Saturday, December 31, 2011

Carisoprodol Changes To Schedule IV

I'm sure there's hardly anyone who reads the Federal Register, unless they can't seem to fall asleep at night. So, I thought I would publish some handy information culled from the January 2012 edition of the Arizona Board of Pharmacy Newsletter (pdf).

According to excerpts from the newsletter -

Carisoprodol (Soma®) will be placed in Federal Controlled Substance Schedule IV on January 11, 2012. The final rule placing carisoprodol into Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act was published on Monday, December 12, 2011, in the Federal Register, effective 30 days after publication.

Regulatory requirements are effective on a staggered time line as outlined below. The final rule will be available for public inspection at Upon publication the final rule will be posted on the DEA Web site at and it will also be available on

Pharmacists take notice - Arizona pharmacies are required to inventory their stock of carisoprodol at the open or close of business on January 11, 2012. Other state boards may have similar rules.

Prescribers take notice - Follow the federal rules and laws now required for prescribing and refilling carisoprodol, and PLEASE include your DEA NUMBER on newly written prescriptions.

Public take notice - Stay out of trouble. Now that carisoprodol will become a "federally-scheduled" drug, the DEA IS INVOLVED. Make sure you KNOW THE LAWS about buying it in Mexico and bringing it across the border, or for carrying a controlled-substance without a legal prescription.

Spell It And Prevent It

Kids are growing up much faster these days than when I was a kid, and with the growth of technology and the advent of the internet, they're exposed to MUCH MORE too. But, perhaps that's a good thing. Life can be much easier when one is more aware and better educated.

Source: In The Know

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Mine is to keep my emotions tightly under "wrap", and to not do anything that I may regret later.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Momentos Holiday

The best Christmas gifts are not iPads, expensive jewelry or the latest winter fashions. The best Christmas gifts are those we take for granted, but to another they mean the world. Here's a heart-warming video about the true meaning of Christmas.

MOMENTOS from Nuno Rocha on Vimeo.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

Some things in medicine just can't be explained. Here's some happy news for the holiday.

Source: Digital Journal and Barrow Neurological Institute

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

My best wishes for a very healthy and happy holiday season to all of you and your loved ones.

Mike Conley: Christmas Time Is Here from Media 401 on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Are You Prepared For This?

I came across this video today and thought it must be some kind of joke or a spoof of all of those Government or municipal preparedness PSAs we see on television. But no, this is an actual PSA.

Now, before you watch this video, let me say that I'm a big proponent of being prepared. As a matter of fact, the first thing that I always think of before undertaking any action, is "what could possibly go wrong", and then presume it could happen. I take pride in being prepared for the worst-case scenario.

So should everyone else. It goes without saying that if you live in an area that's prone to flooding, is bound to have a tornado or hurricane every year, has the potential for earthquakes, or just happens to be in the path of some type of natural or man-made disaster, common-sense dictates that you and your loved ones should always be aware of, and be prepared for, those potential disasters.

But, no one can prepare for every potential disaster. Some things are resigned to fate. It makes no sense wasting anyone's time and energy attempting to become prepared, or unnecessarily trying to educate (or scare), your kids into being prepared for things out of their control. Kids already have enough problems in their path without having to worry about nonsense like this -

{Sorry - original posted video removed from source link] Here's a replacement video -

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Solution to Corporatocracy?

An interview with Lawrence Lessig on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart discussing his new book - Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lesson From A Stranger

If there are two unfortunate lessons that I learned in life, it's that no good deed goes unpunished and that things aren't always what they seem to be. A clash with a stranger leads to a valuable lesson.

Lesson from a Stranger from Mahmut Akay on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bad Things | A Short Film

Instead of burying one's mistakes, wouldn't it be wiser to contemplate the consequences that could be derived from one's actions before making the decision to do something unethical or criminal?

BAD THINGS | Short Film (2011) from Magnificent Waste on Vimeo.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Designer Drug Conundrum

Yesterday, while at the dentist's office, I was reading a "dated" Time magazine and came across a blurb that said Katy Perry's, Teenage Dream album has recently tied with Michael Jackson's album, Bad, for the most #1 hits from a single album.

I mention this only because it made me realize my age, and just how much I may be out of touch with the youth of America. I had no idea who Katy Perry was and have never listened to any of her music. So, it probably goes without saying that I'm probably also out of touch with both the type and scope of designer drugs being abused by our young people today. I can't understand why they would so easily assume the risks associated with abusing these untested drugs?

Regardless of my ignorance, it seems to me that the abuse of designer drugs will probably be the next public health crisis involving young Americans.

I mean, how can the abuse be stopped when the demand for a legal high remains unchanged, and when it's so easy to change the chemical structure of a banned designer drug into a different (but similar) chemical with the same potential for abuse? It seems to me that the criminals can create different designer drugs faster than the medical system can show they cause harm and the legal system eventually ban them.

I just recently read where a purer and more potent form of ecstasy called "Molly" has been created, which has the potential for even greater long-term health damage when abused. Even "bath salts", the current rage in all of the party scenes, are being redesigned to be ten times more potent than the original versions.

Where does it all end? What's it going to take stop the continuous supply and demand for designer drugs? Is it time to just legalize all drugs and let the chips fall where they may? What do you think?

Source: ABC News Channel-15

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Illusion of Politics Redux

You'll notice that, except for pointing out crime, corruption, and hypocrisy, I usually don't discuss politics, either on my blog or on my Twitter account. It's because I've truly come to believe that the political system in America is all just an illusion.

But, I wasn't always that cynical about politics.

In 2008, I had full faith in, and fully supported the election of Barack Obama because I truly thought he would do what is best for America as a whole. It was only shortly after he was elected, during a speech he gave in Mesa, AZ, when he came right out and said "Look, I'm not going after the banks" (or something to that effect), when I fully lost my faith.

It was right at that moment when I realized just how big a fool I was in not seeing that the guy I voted for was just another instrument of Wall Street and the robber barons, and that the whole political system is just a sham, a game played to make it seem like the average American has a say in how our Government operates.

