Monday, April 10, 2006

Pharmacist Refuses to Fill Viagra Prescription

A recent WA-NARAL fundraising scare-letter includes this ...uhmmm... lame teaser:

Imagine this head line:

Pharmacist refuses to fill Viagra prescription; does not approve of right-wing Congressman having sex with new young wife.

It goes on to include this line just to make sure WA-NARAL supporters understand the hypocracy of all the unnamed "right-wing leaders" here in Washington.

If these scenarios were real, they would spark outrage amongst our nation's right-wing leaders.

The whole scenario is hillarious, but I suppose this kind of straw-man/pharmacist fundraising tactic works with WA-NARAL supporters. Unfortunately for Karen Cooper of WA-NARAL I doubt such a scenario would "spark outrage" amongst anyone.

Well, come to find out "aregisteredpharmacist", a "left-leaning, Bush-hating, agnostic, democrat," admits to refusing to fill a prescription for Viagra and we've posted the headline.

I had a doctor yell at me to fill Viagra for a patient who was on nitrostat, I refused, should this be against the law?

Thank you "aregisteredpharmacist". Apparently Viagra and nitrostate could lead to a possible fatal interaction. We need pharmacists who are looking out for the health of patients, not bowing to the pressure of drug manufacturers and marketers. No word from "aregisteredpharmacist" on whether the patient was a "right-wing congressman."

Now that the headline is out there, let the "outrage amongst our nation's right-wing leaders" -- whoever they may be -- begin .

6 comments:

drugnazi said...

You're not much for reading comprehension are you? Guess you missed the part about the FATAL DRUG INTERACTION. The pharmacist refused to dispense the Viagra because IT MIGHT KILL THE PATIENT, not because he objected on any moral grounds. There's a world of difference between not dispensing a drug that will KILL YOU WHEN MIXED WITH YOUR OTHER MEDICINES and not dispensing the drug because you think your God is better than your patient's God. One is exactly the thing us registered pharmacists are supposed to do. The other should be grounds for losing your license. It is ludicrous to imply the two scenerios are anything alike, and you insult your readers (or show your own lack of ability to understand what you are reading) by doing just that in this post.

Lee Anne said...

Ah, sorry,drugnazi - you are way off base here. I am amazed that you did not read all of the blogs that Mary E. did. You will find that she was quoting a pharmacist that was by his own admission a qualified EC dispenser and proud of it. He then went on further to question whether or not he should dispense two drugs together, knowing that they were potentially fatal when used together. The left leaning pharmacist did, much to my amazement, put forth some very interesting and well thought out information.

Drugnazi, you owe Mary E an apology for your attack. Perhaps you would like to re-read the blogs, for Mary was spot on in writing about them.I pray God you are not my pharmacist.

Mary E. said...

Drugnazi --

The point of the post is that pharmacists are in a position to know more about the side effects of drugs, drug interactions and the therapeutic benefits of a particular drug therapy than most doctors are. To hamstring them with "must fill policies" like PP and NARAL want for their selected drugs (that they benefit from financially) is to belittle the service pharmacists provide and doesn't serve the needs of patients. In the Viagra scenario, NARAL attempts to set up a religious straw man (the fake pharmacist who won't prescribe viagra for religious reasons) in an attempt to discredit pharmacists who are insisting on a conscience clause all so NARAL can raise more money. NARAL is doing a disservice to women when they don't tell them the truth about abortifacient drugs like Plan B and contraception, and frame all opposition to Plan B as only coming from a bunch of religious fanatics who think their "God is better than the patient's God." NARAL has a horse in this race and it is the selling of contraceptives and abortifacients so that women will continue to require abortion services. Women's health be damned.

Second of all, have you looked at the side-effects of BC pills? Have you seen the studies done on the Patch and the link to certain cancers? Did you know they MIGHT KILL THE PATIENT? Taking Plan B on a regular basis is NOT recommended yet, the Protocol written by the drug manufacturer recommends keeping a supply of it at home! The long-term effects of this drug are not know. How does it effect a woman who is taking BC Pills or is on the patch or Norplant? What will this do to a woman's future fertility? No one knows and the drug manufacturer doesn't seem to care. In fact, Plan B increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, which can KILL you and ruin a woman's reproductive organs but you know how they phrase the risk to women? They say, "Plan B will not prevent ectopic pregnancy." Isn't that asinine?!

