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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Marion BS: Tobacco Sales Banned in San Francisco (80* d) RE: BS: Tobacco Sales Banned in San Francisco 31 Jul 08

Hi again John. It seems that the topic I raised about generic drugs wasn't clear. I'm not talking about whether or not pharmacists are free to substitute another drug that isn't on the prescription. I'm saying that pharmacists aren't free to pick and choose which drugs they're going to handle.

You said, "I guess if they're really greedy they can decide not to handle generics...." but I don't think that's the case. My understanding is that they have to be willing to handle every drug that can be legally prescribed as a condition of being licenced as a pharmacy. (They may not keep every possible drug on hand, but they should be able to get it for you if you have the prescription).

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that retailers can make more money selling Birkenstocks than Crocs, and pharmacies can make more money selling blood pressure meds than antibiotics meds. The shoe store owner can decide to stock Birkenstocks but not Crocs, but the pharmacy owner cannot decide to stock the BP meds but not the antibiotics. Pharmacies might not be magic, but they do have a greater responsibility to the public than the average store, and they are subject to more regulations than the average store.

I do have a problem with the concept of free trade if it's taken as an absolute and not balanced with the common good. After all, the law saying you can't sell cigarettes to minors is a limit on free trade, but I think most people agree that that law is reasonable.


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