So, when I listen to others adamantly spouting their rhetoric that one party is better than another, I see them as the fools I once was for still believing in a corrupt and failed system. They haven't yet come to realize that it's all an illusion designed by the ruling class to keep us fighting amongst ourselves in order to distract us from their continuing crimes.

This video best describes my beliefs in the system and how I address politics now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Doctor Kaufalio

It's Monday and my heartfelt appreciation goes out to Dr. Kaufalio, the laboratory scientist who perfected the one medication almost every pharmacist uses daily in their practice. Thank you!

Doctor Kaufalio from Billy Boyd Cape on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is Vancopime Right For You?

If sepsis is taking so much out of you, ask your doctor about Vancopime.

Hat tip: Megan Hartranft

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Prescription Overdose Deaths Double in Arizona

The number of prescription drug overdose deaths had doubled in Arizona, according to the latest report released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control. Source: KOLD News-13 Tucson

[originally-posted video link removed from source]


The dark side of retirement from professional football.

[Original video removed by VIMEO author]

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cheating Death With Generic Lipitor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium tablets) yesterday, much to the consternation of Pfizer, who'll still likely manage to squeeze more profits from it's blockbuster drug.

Stephen Colbert on faux innovation by big pharma to extend patents from BGS Horsman on Vimeo.

No Signal

Cellphones. They are quickly becoming a major part of our everyday lives. Everywhere you look, people are glued to their cellphones. But how did we get here? Are there any health risks associated with cellphone use? Could our obsession and fascination with these devices be creating a cellphone addiction? No Signal is a documentary that explores the often overlooked dark side of cellphone use and the possibility that we are becoming addicted to our cellphones.

No Signal from Modern House Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Real Life Superhero

This is Roger. With the support of his mom, Roger dresses in a spandex suit and cape and patrols the streets at night, handing out food packages to the homeless when they can afford it.

Read about his story: Knight Warrior

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bandits Rob 9 Phoenix Pharmacies

Phoenix police are releasing surveillance video in hopes it will lead them to a group of armed robbers who have hit 9 pharmacies in just the past couple of months. People with any information about these suspects are asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

[Original video and news report remove by link source]

Police: Bandits hit 9 Phoenix pharmacies

Scorpion Hunt

Randy Babb of the Arizona Game and Fish Dept takes us on a night hunt for bark scorpions. He talks about what they eat, where they live and some of the myths about them.

Scorpion Hunt from Paint It Black TV on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dispensing Errors

The last think any pharmacist wants is to be accused of being reckless -

Suffice it to say that I've worked in almost all aspects of pharmacy (except nuclear pharmacy), and in innumerable pharmacies, throughout my career - and I've seen everything. I can't tell you how many times my ass was put on the line because someone accused me of committing a dispensing error.

Many pharmacists won't admit it, but anyone who's been a pharmacist for any length of time has probably committed a dispensing error, can tell you just how easy it is to make a dispensing error, and can describe how the daily pressures of pharmacy operations could lead to potential errors.

No matter how much we don't like it or want it to happen, dispensing errors can be reduced, but never fully eliminated as long as human are involved. But, experience has also shown me that pharmacists often get blamed for dispensing errors that didn't actually occur.

I can't tell you how many times an investigation proved that an elderly patient, a family member, or a caretaker added multiple prescriptions into one vial for ease of use, mistakenly switched medication vials while filling a daily dispensing package, or changed vials just because of personal preference - after the prescription left the pharmacy.

I also can't tell you how many times I've had drug abusers bring back a vials to the pharmacy labeled hydrocodone/APAP that contained amoxicillin instead, saying that I gave them the wrong medication; or just how many times I've had a family-member picking up grandma's pain medication call to tell me there was thirty tablets missing, even after my back-count shows that I filled it accurately.

So although I hate to admit it, in all of the places that I've worked, the technology and robotics used by the highly-automated PBM mail-order pharmacies are the best that I've experienced in reducing dispensing error rates AND drug-seeking schemes. It nips these problems right in the butt.

The reason is because their robotics take a picture of the medicine inside of the prescription vial as it is being dispensed. This technology provides an invaluable service to the pharmacist. These pictures are then filed into the computer system with the prescription information for verification and recording purposes. Having a picture of the dispensed drug on file serves as proof of what was dispensed. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Now, if only the chains could fully incorporate this type of technology into retail pharmacy practice.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Scary Medication Misadventure

Did you know that over one-million people each year are harmed by medication errors? This is why it is imperative that you must personally become involved in your own, and your children's, health care. Please don't ever assume that a mistake cannot happen to you. They occur more easily than you might imagine. But you can personally help prevent these errors from harming you or your loved ones.

Ask your doctor to explain the prescription to you, and understand it before you leave his/her office. When picking up your prescription at the pharmacy, please double-check and question everything about it before you leave. Make sure you aren't getting someone else's prescription - double-check your name, address, the medication name, what it's used for, how it's to be taken.

Most importantly, always make sure to discuss it with the pharmacist, not the cashier or a pharmacy technician. Many errors can be prevented by performing these few simple steps.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Addicted?

Are you addicted? Being a junkie is not that funny.

[original video removed by link]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Under The Knife Abroad

In "Under the Knife Abroad," Vanguard correspondent Adam Yamaguchi travels to India, Mexico and Barbados to investigate one industry flourishing in these tough economic times: medical tourism.

Americans are increasingly being forced to seek medical care overseas, often in case life or death procedures, because they can't afford it here at home. Is healthcare America's next industry to be outsourced to foreign lands? Here's the trailer -

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Less You Know

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. Workers at STD/STI clinics across the nation attest that very few of their infected patients — fewer than two in 10 men and one in 10 women — ever figured they were at risk for acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.

Yet this year alone, around 19 million Americans will be infected, most of which don’t involve tell-tale signs. Half of all sexually active people will contract an STD by the time they're in their mid-20s.

Whether or not such threatening statistics are looming over your love life, a sympathetic glance or wince towards anyone who's contracted an STD reveals the necessity to be tested, and the folly of making assumptions about one's own invulnerability — or a partner's presumed status.