YOU are doing a discredit to your readers when you are critical of the drug industry and demand the licenses of pharmacists who don't subscribe to your world view but whistle past the graveyard when it comes to Plan B and contraceptives. (Great post on Sarafem by the way. http://drugnazi.blogspot.com/2006/04/drug-company-rip-off-of-day-number-2.html. Did you know depression is a side effect of BC pills? So, let's see -- sell her BC pills. She's depressed. Sell her Sarafem. BC pills fail. Sell her Plan B. Plan B fails. Sell her RU-486 or surgical abortion. Put her back on BC pills. She's still depressed. Sell her Prozac. Now she has breast cancer from her abortion. Sell her Avastin at $100 k a year. God forbid a pharmacist should get in the middle of that money making loop.)

Another point of this whole exercise that your superior reading abilities failed to miss is that erectile dysfunction IS an illness. Ovulation, menstruation and pregnancy are ALL signs of health in a woman. Those are not illnesses and moreover Plan B isn't a medicine anymore than phosphorus or lead pills are. (Which is incidentially how they used to perform chemical abortions.) Despite what you say, pharmacists should not lose their license because they refuse to fill a prescription. If pharmacists want to elevate themselves to the role of doctors, which is part of the reason they jumped on the Plan B bandwagon, then they need to start acting like them -- First do no harm. Religous pharmacists don't have a problem with women or sex -- they have a problem with drugs that harm women and their reproductive health. How's that for a refusal based on moral grounds?

Plan B is not a truly prescription drug in the state of Washington. It is a drug advertised and push by those in the family planning industry and the Department of "Health". Should a pharmacist hand over any drug any a woman wants because of pressure from a powerful lobby and drug manufacturer? Is your hatred of religion and religous people causing you to push aside the health considerations of your patients?

Follow the money Drugnazi. As someone who is critical of drug companies and their pursuit of profit at the expense of patient health and common sense I'd hope you'd agree with me that Plan B and the marketing of it is a racket that needs be exposed. Yes, it is religious people who are primarily sounding the alarm but you shouldn't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message.

drugnazi said...

Oh....I see.....this is really about protecting patients from those awful awful side effects from those bad bad birth control pills, and if those mean people at NARAL and Planned Parenthood have their way, you will be powerless to stop the inevitable tide of cancer, depression, and ectoptic pregnancy that will flood the world if these chemicals are turned loose.

I'll set aside the fact that they were turned loose on the world over 40 years ago and go to the numbers.

You would be right if you were to say (which you don't, I'm the one who has to come up with the specifics for both sides of this conversation) that almost 14 out of 100,000 women aged 35 to 39 who don't smoke will die as a result of using oral contraceptives. For now I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the assumption that this 0.014% risk is too much in your professional judgment. OK, we'll just do away with those bad pills and let nature take it's course and drop the risk down to.......25.7 non-smoking women per 100,000 in that age group that will die in childbirth. Congratulations, thanks to your professional intervention, just under twice as many women are now dead. If you don't get your license pulled for refusing to fill the prescription because of your "conscience" looks like you might get it pulled for professional incompetence. As a matter of fact. being on an oral contraceptive is safer than carrying a pregnancy out to term, ("safer" being defined as whether you die or not.) for non-smoking women in all age groups up to 40 years. Even in women who smoke, a well-known risk factor in oral contraceptive use, the pill is safer until age 35. The safest method of all is the condom, beating out that favorite of the right wing, periodic abstinence, which leads to 9 times as many deaths than a box of Trojans for women aged 40 to 44.

But I'm sure you're already telling your patients that right? That periodic abstinence carries a 9 fold increase of death over condom use for women over 40, because you're so professional and concerned for their health. Right? It's only the responsible thing to do.

BOOM!!!!! hear that? that was the sound of your scientific credibility getting blown out of the water. The shreds that are left get destroyed by your use of the word "abortifacient" to describe Oral Contraceptives/Plan B. You use that word because you think that pregnancy begins at conception. You're entitled to your opinion (a freedom you don't grant to your customers who you would deny Oral Contraceptives to), but don't try to legitimize it by saying it while wearing a white coat. The real scientists, you know, with book learning and science degrees, have formed a consensus that pregnancy begins with the IMPLANTATION of the fertilized egg in the uterus. There's a reason for this, namely that it is not uncommon for a fertilized egg never to become implanted in a woman who is using no contraception at all. When a woman has fertility problems as a matter of fact, the most common reason is that fertilized eggs are not implanting in her uterus. If she is aware of this and keeps on having sex anyway, do you consider her an abortionist? If not why?

