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 C√£oceito 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.