Even the most promiscuous, careless people out there seem to believe their own personal regimen for staying safe, or rationalization for not being tested, is airtight. Finding out they were wrong is not only a rude awakening but a life-altering event. But, don't just take my word for it. See for yourself -

The Less You Know - STD PSA from Dan LaGuardia on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The More Things Change

The following video short is from a comedy written, directed by, and starring, Charlie Chaplin.

First released in October 1940, Chaplin plays two characters who look strikingly similar - a Jewish barber and a dictator who looks like Adolf Hitler. Near the end of the film, after a series of bizarre incidents, the dictator gets replaced by his barber look-alike, and is taken to the capitol where he gives this rousingly optimistic speech.

The Greatest Speech Ever Made from GenCept on Vimeo.

I posted this video because it's amazing to me how a speech given over 70-years ago to address world conditions at that time, can be so closely relevant to current world conditions. This same speech could be used now as a rallying cry for change, just as it was intended to do back then.

I would love for the world to change as Charlie Chaplin described. But cynically, I believe people will always put their own self-interests above all else. As you can see for yourself, over 70-years later and we are right where we started. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Human nature will never change, and history is always doomed to repeat itself.

If my opinion sounds too cynical for you, then ask yourself, what is it about people and society that has really changed since then? Does greed and hate ever pass? Can altruistic people ever rule?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Are Your Kids Slomming?

The herd mentality is a dark and powerful force that pressures many adults to conduct themselves foolishly and inappropriately. Just imagine how that force must affect your kids?

Every teen's daily life is filled with that kind of pressure, some of it good, some of it bad. By staying involved in their lives you can influence them to rise above those negative peer pressures, to make smarter decisions, and to become better adults.

Slomming from Morgan Griswold on Vimeo and Above the Influence

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Turning A Blind Eye

I recently watched the movie, Sleepers, and it got me to thinking about those sorry-ass human beings at Penn State who turned a blind eye, or passed the buck, after witnessing or becoming aware of the alleged rape of young boys being perpetrated at their "institute of higher education".

I keep thinking of how those brave, strong, heroic athlete-types must have cowered in fear of losing their jobs or being blackballed if they didn't turn a blind eye to their leader's alleged depraved crimes.

I keep thinking of how college students, our future leaders, could possibly dismiss such horrendous crimes and then support the alleged perpetrators by rioting after they were brought to justice.

I keep thinking what's in store for those young boys as a result of allegedly being continuously raped for years because everyone selfishly turned a blind to the abuse?

But even worse, I keep thinking of the image of our society those young boys must have had in their minds while they were being abused, and when they realized that their "heroes" dismissed them as being an expendable part of the business of college football.

I wonder if those abused young boys envision the same bright future for themselves as the rioting college students do, or if they'll instead turn to violence or drugs in order to treat their "collegiately-damaged" sense of self-worth? What do you think?

Happy Veterans Day

To celebrate Veterans Day I'd like to post this interview of Frank W. Buckles, the longest surviving American veteran of World War I, whom after being blessed with excellent genetics and considerable luck for surviving the entire 20th century, passed away earlier this year at 110 years of age.

Buckles from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Glimpse Into The Future

Has anyone seen this United Healthcare commercial? I only first saw it this morning myself.

Notice anything unusual about it?

Like how they seem to be saying that they can provide a service that your community pharmacist cannot? That perhaps your local pharmacist wouldn't have caught a potential serious drug interaction without an insurance company's intervention? That you may be putting yourself at greater risk if you go to your community pharmacist, and are not a member of their plan?

Of course, it goes without saying that I support any effort to prevent medication mishaps, but doesn't anyone else see how this could be viewed as potential way for a mega-corporate insurance company to remove the "expensive" community pharmacist from the picture, and improve their bottom line?

Like I've been saying from the start, save your money, live below your means, and be prepared for the corporate world to eliminate what they believe to be a costly liability, instead of a valuable asset. You!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Doctors Of The Darkside

The feature-length documentary, "Doctors of the Dark Side", exposes the scandal behind the torture scandal -- how psychologists and physicians devised, supervised and covered up the torture of detainees in US controlled military prisons. The stories of four detainees and the doctors involved in their torture reveal the terrible cost of putting doctors virtually in charge of detainee interrogations.

Here's a review of the film after it's premier at Georgetown University School of Law in October.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Invisible Pharmacist

Back in the early years of pharmacy, many members of the profession failed to recognize just where the profession was headed. Little did they realize that failing to control their excessive desires for wealth, power and fame would lead other "individual" pharmacists to essentially become invisible. In that all-consuming, competitive quest for dominance, as long as a few pharmacy leaders got what "they" wanted in the short-term, in their minds, it always justified the the long-term costs.

BUT, there was one pharmacist who was able to recognize this excessive greed and how it would affect the future of our profession. He unsuccessfully tried to devise a way to use invisibility to our collective advantage. I wonder what the profession of pharmacy would be like now had this unselfish invisible pharmacist achieved his goals?

Unfortunately, his ideas struck fear into the hearts of those who didn't understand his mission, or into those who were already profiting from the status quo. They didn't want him meddling in their affairs. Those people refused to leave him alone so he could finish working on his experiment. Without any support from so-called friends, colleagues or loved ones, this pharmacist eventually went mad, and failed in his quest to unite the profession.

But, don't take my word for it. See (or not see) for yourself. Happy Halloween!

The full film can be viewed on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Prescription Drug Abuse In Arizona

Prescription drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs when abused.

When taken as directed by a physician, there are medical benefits to prescription drugs. When misused, they are the silent killer. We often don’t hear about prescription drug deaths in the news because they occur in a private setting like your home. Your children just don't wake up.

Don't think it can't happen to you. Become better educated, store your medications safely, and dispose of them properly. Learn how -

Source: Drug Free Arizona

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Cynical View Of Pharmacy

It seems as though there are more than a few pharmacists upset with Medco CEO's recent opinions about the role that community pharmacists play in healthcare. Snow was reported as saying -
In an attempt to demystify that role, Medco CEO David Snow told attendees at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit last week that pharmacists are not in fact doling out health information to patients. “I’m not dissing retail [pharmacy], but…there’s a fiction that a pharmacist comes out and dialogues with you,” said Snow. “In reality, a high school student hands you a script from the shelf.”
But, I'm not sure why pharmacists are "now" becoming upset with the opinions of a mega-corporate CEO? Are they upset with Snow finally just coming out and "saying" it? I mean, it can't be like they didn't already know what he, and probably many other corporate insiders, think about the profession of pharmacy just based on their treatment of pharmacists over past decades. Their actions seem to speak louder than any words ever could.

