Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Bestow A Roadmap For APhA to Follow

To: Thomas E. Menighan. CEO, American Pharmacists Association.

RE: Your ongoing public relations disaster.


Good Lord. I had no idea you would be so stupid about this.

I admit, when I first read the APhA Foundation's press release announcing the "Bowl of Hygeia" award given to Lloyd Duplantis, I thought it would be fun to sit back and chuckle as you scrambled around to do the right thing. But I never thought you would not know what the right thing was. Seriously, this is 2015, and a man who says the birth control pill leads to an increase in "effeminate men" and homosexuality now has a trophy with your name on it on his mantle.

And you're OK with that? Seriously? I haven't even mentioned his bizzaro theory about how gay Haitians contracted the AIDS virus in Africa and brought it to North America.

This is actually getting painful to watch. Have you noticed it's not just me giving you a hard time anymore? You are getting pummeled in the court of public opinion, and rightfully so.

But I'm here to help. I'm not quite sure why it's up to me to get you out of this mess of your own creation, but no one else seems to be lifting a finger. Thing is, putting all this in your rear view mirror really wouldn't be that hard. Here's your complimentary session with the Drugmonkey consulting service:

1) Make a statement. Now. Making it crystal clear that the views of Lloyd Duplantis do not in any way reflect the values of APhA. That your organization is for equality for all, and stands against all forms of discrimination and ignorant hatred.

2) Put in your legalese about not being responsible for making the decision to give him that award. BUT...follow this with an announcement of a change in your policy that will ensure this will never happen again. What those changes are I'll leave up to you. I can't solve all your problems after all.

3) Make a large donation to an organization that works for the advancement of the LGBT community. And I mean large. More money than you gave the Louisiana Pharmacists Association to award a bigot.

There you go buddy, PR disaster dealt with. I solved your damn situation with about five minutes of thought while I was waiting for my wife to finish brushing her teeth. Now why the hell couldn't you, with your access to the best PR professionals in the country right there in your DC neighborhood, come up with something other than cowering in silence?

Unless...the values of Lloyd Duplantis really do in some way align with those of APhA. I guess that would explain it.

Until you open your mouth Tom, the world will never really know.

Do. Something.


Sign a petition calling  on APhA to do something about their boneheaded move here. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Words APhA Has Honored. YouTube Edition.

You know, I'm just gonna step aside here, put away all the snark, and let this dramatic reading from the book The American Pharmacists Association chose to plug from the author they chose to honor speak for itself. This guy isn't Lloyd, but he's preaching right out of Lloyd's work.

Before you hit play, remember:

The American Pharmacists Association's Foundation gave this author an award. 

Since this book has been brought to their attention they have done nothing and said nothing

Without further ado, lets roll the tape. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Let's Have Some Fun With Lloyd Duplantis While We Wait For The Cat To Untie APhA's Tongue.

Here's where we stand on APhA "awardgate" as of this afternoon:

1) The APhA Foundation gives an award to our old friend Lloyd Duplantis, who, it turns out, is about more than keeping birth control pills away from people he feels aren't smart enough to know the risks. Turns out he's a horrible homophobe as well. Go here to catch up on the details if you're just tuning in. 

2) APhA cites Lloyd's homophobic book in the press release announcing their award.

3) The fact that they are supporting bigotry is brought to APhA's attention, whereupon they do...

...absolutely nothing. Not one word from them so far.

Go here to add your name to a petition asking APhA to take back their bone-headed move. 

4) I take that back. They are doing something. They are taking down critical comments posted on the blog of their CEO, Thomas Menighan. Go here, quickly, before they erase the comment field again. 

So to sum up, APhA makes stupid move, refuses to own up to it, and is now trying to erase online evidence of what they've done.

But you can't erase this Thomas Menighan. So today we'll start a new series I'll call "Words APhA Has Honored." We'll take an actual, real excerpt from the book APhA plugged in their press release and put it up here for all the world to see, followed by a little debunking, commentary, or maybe just uproarious laughter

Ready? Here we go:

Here is one sentence from a pill insert- a powerful, real statement which alone should cause many pharmacists to shy away and opt out of filling prescriptions for such dangerous chemicals.  
"The use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased risks...of myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, stroke, hepatic neo-plasia, gall bladder disease, and hypertension." 

