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Monday, October 8, 2012

Is Your Prescription Drug Phased-Out?

Can you guess who is this well-known, multiple chained drugstore who rifts physicians' reputation because of their scheme of saying to customers "phased-out from the market"  whenever a prescription drug is not available in their shelves?

Yes guys you have read it out right! I know this has no effect to us pharmacists, but I am afraid it is a big deal for all physicians who prescribe drugs knowingly that a certain branded drug is still and actively circulated in the market. The word "phased-out" means that a certain brand of a product is already dismissed in the market and has no availability will be found anywhere because the owner of that registered product stopped the production. I met medical doctors who were deeply distressed and frustrated because of this transpiration. An Ob-Gyne doctor had told me once about her experience when she prescribed a certain brand of antifungal vaginal suppository tablet. Unfortunately, the patient called her explaining that her prescription drug was not available in the market anymore. The doctor was alarmed about that incident, because she knows that the drug is still in the market, and a medical representative of that branded drug is weekly visiting her to remind her to prescribe the drug, though. Another doctor who is a  friend of the Ob-Gyne doctor had the same incident happened. She prescribed a prenatal supplement brand to her pregnant patient and highly confident that her prescription was been filled; however, it turned to be a bad sequel to her. The patient came back to her telling that the drug she prescribed was already phased-out in the market and the patient thought that she had received an obsolete drug prescription. So, the doctor called up to the drugstore branch the patient went. The moment she spoke to the phone attendant, she told her about her case and asked the availability of the drug. The phone receiver told her that the drug she looking for is not available in that branch. Then the doctor had realized the incident to be a scheme of that drugstore, which, if the product is not available, the drugstore would tell customers "phased-out" rather than no stock / non carried product, because she knew that it has a name to protect and a reputation that "all branded drugs are available in its stores". I know that a lot of doctors were experienced this already and wanted to talk about it.

I begun to realize the poor relationship system of physicians and pharmacies in the Philippines. Because of the thinking of the people that all drugs can be obtained over-the-counter or prescription free, some sectors of drugstores abuse it. Is not it the right to receive prescription before dispensing and filling up medicines? What happen today is the customer goes to the pharmacy counter asks for this drug and right away the customer's demand is given. I think the excellent reforms that may apply are advising customer to visit a doctor first and be diagnosed and comeback to fill up his prescription, and complete the whole treatment session to achieve optimum cure. Physicians are a tremendously help to the community pharmacy business. They are the ones who prescribe and influence patient's treatment and choice. Without them pharmacy business will be weakened and stopped. We must respect their authority about prescribing and help them to promote healthcare to the community. I know that all drugstores are not capable to input all the branded drugs that available in the market, but I just want to open up my opinion and sentiments about "Phased-out" issue. I hope that the community pharmacies will tell the truth with regards to the availability of their stocks and non carried medicines. I hope they will be honest and truth by telling customers whenever a specific branded drug is not available. What is wrong by telling " we do not have that medicine" and advising the customer to visit another drugstore nearby? In this statement, at least you have helped the customer to find what he is looking for and helped other pharmacy to have sales. It is good to have a healthy competition, but there must be a moment to supporting each other to achieve one goal to provide optimum healthcare to the community. By telling the truth, physicians are relieved from the case of prescribing wrong drug or obsolete drug, securing their reputation and name.

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