If Pharmacists Chose Medicine Like They Choose a Toy

December 16, 2014

As we approach the holiday season, let's stop for a moment to compare the lengths we go through to shop for the right toys for our children to the lengths we go through to shop for the right medicines for our patients.

As we approach the holiday season, let's stop for a moment to compare the lengths we go through to shop for the right toys for our children to the lengths we go through to shop for the right medicines for our patients.

If we chose a medicine like we choose a toy:

  • We would compare the medicine to other medicines in the class to see how well it worked for others. We would then mix our findings with the best reviews available from a variety of sources.
  • We would examine the safety data to ensure the medicine is safe for our patient: what commonly happens, any serious adverse events, and the percentage that discontinue altogether.
  • We would obsess over the cost. We would consider how a drug compares to other medicines in its class, as well as its value compared with not buying it at all.

We would also find ways to get great deals. For example, we would search for promotions, coupons, or non-name-brand products, and if we found them, we would use them.

We would do this for every medicine for every patient.

So, why don't we?