Wow. That is scary. But wait, there's more:

Serious cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and vascular events, including myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, ventricular arrhythmia, cerebrovascular hemorrhage, transient ischemic attack, hypertension, subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhages, and pulmonary hemorrhage have been reported post-marketing 

Holy crap I'm even more scared now. Except that second quote wasn't from Lloyd's book. I cut and pasted it from Viagra's "pill insert," more commonly known among real pharmacists as the prescribing information.

Because real pharmacists know you can find a a scary line in the "pill insert" of any drug on the market. I could write you up a description of aspirin that would scare your socks off.

APhA knows this too, but chose to honor this guy anyway.

There's plenty more where this came from Thomas Menighan. Enough material to literally keep this thread alive for years. And it'll keep coming, one by one, post after post in a place where you can't erase it, until your organization owns up to what it's done.

It's up to you how long this goes on.

A Quickie From The Morning's News.

We'll have more on APhA, Lloyd Duplantis, and "awardgate" later on, but Sunday mornings always start with the Sunday newspaper around the Drugmonkey household, which today contained this line:

"The county is budgeting about $14 million more for 2015-16 than this year's $45.3 budget. The mental health funds are from a California state tax on millionaires that voters approved in 2004."  

You have no idea how happy that makes me.

Today is a good day.

Carry on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So Here's An Idea About This Whole APhA Awardgate Thing

Tell me what you think.

First, we get a bunch of the books where American Pharmacist's Association Foundation award winner Lloyd Duplantis espouses his theories that birth control pills lead to more gay men, which led to the whole Horny Haitian Homos bringing AIDS to North America thing.

If you're just tuning in, I'm not joking. Click here to get the scoop, or just keep reading the next few posts here.

Then, we get the book's covers stamped with something like "By APhA Foundation award winning author Lloyd Duplantis." Like how Oprah stamps her book club picks.

Then we show up at the APhA convention and give 'em away for free, and let Lloyd's own words do the talking.

The only downers; this would involve Lloyd getting royalties, and I'd have to go to the APhA convention. I'm not sure which is worse.

I'm open to other suggestions.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

My Grown Up Letter To APhA

It's odd sometimes, the duality of the Drugmonkey/real life thing. You think Steven Colbert ever got confused as to which Steven he was? Probably not, but others sure as hell do over this type of thing. Rite Aid couldn't figure it out, and I will be forever grateful to them for it.

Anyway, this APhA/Lloyd Duplantis situation calls for more than the snarky Drugmonkey treatment. It's a serious problem that they seriously are gonna have to deal with. So this is the serious, grownup, not in character letter that I sent to CEO Thomas E. Menighan and the PR person who wrote the press release announcing the award.

Serious and grownup, posted at the home of the snarky Drugmonkey. You figure it out.


Mr. Menighan,

I am writing to you to express my utter dismay at the selection by the Louisiana Pharmacists Association of Lloyd Duplantis as that state's recipient of the APhA Foundation's "Bowl of Hygeia" award. While Mr. Duplantis has gained some notoriety as a member of a movement by pharmacists to refuse to dispense oral contraceptives to women, there is another, far more disturbing aspect to his work that I can only hope you are not aware of.

In 2010, Mr. Duplantis self-published a book entitled "The Pill, America's Sacred Cow" in which he outlines his opposition to hormonal birth control. While a complete debunking of the inaccuracies, use of pseudo-science to mask religious dogma, and flat out wrong statements presented as fact in this book is beyond the scope of this letter, there is a particular part of this work, which now has the tacit endorsement of APhA, that you need to hear. I start with the following quote:

"It is proposed by several researchers that the constant bathing of the female ovaries with exogenous female sex hormones affects the complex chromosome balance of the ovum while still in the ovary. This is hypothesized as a factor in the increased occurrence of effeminate men in the American population with the subsequent practice of homosexuality resulting in the rampant spread of HIV and AIDS infections."

