Friday, March 13, 2009

Jerry Brown Vs. Pharmacists

It's a timeless if dispiriting ritual: An ambitious holder of a relatively minor political office grabs a piece of some notorious matter to get his mug on TV as he ramps up his next race. So there was California AG Jerry Brown, governor in the 1970s and early 1980s and, he hopes, next year, grandstanding about conspiracy charges that have been filed against two physicians and Howard Stern in connection with drugs prescribed for Anna Nichole Smith. I love how the LA Times reporter, who obviously knows what this is all about, included a colleague count:
Speaking before 14 television cameras and a dozen reporters, Brown stopped short of blaming Smith’s boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and the doctors for the 39-year-old model’s 2007 death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, but he said the two-year, multi-agency investigation that led to charges uncovered behavior just as troubling as “street corner” drug dealers.

“People in white smocks in pharmacies and with their medical degrees are a growing threat,” he said.
Besides the event itself, two things are wrong with Brown's analysis. First, it isn't true that doctors over-prescribing drugs is just as troubling as the illegal street drug trade. I'd say it's a thousand times less troubling. Maybe it's ten thousand times less troubling. Second, Brown says the enemy are "people in white smocks in pharmacies..." What do pharmacists have to do with it? California pharmacists should give the attorney general something useful to do and sue him.


Steve Bruce said...

Amen to this.
My Father was a pharmacist, and proud of the fact that he was more knowledgeable (in his time anyway) of the drugs than the doctors and pharm-reps.
In his day he would have even been able to stop fraud or counterfeit Rx because HE KNEW THE DOCTORS!

Fr. John said...

So cool! Thanks, Steve. Great to see you the other day.