To me, becoming upset and trying to convince other pharmacists to rally against Snow's opinions is like a child trying to get his siblings to rebel against their parents. It only cements the fact that we've allowed them authority over us, and further proves that they control our actions. So then, by taking this route, why wouldn't Snow have such a low opinion of us?

To corporate insiders whose pay and bonuses depends upon improving the bottom line, pharmacists are considered expensive liabilities that need to be eliminated. Of course they will try to reduce our professional credibility if it'll help them achieve their goals. That's how they roll. It should be expected. Just like George Carlin described in his American Dream routine, "they don't give a fuck about you".

The way I see it, either accept the fact that corporations will always view you as being an "employee" instead of a "professional" and live with it, or fight against it by refusing to work for them. Saying "NO" with our feet is the only real power we have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Attack Of The Snowbirds

As most Phoenicians do, I look forward to Fall and Winter every year. Unfortunately, it's also the time of year when the snowbirds migrate back to enjoy our great climate.

So, be careful on the golf courses for the next few months.

The Last Hole from 5-Second Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Liespotting For Non-Pharmacists

I truly believe that pharmacists are experts at lie detection. I think we've all heard the old joke - How do you tell if a customer or patient is lying to you? His/her lips are moving. But, all kidding aside, I consider my ability to detect bullshit to be one of my strongest attributes.

However, if you're not a pharmacist and would like to learn why we are so good at spotting lies, here's something worth watching.

On any given day we're lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lies can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, shows the manners and "hotspots" used by those trained to recognize deception -- and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Interview

It's a tough economy and you've allowed yourself to get into a position where your debt load now leads you into desperation. The pressure is on, now what are you going to do?

How far would you allow yourself to be manipulated by an employer just so you can be underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, and abused by someone who views you simply as a dispensable liability?

The Interview (2011) from Bursteardrum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Afternoon With The Dragon Lady

I ran into my ex-wife last night, and I noticed that she put on a few pounds since we've divorced. To give you some background on her, I was married to a cougar. She's about ten years older than me, and not to happy about getting older, and especially about gaining weight.

Some people would even refer to her attitude towards aging as being like a "dragon lady".

Unfortunately during this run in, I made the mistake of mentioning her weight gain, and it set her off to no end. She automatically started radiating hate and rage. "I" didn't cause her weight gain, she did it to herself. But she tore into me, and everyone else around me, as though we were feeding her yeast. Needless to say, our chance meeting didn't last too long.

But, don't just take my word for it. See what others who witnessed her rage have to say -

The Cynic's Theme Song

How many times have I reported on the massive amounts of crime and corruption perpetrated by corporations and individuals not only in healthcare, but in the rest of America too?

It's become so pervasive that I've almost come to believe that there isn't an ethical person left in this country. And, it seems to only grow worse each day. The sad part of it all is that it's so very unnecessary, and it doesn't have to get worse unless you let it.

Most everyone in America has what they need. It's only that overly-competitive drive for excessive greed that perpetuates the problems facing America today. It's seems as though almost everyone has to "keep up with the Joneses", and prove to each other that they're better than the next person because they have more "stuff".

Being cynical and realizing that it'll never happen, the way I see, the solution to the problem comes from within each individual. Find a way to realize that it's the little things in life that are important - things like good health, love, and freedom. More "stuff" won't make you any happier. Be happy with what you've got.

Don't let the pursuit of wealth, fame, or power cause you to lose focus on what's important and lead you to do things that you really don't want to do, or otherwise wouldn't ever dream of doing.

I Need Nothing - a nearly useless odyssey from Cãoceito on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Cynical Intervention

Following up on my previous diagnosis of cynicism, I'd like you to know that I've recently joined a group of people who understand my condition and have found a treatment that will help me get through the worst of days. Let's hope it works.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Fit Ending To National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

As part of the celebration, the achievements of a handful of Hispanic men and women are chosen each year to represent the positive aspects Hispanics have contributed as a whole to our American culture. As this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration wraps up, I thought it fitting that we should celebrate certain "average Joe" Hispanics that would probably never be recognized for their contributions to a greater America way of life.

As you watch this video, I want you to remember that this musical group reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, and was the first Latino rock group to have a mainstream record hit in the United States. Some would even argue that Mick Jagger styled himself after this band's frontman.

So, who are these mysterious musicians? I'll leave you with that question mark, and you decide for yourself if these talented Hispanics should be celebrated for their contributions to pop culture.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Superhero Syndrome Revisited

It's been my contention for a few years now, that control of the profession is already out of individual pharmacists hands. Once we opened the door and let third-party payors dictate our destiny, we lost any chance for control of our future. As long as they control the money, they control our actions.

But, there are still many naive pharmacists who mistakenly believe we actually have the power and capability to change things, and control our own professional destiny.

They continue to forge-on without seeing what's down the road. They continue to allow themselves to be pushed beyond their limits in order to be considered assets, but fail to realize they will always be considered liabilities no matter how highly they think of themselves. They just haven't yet figured out that in corporate America, it's always going to be about the money, not the profession.

As I've written previously, I refer to this naivety as superhero syndrome.

But, I don't say these things in order to be mean-spirited or hateful. I say them because my personal experiences and intuition tell me that it's the truth. I don't consider these pharmacists to be "bad" people, just brainwashed by the colleges, the pharmacy organizations, and misguided in their herd mentality behaviors.

But, just as I have my own opinions, these superhero pharmacists have their own opinions about me.

Some of my superhero colleagues mistakenly think I have some vengeful motive behind my views and opinions, that perhaps I'm just disgruntled. They don't see the writing on the wall and just want me to "behave", to become assimilated, to "comply", and to "obey" their corporate masters like they do.

These pharmacists are actually nice people who really don't wish me any harm, but see me as being the misguided one in my beliefs. Some may even believe that because I live in Phoenix, forced to live in constant air-conditioning, the heat has finally taken it's toll on my brain.