Lest you think that was a quick statement of a fleeting thought. Later in the book there is an entire chapter espousing the bizarre theory that:

1) High dose estrogen contraceptives produce "effeminate men,"  which leads to an increase of the number of homosexuals in a given population.

2) These pills were tested in Haiti in the 1950s, leading to an above average number of gay men by the 1970s

3) A large group of Haitians traveled to the African nation of Zaire in the 70s, where errant vaccine experiments had led to the creation of the AIDS virus.

4) These Haitians then contracted the virus, brought the disease back to Haiti, and from there it spread throughout North America.

I can assure you Mr. Menighan, that is only the most egregious thing to be found in that book. There is plenty more where that came from. And now, through the APhA Foundation, these ideas have the implicit support of your organization. It would be one thing if you could claim lackluster vetting led to your foundation being unaware of this toxic work, but it is listed front and center on the press release announcing the award!!

Let me be clear. APhA has praised the notion that homosexuality is a medical disorder and lent credence to an incredulous "theory" about the start of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. You have no idea how much I wish I could go back to simply calling your organization ineffective.

I understand that you personally were most likely not involved in the decision to bestow this award on Mr. Duplantis, but that award has the name of the American Pharmacists Association on it, and as its Chief Executive Officer you are responsible and are to be held accountable for everything the organization does. It is up to you to limit the damage that has been done, and only a revocation of the honor given out in your name and complete repudiation of the repugnant ideas of Mr. Duplantis can begin to remedy this situation.

I look forward to hearing how you plan to act in this matter.

I will follow up this email with a certified letter to ensure you receive this important communication.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Lloyd Duplantis Of Gray, Louisiana Is Far Worse Than I Thought. That's Not The Problem Though. If APhA Is Capable Of Shame They Need To Bring It Out Right Now.

Fans of the blog know all about Lloyd Duplantis. For those of you that don't I'll tell you the condensed version. He was front and center in the movement a few years back of pharmacists that refused to dispense birth control prescriptions. What made Lloyd a little different though, was that it wasn't enough for him to say you couldn't have your Ortho-Novum because it went against his moral beliefs. He essentially ignored that part of his argument one night on national radio, saying he didn't dispense them "in the name of science," calling what's in your birth control pack "the most dangerous chemicals on the market."  He spewed forth bullshit and his bullshit got called here. That's old news.

There's more to Lloyd than we knew though. And thanks to the American Pharmacists Association, we all get to find out.

It seems that our friends at APhA, who seem to do nothing other than give out awards, build new headquarters, and shake hands while taking pictures,  saw fit to give out one of their awards to Lloyd. Specifically, a "Bowl of Hygeia," which is some sort of thing given out by each state association in the name of the APhA Foundation. I was gonna write me a little letter to that Foundation to ask them things like how honoring Lloyd fit in with one of their self-proclaimed values. I quote:

 "Respect for the patient’s role in managing their health is central to care."

Except when some slut wants to have a little control over her woman parts evidently, but I'm getting off track. I thought I could write a better letter if I had a copy of the book Lloyd wrote a few years back. Unfortunately I had to buy the damn thing. It isn't popular enough to be anywhere where you can borrow or steal it. Unlike mine, which can be acquired in all ways legal and otherwise.

Lloyd abandons all pretense of not basing his opposition to sexy pills on moral grounds in this page turner, but what immediately struck me was how he tried to have it both ways on the science stuff. Here's a quote from the introduction:

I have placed my own emotions and my own hypotheses here and those are based upon empirical and anecdotal observations. Since modern science and the politically correct establishment does not accept or rather has a general disdain for that type of science, I chose to call this compilation of my musings and articles that I have found interesting regarding "the Pill," a story rather than a scientific work. 

Got that? That fancy liberal science doesn't accept things like what some guy saw or thoughts he pulled out his rear end to be good enough, so this here type of science is called a story. A story about the type of science that isn't good enough for those eggheads. And a story that uses a lot of words like "empirical" and "clinical" and "hypotheses" to remind you it's just a story.