Let's cut the crap. You and I both know that science has nothing to do with your opposition to birth control. You are trying to impose your morals on us all by hijacking the legitimacy of the medical profession. If you could just admit what you are, I could have a modicum of respect for you. Your dishonesty in stating the reasons for your actions however, make you beneath contempt. If you want to fight this battle, fight it honestly and with some integrity, and not like a person with.....no morals.

Mary E. said...

Art -- (Sorry I can't call you drugnazi)

Those chemicals "were turned loose on the world over 40 years ago..." EXACTLY. And what do we have today? -- A tide of cancer, depression, and ectoptic pregnancy. And now you want to force pharmacists to hand-over Plan B like chocolate bon-bons?

You really need to read up on OCs and the like. Smoking and using OCs are the least of a woman's problems when it comes to contraceptives.
I like the way you leave out reference to all the other contaceptives (the patch, norplant, etc) and health problems with them. The link between OC and other contraceptives and various types of cancers is available but the people who are making money off these drugs, and the feminists/so-called women's health organizations don't want to look at or let women know about it becasue they don't want to lose the money.

The "abortion is safer than childbirth" line is an old canard of the abortion industry. You should know better. The World Health Organization has admitted that combined oral contraceptives (estrogen plus progestogen) raise the risks of cancers of the breast, liver and cervix, and combined hormone replacement therapy raises the risks of endometrial cancer and breast cancer. http://www.iarc.fr/ENG/Press_Releases/pr167a.html

I think you'll really like this post:
http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2006/03/naqs-on-maps-and-oc-and-bc-never-asked.html
Of eleven (11) published research studies from 1986-2005, there isn't a single one from an anti-abortion, anti-morning-after-pill site. They are all from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), official IARC press releases, WebMD or other unbiased, objective science periodicals.

All eleven found increased risks of breast cancer from using birth control pills (oral contraceptives or OC).

You do the math.

It seems self-evident that not putting unnecessary drugs in your body would be the healthiest option but I guess there's no money in abstinence. And actually Art since you don't have to take these drugs but presumably would be the beneficiary of them (lots of free and easy sex with lots of women) at no risk to you, your militancy and fanaticism for contraceptives is a little questionable. If women were told the truth about contraceptives it might give her one more reason not to sleep with you!

I am not reassured by your statement that the scientists "have formed a consensus" that pregnancy begins with implantation. What happened to the scientific method and facts in determining the truth? These same folks you site could just as well change the definition of pregnancy to some other point, say when the baby's heart starts to beat because the definition they've come up with is subjective. Besides it totally side-steps the issue of human life being present at conception. The medical term for a fertilized egg is an embryo. It dies when prevented from impanting in the uterus. The reason the medical profession did this was so they could sell BC pills.

Killing requires the intent and direct action of the person doing the killing. I don't see how an early miscarriage is active abortion/killing. But yes, Plan B is an abortifacient because it denies the embryo what it needs to survive and it dies. You certainly can't call it a contraceptive since it works post-conception.
Hijacking the legitimacy of the medical profession (?) I don't even know what you mean. I'd just like the medical profession to start get back to science instead of politics and money which has been to the detriment of women's health and ability to make informed decisions.

You probably think Planned Parenthood and NARAL are in this for women's health. Ha! Boy have you got some growing up to do.

drugnazi said...

The nickname isn't nearly as scary if you were a fan of "Seinfeld." I've actually commented more than once on my blog on the irony of someone who calls himself the drugnazi taking a stand against religious fascists such as yourself. But on to the great debate....

On one side we have this:

"I am not reassured by your statement that the scientists "have formed a consensus" that pregnancy begins with implantation."

Key point: No denial that such a consensus exists.

My interpretation: This person doesn't think much of science.


On the other side we have this:

"Of eleven (11) published research studies from 1986-2005, there isn't a single one from an anti-abortion, anti-morning-after-pill site. They are all from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), official IARC press releases, WebMD or other unbiased, objective science periodicals."