But, don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Scapegoat

How would you like to be working in your pharmacy one day when the police burst in and arrest you and your co-workers for assassinating a presidential candidate?

After being arrested, you then become a target of a failed assassination attempt yourself, have to spend time in prison, and spend four years of your life and savings defending yourself from a crime you didn't commit. Then ultimately discovering that it was the assassins themselves, government workers, who set you up as the scapegoat.

That's what happened to Columbian pharmacist, Alberto Jubiz Hasbun.

It's almost too strange to believe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy National Coffee Day!

September 29th marks the corporate-inspired National Coffee Day yearly celebration in America, and according to this year's survey commissioned jointly by Dunkin' Donuts and CareerBuilder®, a cup of Joe helps in keeping the nation's workforce – particularly younger workers – productive and energetic.

Thirty-four percent of workers stated they need coffee to get through their workday. Forty-six percent of coffee drinkers claim they are less productive without a cup of Joe.

However, I'm sure that one-hundred percent of you already knew that, right?

Neither Starbucks nor Dunkin’ Donuts seem to be doing anything special for National Coffee Day. But, Krispy Kreme Donuts and participating 7-Eleven locations will be giving away free coffee to celebrate the occasion. I'm sure similar deals can be found at your local independent coffee shops.

Source: and Pearls Before Swine

Monday, September 26, 2011

The American Dream

Looks like George Carlin's predictions for The American Dream are becoming realized.

[Original video link removed by source]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Origin Of Pharmacy Chains

I was searching the video archives to see if I could dig up some information about how the pharmacy chains got started, and what kind of beings could have created such a mess. Unfortunately, what I found was that some heroic pharmacists had already unsuccessfully tried to stop them from taking over the profession long ago.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FDA Approves NME Diet Pill

Hallucex targets the brain's cerebral cortex, stimulating the centers for fear and visual processing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Take Your Medicine

It's always in your best interest to talk to your pharmacist before you take your medicine.

"Take Your Medicine" by Transfer | Official Music Video from Nader Husseini on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Misbranding In Frontier Arizona

Up until the 20th century, there were few federal laws regulating the contents and sale of domestically produced food and pharmaceuticals. The history of the FDA can only be traced to the latter part of the 19th century and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Division of Chemistry.

Under Harvey Washington Wiley, its appointed chief chemist in 1883, the Division began conducting research into the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs on the American market. Although they had no regulatory powers, the Division published its findings from 1887 to 1902 in a ten-part series entitled Foods and Food Adulterants.

Wiley used these findings, and alliances with diverse organizations such as state regulators, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and national associations of physicians and pharmacists, to lobby for a new federal law to set uniform standards for food and drugs to enter into interstate commerce. Eventually, in 1927, these alliances led to the creation of the FDA.

So, who was it protecting the citizens of Arizona from misbranding during the frontier years and long before the FDA came into existence? People like Doc Adams and Marshall Matt Dillon, of course.

A patchwork of state laws provided varying degrees of protection against unethical sales practices, such as misrepresenting the ingredients of therapeutic substances. But, the only real enforcement came from caring local friends and neighbors who experienced the damage first hand.

[Original video link removed by source] Here's a trailer -

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Evolution Of Pharmacists

It seems to me that I've become a dinosaur in the profession.

Pharmacists seemed to be a little tougher when I first started in the profession. Back then, we carried some authority, had individual control of our work environment, and we didn't take a lot of lip or put up with a lot of bullshit. As such, we garnered a lot of respect from our employers and our patients.

But, things seemed to change quickly over the past two decades.

It seems to me that we've become spineless wage slaves, bending like reeds at which ever way the wind blows. Everybody else tells us what we need to do, and we constantly get it from both ends. As such, the attitude of many pharmacists seems to have become - "I don't care, as long as they pay me well, they can do whatever they want". And it often shows in the workplace.

I'm sure that this attitude likely has something to do with the chain pharmacies taking over, the loss of our professional independence, and the insurance industry dictating payment. Many pharmacists (including me) have resigned ourselves to not being in control of our professional destiny anymore.

However, it also seems to me that the personalities of individual pharmacists have changed over the years too. I don't know if it's because of recent dominance of females in the profession, something about the selection process in the colleges of pharmacy, or even just something about society as a whole, but it seems to me that many newer male pharmacists are more metrosexual than when I first started working in pharmacy. And it often shows in the workplace too.

But, don't just take my word for it. Here's a group of recent pharmacy graduates from NJ, discussing how they took off like a flock of seagulls when their pharmacy was robbed by two female robbers.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Conceal N' Carry!

Here's a short educational film for all of you community pharmacists worried about that next dope fiend coming through the door. Always remember your three "A"s.

CONCEAL N' CARRY! from Everything Is Terrible! on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Patient - A Short Film

Things aren't always what they seem to be in the psych ward.

Potilas (The Patient) from Misko Iho on Vimeo.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go Ask Alice

Alice works at the poison control center. Feed your head. 1-800-222-1222

Sunday, August 21, 2011

FDA: Regulatory Science Plan

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released its “Strategic Plan for Regulatory Science,” announcement calling for a sweeping modernization of the science used in developing and evaluating products critical to the nation’s health, economy, and security.

Here's their spokesman.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Starbucks Has Nothing On Wilkins

Having grown up in a Corleone-like family, I guess I've become accustomed to the direct marketing techniques that corporations once used in their infancy. Nowadays, while the message remains the same, corporations rely on lies, deception and corruption to get their point across. But the old techniques still work for me. For some weird reason, I can't seem to get enough of Wilkins Coffee.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Go Along To Get Along

Have you seen unethical behavior or corrupt business practices where you work but looked the other way because you were afraid of losing your job, or worse?

Have you ever had a supervisor tell you "That's the way we do it here. If you want to get along in this job, you'd better shut up and go along." I think some of us have probably experienced this bullying behavior at some point in our careers.

But, it's just that "go along to get along" attitude that's prolonging this recession and causing all of us to lose faith in our system of government.

