Ruling Will Ease Distribution of Prescription Drugs by Doctors

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 12:00 am  

Dr. Dana Carol Abraham of Little Rock specializes in breast oncology surgery. (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

As part of the lawsuit, Perroni sifted through nearly 30 years of requests from doctors to obtain the permit. He found that most of the time the requests were denied “for what we believe was arbitrary reasons designed to protect the pharmacies’ financial interests,” he said.

Riley, of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, said the legislation wasn’t created to protect the financial interests of the pharmacists.

He said that while it’s the doctor’s job to diagnose and identify treatments, pharmacists are the ones who are trained in how best to use the drugs.

“We pride ourselves on being the last line of defense in giving the patient the opportunity of having all their medical history housed in one place with the person who is most qualified to know drug interactions and how you’re supposed to use it,” Riley said.

He said the reason doctors want to sell prescription drugs was to make extra money. Perroni said Abraham testified twice that “she hadn’t done any study whatsoever about how much money she could make off” selling prescription medications from her office. “Her sole reason for wanting to do it was the convenience of her patients.”

Perroni said a number of Abraham’s patients were on Medicaid and had to find transportation to her office. Patients then would have to find a ride to a pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.

“The patient ought to have the right to choose” where to get the medication, Perroni said. “There’s no law that says the patient has to get it from the doctor, but you ought to be able to choose.”

 

 

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