Wow. This person really likes science, not at all like that first per...oh...wait....both these people are YOU aren't they? This perfectly illustrates what I said in my last comment. You want to wrap yourself in a white lab coat and impress us all with science when it suits you, and when it suits you only. "What happened to the scientific method and facts in determining the truth?" You ask, while conveniently forgetting that the scientific method involves letting the facts take you toward the truth, even when it leads to something you don't like.

As far as the science you do choose to cite, you're not telling me anything I don't already know. I went to school for this, remember? Spent a good number of years reading all sorts of big books on this stuff. Higher estrogen means higher risk. Which means that higher estrogen products like Ortho-Evra and Norplant do carry more risk than lower estrogen products such as Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo, and anyone who has ever asked my opinion has been told exactly that. You know what though? There's risk in everything we do. Getting in a car. Crossing the street. Wearing contact lenses instead of glasses. But just as someone chooses to accept the higher risk of eye infection and blindness with contacts because they like the way they make them look, someone may also choose to accept the risk of taking an oral contraceptive because they like they way a penis feels in them.

You however try to whip up a hysteria over these products by making a claim that they have unleashed "A tide of cancer, depression, and ectoptic pregnancy." on us all. Well, I suppose if by "tide" you mean "fewer cases of" you might be right. From the center for disease control:

Number of cancer cases per 100,000 population 1990, 477.2

Number in 2000: 461.6

"tide" also seems a bit strong when you look at ABSOLUTE risk versus RELATIVE risk.

Using relative risk is an easy way to whip up hysteria, as you have found out, by saying things like OC's raise the risk of ectoptic pregnancy by a certain percentage.

Absolute risk is a far better basis for decision making. When you see that there were 70,000 total cases of ectoptic pregnancy in the entire United States in 2003, and that the top 13 brands of Oral Contraceptives were dispensed 63,025,445 times that same year, it tends to put things in perspective. Here, I'll put the numbers closer together to make it even easier, 70,000/63,025,445. Thanks for that suggestion that I "do the math." by the way. It worked out pretty well.

Then there's this bit of bizarreness from you. "And actually Art since you don't have to take these drugs but presumably would be the beneficiary of them (lots of free and easy sex with lots of women) at no risk to you, your militancy and fanaticism for contraceptives is a little questionable. If women were told the truth about contraceptives it might give her one more reason not to sleep with you!"

I don't know where you come from, but where I am they sell something called a "condom." All I gotta do is slip one on my willie and I'm good to go with all the free and easy sex I want. It also puts me in control (no "oops I forgot to take my pill" surprises) and keeps whatever is living inside my partner from taking up residence in me, keeping both me and my future conquests safe. In my opinion, condoms rule. But not all guys are as cool as me, and as baffling as I may find it, some women out there may want to have sex with a guy besides myself and not pop out a shorty in nine months. That's why over 80% of women take an oral contraceptive at some point in their life.

So to sum up; least risky, no penis ever. But most people don't want to do that, so next least risky, condoms. But some people don't like them. So next least risky, low dose oral contraceptives. Some people don't like them, and would rather not take a pill every day. So next least risky, norplant and/or ortho evra. MOST risky; penis with no contraceptive at all . That's my professional opinion. Backed by a whole lotta science.

Oh, and childbirth DOES carry a higher risk of death than oral contraceptives. And being a smoker is more or a risk for oc users than the risk of breast cancer for non smokers taking oc's. When you say otherwise you are a teetotal liar until you can prove me wrong. Go for it. Try to do better than last time when you cited a report that said this:

"the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancer are consistently decreased in women who used combined oral contraceptives. The reduction is generally greater with longer duration of use, and some reduction persists at least 15 years after cessation of use."

Did you forget that part? Because it wasn't in your post where you accused me of "leaving out reference to all the other contraceptives (the patch, norplant, etc) and health problems with them." but then you go and not mention this part of an article you're using to further your propaganda. That would make you a hypocrite. Oh, and a liar like we covered earlier.

Mary please, like I said last time, just admit what you are. You don't like contraception because of your moral beliefs. It's ok.... really. We all have our morals, but you seem to be ashamed of yours and try to mislead us into thinking you deal in the world of science and facts. Do you not think you'll be as effective if you cite Jesus instead of twisting numbers from scientific studies? Save us both some time and stick with Mary's opinion, there's nothing wrong with that. When you try to put on that white coat to cover up your cross though, and someone calls you on your BS like I just did, you do your credibility more harm than good.