When no one is held accountable for their crimes, and allowed to (or even encouraged to) continue their crimes without any concerns about being criminally prosecuted for their actions, where's the incentive for everyone else to do the right thing? It's a slippery-slope my friends.

And that's why the world needs is more heroes like Harry Markopolos.

[Original video link removed by source]

Related Link: National Whistleblowers Center

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Child-resistant Packaging

Take it from a pharmacist-jerk, we're not out to get you. Child-resistant packaging works. If you don't ask for them, and sign a release, you won't get easy-off caps.

Source: Project: Rant!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Typical Pharmacy Robber

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a dope fiend?

SelfSmart from Jonathan Munk on Vimeo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Recession That Couldn't Die

Well, it looks like Wall Street, their corporations, and their corrupt political minions have again taken advantage of people still underwater to accomplish their goals of creating fear and panic.

[original video link removed by source]

Friday, August 5, 2011

Economic Realities

I think I may have found the reason behind all of the recent economic problems, and perhaps even our long-standing retail pharmacy problems.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why Do You Do It?

This short film is dedicated to the all the ones who remember the ones who forget.

Why I do it? (Alzheimer's short film) from Pablo Olmos Arrayales on Vimeo.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Have A Secret

Seren only runs from what she is most afraid of, her father. Scared that she may face the wrath of one of his outbursts she heads to somewhere she feels safe, a playhouse that once saw better days in a shaded forest. When Seren falls asleep her imagination transports her to a magical fantasyland where she re-lives her stolen childhood. Just as all dreams have to end, Seren will finally have to return to reality.

I Have a Secret - Short film from Chris Newman on Vimeo.

Phoenix police: Dead girl in footlocker tortured; 4 arrested.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Let The Economy Get You Down

It's a tough economy and people are doing whatever they have to in order to provide for their families. But, new pharmacy graduates have it a little easier than most and don't need to take drastic actions. It's not as bad as often perceived. Don't let your fears get the best of you and lead you to make poor employment decisions.

[Original video remove by author]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Introducing George

This friendly fellow is George. He lives in San Francisco's Mission District. George likes living the clean life. According to him, he has no plans to relocate into the Remission District.

Self-Diagnosis from Alexander Jorgensen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

There Is No Magic Pill

What's a responsible provider to do when everyone believes a pill will cure all of their ills? There's no doubt that DTC pharmaceutical advertising and drug spam works my friends.

Magic Pill from Liam Upton on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diogenes of Sinope

A modern take on Diogenes of Sinope, the ancient Greek philosopher and father of cynicism.

[Sorry, originally posted video removed from Vimeo]

Source: Diogenes by M.D. Usher

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Illusion Of Politics

Hmm.. seems like I've seen all of this recent political rhetoric somewhere before.

Judging by the many hostile political tweets that I've read lately, I guess there are still those who believe that the political process is not fully corrupt, believe that they are actually part of that process, and that one political party is better than another. They haven't yet figured out that we're all puppets, dancing on the ends of strings held by our corporate owners.

Many good people, just like you and me, still believe in the illusion of politics. The unfortunate part of this illusion is that it always fosters conflict, hate, and inevitable violence. And who benefits from this conflict? Not the people killing each other. Only the corporations pulling our strings and profiting from our mistaken belief that we're actually creating change.

About Taxes from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Zero Degrees Of Empathy

Ever wonder why people do such evil things? Here's a new theory - it's about six degrees of empathy. University of Cambridge Psychologist, Simon Baron-Cohen, author of Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty, presents a new way of understanding what it is that leads individuals down negative paths, and challenges all of us to consider replacing the idea of evil with the idea of empathy-erosion.

Source: The RSA

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Perils Of Obedience

Have you ever experienced being an unwitting participant in the Milgram experiment at work? If you've been practicing pharmacy for any length of time, I'd bet you've experienced being at both ends.

One similarity that I've noticed in all of the different aspects of pharmacy practice in which I've worked over the years, is that many pharmacists are given supervisory or management positions without ever having had any education, training or prior experience in management.

In many of these instances, the pharmacists seeking these positions do so only in order to escape the absurdity that comes with working the front lines of pharmacy, or because they are unable or incapable of working the front lines for an extended period of time.

And why is that a bad thing? Because, IMO, it perpetuates a problem.

As Milgram points out - ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.

Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority. They just can't seem to say that one simple word - "No".

I've seen many newly licensed, untrained, or inexperienced pharmacist managers blindly follow the same absurd, corrupt, or reckless orders of their superiors - the same orders they hated when they were working the pharmacy front lines - out of fear of losing their jobs or for fear of being transferred back to the front lines, where they can't cope.

And so, the vicious cycle of abuse continues.

Is there an absolute solution to the problem? Of course not. Each individual pharmacist will have to decide their own actions for themselves.

However, it is my opinion that Milgram's book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, should be required reading for every pharmacist considering a supervisory or managerial position.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bad Science

Author of the Guardian’s weekly ”Bad Science” column and Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks, British physician Ben Goldacre dismantles the questionable science behind an assortment of drug trials, court cases, and events of our time.

Ben Goldacre Talks Bad Science from PopTech on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cynics Are Born, Not Made

I think many of my readers have made the assumption that my experiences being screwed as a pharmacist for so long are what led me to be a cynic. But, that's not true. I've been cynical as long as I can remember. It's just gotten worse and more apparent with age.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Enemies Of The People

Right after the war in Vietnam ended, the ultra-communist group known as the Khmer Rouge took over leadership of Vietnam's neighboring country, Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge period (1975–1979) refers to the rule of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Khmer Rouge Communist party over Cambodia, which the Khmer Rouge renamed as Democratic Kampuchea.

The Khmer Rouge subjected Cambodia to a radical social reform process that was aimed at creating a purely agrarian-based Communist society. They attempted to rebuild the country's agriculture on the model of the 11th century, discarded Western medicine, and destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered Western. The city-dwellers were deported to the countryside, where they were combined with the local population and subjected to forced labor, or sent to the Killing Fields.

About two-million Cambodians are estimated to have died in waves of murder, torture, and starvation, aimed particularly at the educated and intellectual elite. It has also been estimated that, in a country of over seven-million people at that time, only four physicians and seven pharmacists survived (pdf) the genocide.

