April 13, 2010

Moral Pharmacy

Sometimes we get all excited about a job or idea and run with it before really considering the options. When my sister was quite young she wanted to be an architect. She drew beautifully and had an uncommon appreciation for buildings at the age of 7. She's since given up that idea, but in her young mind she figured it would just be days of drawing buildings and putting her name on them. Seems like some pharmacists romanticize their professions while forgetting about the controversial aspects of the job.

Not that it stops them.

Stories of moral pharmacists crop up all over the place. One won't sell a woman Plan B, another won't refer her to a place that will, and now we have a whole pharmacy devoted to Christian morals. It's called Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy. Or at least it was, before it went out of business. Turns out there aren't enough good Christians in Virginia. Or just not enough good Christians who don't use make-up, birth control or cigarettes. Or porn.

When I was little and learning about the dangers of cigarettes I vowed that if I ever ran a store I wouldn't sell them. It horrified me that people paid for packs knowing all the awful things that would happen to your lungs. But then I got a job at a pharmacy... and I sold cigarettes for $5 a pack. I also sold pregnancy tests, condoms, alcohol, loads of make-up, and scandalous magazines. I still hate cigarettes but that's not going to stop me from telling someone else to not smoke, and it certainly won't stop me from doing my job and selling a pack or two or three to a paying customer. I knew when I accepted the position of cashier that I would be ringing up all sorts of items, and it wasn't my place to judge or refuse. The only restrictions I had were to not sell alcohol to minors or drunk adults and to report any child porn coming through the photo lab. Pharmacists should realize that it's not their job to judge or refuse, and pharmacists that refuse to do their jobs and fill prescriptions should be reprimanded.

At least the Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy was honest about it's offerings. But it was right across the street from a full pharmacy and around the corner from a KMart, and people decided to make one trip to one store, rather than one trip to Divine Mercy for anti-depressants and one trip to KMart for lipstick. Because it just makes sense.

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