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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 03-16-2009

 Quote of the day:  Opportunity is missed by most people because

                    it is dressed in overalls and looks like work!

                      Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)  


 Good Morning!

What is it?

          If you have it you don’t need it. If you need it you don’t have it. If you have some, you can always use more. (see the video for the whole monolog and the answer).

          When I was a brand spankin’ fresh pharmacy intern at a hospital pharmacy I observed my pharmacist mentor, Gary, try to fit 100 Tylenol into a vial. There were about 7 that spilled on the counter and the top would just not fit in the bottle if those stragglers were added. Gary shouted to another pharmacist “Have you seen the vial stretcher?”.  “I think I saw it on 6 south.” Came the reply. Gary turned to me and asked if I would run up and fetch it back to pharmacy. They would call ahead to each stop along the way for the nurse to direct me to yet another site as I just couldn’t quite catch up to that vial stretcher.  I began my quest not knowing how the hospital was laid out but was fairly familiar with all of the floors by the time I returned empty handed,

          This is about the time of year that interns from all industries find out about their internship opportunities for the summer. These kids look for the chance to learn from the best (or at least the very good). The idea is for the institution to benefit as well from relatively cheap labor.  Business, pharmacies included, look for the next generation of professionals and their chance to teach them the right way to do things. If not the right way forever, the right way given our present knowledge and tools. They will take over someday and it is expected that each will someday outperform their mentors. Just as Plato built upon Socrates,  Aristole built upon Soctartes. It only took one student of the three of them, separated by hundreds of years to apply their logic to develop a strong school of Christian philosophy and thought that stands to today. Once considered stupid by his classmates and nick-named the “dumb ox”, Thomas Aquinas, expounds on the meaning of life and its origins. A more contemporary man, G.K. Chesterton, sought to bring Aquinas to us.

          Yes, giving one student a chance can make a difference… a difference to the intern... a difference to his/her profession. Some may even make a difference to the world. The funny thing is that you may never know which of your charges will make these big changes and these changes may not even be evident until you are gone. As you mentor your charges, you might want to be sure that each knows how to find a vial stretcher or your industry’s equivalent.

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I'm right as rain."

pps. Please note that some of the links may not be up for very long and that

     you should capture or print anything that you may wish to keep.


1) First Wy-Pfi… then Sheri-Merck… now Roch-e-tech?

Wythe and Pfizer recently merged and now Roche to purchase the remaining portion of Genentech for $47 billion. The new combined company will have their share of shake ups but all hope to keep the Genentech R&D division in tact and pumping out new products.


2) … but don’t worry too much about the Roch-e-tech folks

Big time retention bonuses will be paid out … even to terminated employees


3) With only about 3 weeks until the baseball opener…

FDA to allow patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Scerosios to use Iplex (meccasermin rinfabate). “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that doesn’t respond well to any medications. A controlled- double blind study would be considered unethical so this “compassionate use” will be used to give a clue to whether it makes things better or worse.


4) Obama’s health plan draws fire (surprise… surprise)

Barak wants to sign a health bill very soon. If the Bailouts and stimulus (with all the pork) are any indication then he’ll get his socialized medicine,,, unless a backlash develops.


5) The “new anti-drugs” Sloth, gluttony, and smoking

It appears that all of the benefits from the all of the anti-cholesterol and antihypertensive drugs are being undone by overeating, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. It is a British study of British citizens. What is so surprising is that they did it with British food! Imagine how much more damage we can do with good American chow!


6) FDA log jam about to let loose?

The FDA has not ruled on a lot of NDAs lately. Here are some that might get the checkered flag soon.


7) How not to respond to criticism

JAMA editor responds to criticism of a JAMA article on lexapro in which the author did not disclose a potential conflict of interest and the fact that behaviorial therapy was as effective. JAMA editor called and asked the whistle blower “Who do you think you are?” and other ditties which will make the author in you cringe. (read on)






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Disclaimer: "Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle" (AKA "The Prattle") is the property of PHARMWORKS, LLC and Steven M. Pepin, Pharm. D, BCPS. The opinions expressed are those of the bald-headed author. To start or stop any drug without the advice and supervision of your physician would be stupid. So don't do anything based upon what you read here without professional advice.  To be added to or removed from the distribution list please e-mail your request to . All insightful comments from readers are thoughtfully considered (the rest are callously discarded). Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS,LLC all rights reserved.

Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS, LLC all rights reserved