The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly one-third of the population in the late 1970s. Yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain largely unexplained. That is until now.

Enter Thet Sambath, an unassuming, yet cunning, investigative journalist who lost his family in the conflict and spent a decade gaining the trust of the men and women who perpetrated the massacres. From the foot soldiers who slit the throats of men, women, and children to Pol Pot's right-hand man, the notorious Brother Number Two, Sambath and co-director Rob Lemkin record shocking testimony never before seen or heard, in Enemies of the People.

The full version of Enemies of the People can be watched for free until 08/12/2011 on the PBS Video, POV website. Here's the trailer -

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Are You An Automaton?

One of the unfortunate things about life is that one gets caught up in the enthusiasm of work in the rush to become rich or feel important to others. We always want to "win", to beat the other guy, no matter the potential consequences of our actions. It's only as one gets older and reflects on our past decisions, when we realize our errors in judgment.

I wonder how different the world would be if we reflected beforehand, while we're still young, and didn't follow the herd, didn't blindly follow orders, and didn't become an automaton?

We can do it if we live below our means, avoid debt, keep a well-funded emergency fund, save a significant portion of our earnings, and invest wisely. These simple steps will empower us to say "no" when presented with difficult decisions that could negatively affect ourselves, our loved ones, our peers, and any other innocent victims - and keep us from going down the path to the dark side of healthcare.

Automatons from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Valley Fever Watch

After yesterday's haboob, you're probably at a greater risk for coming down with Valley Fever. Most infections are minor and don't present with any serious symptoms, but it can be deadly for some people, especially those who are immunocompromised.

So, if you happen to come down with a cough, fever or flu-like symptoms within the next few weeks, make sure to ask your provider to consider it a potential cause.

Source: Mary Ellen Resendez

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Support Group

Posting might be a little light this week while I meet with my support group. I know that you want to read more about the dark side, but don't become upset over such a little thing.

Small Penis from Espen Hobbesland on Vimeo.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Where's The Safest Hospital Located?

Nope, it's not Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, it's also not the Mayo Clinic located in Rochester, nor Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. It's not even considered one of the top fifty hospitals in the country. According to U.S. News & World Report, it's not even the number-one ranked hospital in it's own home State.

The safest hospital in America is Denver Health Medical Center, located in the great State of Colorado. According to a June 30th PBS NewsHour report, it has the lowest mortality rate of any academic medical center in the U.S., and sets the bar for patient safety.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Calgon, Take Me Away

The American Medical Association (AMA) has recently called for federal legislation against synthetic substances, like those found in bath salts (pdf), that can cause psychotic hallucinations and even death. Bath salts are abused as recreational drugs typically by injection, smoking, and snorting, and the AMA wants sales to stop before anyone else dies.

But, should the government be banning every drug that has the potential for abuse? Will that stop the seemly growing problem of drug abuse? Should the healthcare profession be held responsible for the people who abuse drugs? I have ambivalent feelings about this topic.

Of course, I'd like for people to quit abusing drugs and destroying their health, to stop getting foolishly sucked into the vicious cycle of addiction, and then committing crimes to enable and perpetuate that addiction. I'm also for preventing drug abuse in children and teens who aren't capable of making adult decisions.

But, I also believe we can't control all of the choices adults make, and at some point, they must eventually be held responsible for their own actions. Parents should also be the ones held responsible for educating and supervising their children about drug abuse, not government, not teachers, and not the healthcare industry. We can help in prevention and treatment, but we shouldn't be the ones considered responsible for their actions.

As history has also consistently proven, the world will never run out of unethical people and criminals seeking to exploit anyone in order to line their own pockets.

Here's the problem I see with designer drugs - Always on the hunt for ways to skirt laws, makers of these designer drugs try to stay one step ahead of laws and law enforcement. By the time laws are written against the production of such drugs, the perpetrators have switched the formulation and morphed their synthetic drugs into something new.

How can you put a stop to that? Escalate the war on drugs? Harshly allow nature to take its course?

What do you think about this topic? What's your opinion about synthetic drug abuse? Can it be stopped, and who should be held responsible for fixing the problem?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Grass Isn't Always Greener

I've been a pharmacist for many years now.

I personally know that there are positive and negative aspects to each area of the profession, whether retail, long-term care, hospital, or any other place that pharmacists are trying to escape. But, when it comes to decision-making in the workplace, no practice area is much better than the next.

So, let me tell you that that the grass isn't greener wherever you decide to go.

It doesn't matter where you decide to practice pharmacy, in every aspect of pharmacy, you aren't in control of your own professional destiny. Someone else will always be dictating your actions, and many times it won't be another pharmacist.

Wake up! Don't try to fool yourself. You can run all you want, but you can't escape it. Whether you practice retail pharmacy in Ohio, or hospital pharmacy in Alabama, there will always be someone else writing the rules and telling you how to practice your profession.

NOAH AND THE WHALE "Life Is Life" from john carrafa on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ZDoggMD Calls Out The Sucker MDs

As ACynicPharmD, I think he makes a good point about the TV show docs, but you decide.

According to ZDoggMD -
He may have started out with good intentions, but his current incarnation foists hype, pseudoscience, and unproven “alternative” treatments upon millions of unsuspecting Americans who believe that his is the final word. After all, he has been duly annointed by She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named!

Source: ZDoggMD, Slightly Funnier Than Placebo

Keep Your Eyes Open And Your Wallet Shut

Are you still buying homeopathic products even after knowing that they don't contain any measurable active medication? Then put your wallet down and listen to Randi.

James Randi, best known as the world's most tireless investigator of pseudoscientific claims, continues to offer his still-unclaimed million-dollar reward for anyone who can produce evidence of paranormal abilities under controlled conditions.

Source: James Randi Educational Foundation

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stronger - A Short Documentary

Is winning so important? What do you gain by "winning", a small award and the approval of a few people who won't remember your name a week from now? You can be just as healthy and look just as good as this extremely honest gentleman well into middle-age and beyond without having to transition into the "dark side" of bodybuilding.

