February 16, 2013
I have a question: Are not pharmacies supposed to be places that promote and maintain good health and wellness? Yes, that’s what I always thought but I am puzzled about something and would appreciate if a pharmacist would satisfy my confusion. I had to go to a pharmacy to purchase codeine for a bad toothache and had to practically sign my life away in a log at the pharmacists’ counter, apparently because they can be ‘addictive’. Whilst in line to pay, a gentleman in front of me requested and received a carton of cigarettes, no questions asked and without signing a thing — a product proven to be the most addictive substance on earth.
Now, not only is it the most addictive substance on earth, it is not speculated on or pondered but actually proven that cigarettes are harmful to your health and cause cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and a myriad of other negative health problems. If I somehow get addicted to codeine, the only person I am hurting is myself. A smoker can negatively impact many people around him through second hand smoke. It’s also well known that adults smoke in the home where their children are present, thus causing asthma and lord-knows-what future health risks for them. Therefore, I would like someone to explain to me the complete and utter hypocrisy of the pharmacies in selling this product.
Pharmacists watch patients like a hawk when it comes to controlled drugs, ready to pounce if they see anything out of the ordinary that would suggest the patient is an addict. Yet they clearly have no regard for those who are addicted to cigarettes — a known killer. This isn’t just confined to the local pharmacists but the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. If a drug came out that caused horrible cancers, heart disease and the like in a week, it would be pulled from the market by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. Yet because cigarettes cause those same problems in years, not days, that makes it’s OK.? It’s still addictive and it still badly sickens and/or kills a person eventually. How can a pharmacy possibly justify selling a product proven to sicken and/or kill a person?
It’s obvious that people can buy cigarettes anywhere but again, it is extremely hypocritical of pharmacies to sell them. What is the hope that when these people eventually get adverse health effects including cancer (as most will) that these same people will then turn to the pharmacies for drugs to try and get healed? Is it therefore some kind of long-term investment plan on their part? Or is it that pharmacies are just greedy for the huge amounts of money cigarette sales bring in, with no thought at all to the health of the purchaser? No matter what their reason for selling them, do they not see the irony in hassling people about one potentially addictive substance while completely turning a blind eye to another? I would like to know how they think and where is the ethics in selling a product known to kill just because it’s a moneymaker.
I’d like to know if the pharmacy inspectors have a view on this hypocrisy and if they give a hoot, or are they too busy monitoring people who take ‘controlled’ drugs for a legitimate reason, ie because they are in severe or chronic pain. Finally, I think TPTB need to look into this. Pharmacies are places that should be promoting health and should be banned from selling a product proven to severely harm one’s health and well-being. A law should be passed banning pharmacies from selling all tobacco products immediately.
They need to make up their minds about whether they care about peoples’ health or not-they can’t pick and choose what should be regulated and monitored and what isn’t. Cigarettes kill and therefore should not be sold in pharmacies, or if they are, are the pharmacies prepared to have people sign a log so they can see how much of this highly addictive substance a person is using? Do they see my point here? I will await a reply from the local pharmacies on this extremely hypocritical reasoning of theirs, and I will push for a ban on cigarette sales in pharmacies and encourage others to join me.
TALK ABOUT THE IRONY