dreams...