[Video link remove by source]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blues Is A Healer

It's not always a pill that'll cure your ill. Sometimes, all it takes is the blues. But, don't just take my word for it. See what Carlos Santana and John Lee Hooker have to say about it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Disco Can Save Your Life

This is no charade. Disco can save your life. Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive - with hands-only CPR.

Source: American Heart Association

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Meth Epidemic Follow-up

As a pharmacist being forced to become the local pseudoephedrine police, have you ever wondered why individual American States, instead of the Federal Government, have been burdened with combating the meth epidemic? Have you ever thought that perhaps big pharma had something to do with it? No way, right?

"The Meth Epidemic" follow-up tells the story of two potential solutions to the meth crisis and examines why neither was fully tried. It'll probably lessen your faith in our political leaders.

In the updated May 2011 film, FRONTLINE continues its investigation, this time focusing on how new policies in both the U.S. and Mexico have changed the cooking process in America — from the stockpiling of cold medicines by "super smurfs" to a new and dangerous method of meth cooking called "shake and bake."

In addition, after FRONTLINE'S original broadcast of the meth epidemic, the State of Oregon has passed new legislation to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only. State officials say the measure has all but eradicated meth abuse there. Are other states poised to follow suit?

Here's chapter 1/4 of "The Meth Epidemic" follow-up. Chapters 2-4 tell the real story.

[Original video link removed by source]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here Is.. The Night Shift Pharmacist

You dope fiends have really screwed the pooch with your drug seeking behaviors.

You have no idea what your constant pharmacy robberies have done to the retail pharmacist psyche, especially the night-shift pharmacists who are already live close to the edge anyway. Some of these pharmacists have vowed not to take it anymore, and are hoping for a fight.

Better seek help for your addiction problems while you can because I pity the next foolish armed criminal who tries to rob one of these guys. You'll need pain pills afterwards.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Florida Independent Pharmacists Are Tough

What was it that caused Florida to become the "pill-mill" hotbed state? Of all of doctors that dispense oxycodone in the United States, 85% of all the oxycodone carriers are in Florida.

Was it because of a lack of law enforcement against suspicious pharmacists?

I don't think anyone really knows the reason, but I wonder if the attitude of some independent pharmacists contributed to lawmakers finally cracking down on pill mills, increasing the liability of all community pharmacists, and almost legislating smaller, but honest, independents out of being able to provide pain care?

So, I talked to a few law enforcement officials about the problem. They said that some Florida independent pharmacists were uncooperative, and didn't seem as though they wanted to help address the problem, especially the ones whom law enforcement deemed suspicious.

As would be expected with criminals robbing independent pharmacies left and right, and with corrupt politicians and corporate competitors seemingly set on putting them out of business, I can understand why independent pharmacists have become so tough throughout the years, and perhaps a little gruff and uncooperative. But were they that uncooperative?

Those officials also sympathized with the law-abiding independent pharmacists' plight, but said something had to be done to stem the prolific prescription drug abuse problem. They then showed me this video of police officers cross-examining just one of the prolific pill-mill pharmacists located in South Florida.

Now I think I can understand law enforcement's side of the issue, he's one tough pharmacist. Maybe their uncooperative attitudes did have something to do with creating these new laws.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Real Drug Nazi

Yes, there really was a pharmacist whom the world considered "The Drug Nazi".

His name was Victor Capesius, and he was the SS pharmacist-in-charge at the concentration camp Auschwitz nearing the end of World War II. It has been estimated, among other crimes against humanity, that he was personally responsible for sending approximately 8,000 people into the gas chambers and crematoriums at that camp.

The Real Drug Nazi
I just finished reading the horrific documentary novel entitled - The Druggist of Auschwitz. In it, Romanian author Dieter Schlesak tells the story of Victor Capesius, the apothecary at Auschwitz during its most active period as a Nazi death camp.

As described by the publisher - Adam, known as “the last Jew of Schäßburg,” recounts with disturbing clarity his imprisonment at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. Through Adam’s fictional narrative and excerpts of actual testimony from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial of 1963–65, we come to learn of the true-life story of Dr. Victor Capesius, who, despite strong friendships with Jews before the war, quickly aided in and profited from their tragedy once the Nazis came to power.

Interspersed with historical research and the author’s face-to-face interviews with survivors, the novel follows Capesius from his assignment as the “sorter” of new arrivals at Auschwitz — deciding who will go directly to the gas chamber and who will be used for labor — through his life of lavish wealth after the war to his arrest, eventual trial, and conviction.

The Druggist of Auschwitz further intimately details eye-witnessed accounts from Capesius's own prisoner pharmacist "colleagues" of the many other horrific atrocities that Capesius and the camp medical staff committed against thousands of innocent men, women, and children, some of whom Capesius knew personally before the war.

After being free from prosecution for approximately fifteen-years after the war, Capesius was eventually found guilty during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial of assisting in the murder of at least 8,000 individuals, a charge his lawyer acknowledged, but one he personally denied. Other charges against him were assisting in the gas chambers, supervising the liquidation of the gypsy camp, and administering intracardiac phenol injections to kill prisoners but, because of lack of proof, these were dropped.

Some witnesses alleged that Capesius had committed other crimes as well; it was suggested that he had enriched himself by taking prisoners’ last remaining possessions, including gold fillings taken from their teeth after they were gassed, or that he assisted Dr. Mengele in cruel “medical” experiments on inmates. No hard evidence was, however, found for these truthful allegations too, and Capesius was unjustly sentenced to only nine years in prison!

While I'd recommend this novel to others, I found The Druggist of Auschwitz a slightly difficult read as it bounces between the testimony of varied eyewitnesses from trial documents, the author's own notes from personal interviews of victims and perpetrators, including Capesius himself, and the narrative of the one fictional character, Adam. However, the author eases that difficulty by including an addendum of most significant figures, and the use of italic and roman font typefaces for differentiation.

I'd also recommend watching the excellent documentary entitled "Memorandum".

In it, you'll see Capesius and his other soulless mass-murdering medical cohorts on film showing their angry contempt at being brought to justice after years of living large on the spoils of their crimes. You'll find it hard to believe that this sixty minute documentary was actually made in 1965.

Related Links:
1. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum
2. The History of the "Business With Disease"
3. Life as a human guinea pig