Thursday, September 29, 2005

Medicine: Giving pharmacists too much power

Wyoming is considering a law that would allow pharmacists to not dispence HAART meds (for HIV/AIDS) based on moral grounds. Has no one told them that the majority of HIV/AIDS pts in this country are NOT gay? Do these people really think that they are self-righteous enough to take such a stance? Are these people just that biggoted and filled with hatred? How do we have such people in medicine, the field where we provide care and assistance for anyone, from any walk of life? Come on - grow up!!

5 comments:

Matz said...

I disagree with the law, but this article's characterization of it seems a bit biased. The law is one of many all over the country that allows a pharmacist to refuse to sell meds based on moral grounds (and like most other laws it is mainly aimed at discriminating against women seeking birth control or the morning after pill and not discriminating against "needle using homosexual hypersexual" AIDS patients). In arguing against the law some opponents have made the AIDS analogy, which is true, but not the purpose of the law (so the whole "Not all AIDS patients are gay" outrage should really be directed at the opponents of the law). In the law's defense it also requires the pharmacist to tell the patient of an alternate means of filling the prescription (even if that alternative is hours away in another county). And pharmacists may already refuse to provide HAART therapy by simply not stocking it.

All in all, I hate these laws, but we should really be arguing against them logically. Not defining their proponents in uber Nazi light so we can be outraged at our new fictitious enemy. Yelling past each other gets us nowhere.

Garrett said...

Matt, while I agree with the spirit of your post, I'd just like to point out that there's a high potential for wacky pharmacists to do all kinds of crazy things. I can almost guarantee that there are pharmacists not so far from where I grew up who consider AIDS to be a curse from God, and would thus not fill scripts for HAART if given the option regardless of whether the patient was a homosexual or a hemophiliac soccer mom.

Pharmacists are running backs, not quarterbacks. If a running back refuses to run the play the quarterback calls, you bench his ass. If pharmacists want to play quarterback, they can take the MCAT and go back to school for another four years.

Kevin Swikert said...

This same style of argument is arising in Kentucky about PA's and Nurse Practitioners. The Nurse Practitioners have long had to ability to set up shop on their own and now Physician Assistant's are trying to get the same status.

Garrett said...

Not exactly. Nurse practicioners are actually trained to diagnose and treat, symptoms primarily, but disease process secondarily. PAs hardly have that training. Pharmacists certainly don't.

Kevin Swikert said...

True, but the PA's of Kentucky are attempting to gained the ability to do that without the training. The ability to operate offices and what-have-you without the supervision of a certified Physician which is what they are now designed as.