Just for kicks, let's take a look at a few of the places Lloyd's type of science leads to. These are just warm ups. The main one is coming:

-All contraceptive products have much more potential for harm rather than the possibility of benefit. 

Eh, no surprise there. We kinda figured he'd be saying stuff like this.

-In his practice, Lloyd says "every side effect listed on the package insert presented itself" 

That, my friends, is bullshit. No pharmacist has ever seen every side effect listed for any drug on the market, and every pharmacist reading this knows that as fact.

-"Oral contraceptives are steroid based chemicals and therefore create an immune-compromising situation which makes individuals more susceptible to infections of all kinds." 

Proof please. Oh I forgot. Wrong type of science.

-"I am very pleased to be able to share...some of the information I have garnered through my own personal research, clinical experience, and assessment of material done by others"

But remember, in no way am I trying to call this science.

-"The blood of women taking oral contraceptives often takes on a green color." 


-"Any pharmacist practicing for any length of time has been approached and asked whether he has any outdated birth control pills for use on plants." 

OK this is just weird now. I've been at it 23 years and no one has ever asked me for birth control tablets for plants. So if you're interested in the world of reality you're gonna have to at least say "Every pharmacist except one..."

I could go on all night my friends, hell I could go on for a week. You wouldn't believe the amount of material in here. But that's not my point. Here's what I want you to take away from this book. I also want you to remember APhA gave this man an award

"It is proposed by several researchers that the constant bathing of the female ovaries with exogenous female sex hormones affects the complex chromosome balance of the ovum while still in the ovary. This is hypothesized as a factor in the increased occurrence of effeminate men in the American population with the subsequent practice of homosexuality resulting in the rampant spread of HIV and AIDS infections." 

Whoa. So, this guy is saying being gay is like some sort of birth defect. And APhA honored that.

"Well, APhA is incompetent remember" some of you are saying. "They probably had no idea about this book when they dished out that award."

Except it's listed front and center on their press release announcement. 

We're not done yet though. Hang with me and you'll find out how AIDS came to the United States. It's all covered in one of the last chapters, but you're gonna have to stick around for a bit. This is probably the most complex theory Lloyd comes up with. It goes like this.

1) The initial version of the birth control pill contained much more estrogen than the ones that eventually made it to market, which had much more estrogen than the ones on pharmacy shelves today. 

OK. That much is true.

2) The initial, experimental, versions of high-estrogen oral contraceptives were tested in the slums of Haiti, because there was a large, accessible population that was poor and wouldn't cause much trouble if things went wrong. 

Don't know about that, but certainly not implausible.

3) Remember, there's totally a link between high estrogen birth control and more "effeminate" men. And homos. 

That's what you said earlier. Yes I remember.

4) These experiments were done in the 50s, which means by the 70s there were more....


...than would be in the normal population. 

OK, I'm gonna quit commenting here and just let this thing play out to the end.

5) There were several vaccines being tested in the Belgian Congo in the 50s and 60s which "are offered as a catalyst for the beginning of HIV" 
6) In the 70s, which would be when the homos created in Haiti would be at peak horniness, a "unique population transfer" occurred as 47,000 Haitians were brought to Zaire to work on "health and welfare activities"  
7) Remember, there were more homos in this population than there would be normally.  
8) And they would do homo things. Because they would be at peak horniness.  
9) And so they would catch the AIDS, and bring it back to Haiti.  
10)  Then it spread throughout North America. 

OF COURSE!!!!!!!! IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE!!!!!!!!!! Big Pharma experimented on the poor people of Haiti, creating a pool of homos, who then grew up and got horny and went to Africa, where there was some sort of mad scientist or something who accidentally created the AIDS virus, and the horny Haitian homos picked up the virus and took it back to Haiti and then into our own country!!

THERE SIMPLY IS NO OTHER WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK lets all laugh at that for awhile, and then remember something.

APhA gave that man an award.

And they knew about this book. It's featured in the press release announcing the award's presentation.

Which means whether they meant to or not, the American Pharmacists Association just gave a tacit endorsement to the theory that horny Haitian homos caused AIDS.

This goes way beyond birth control now.

This goes way beyond calling APhA ineffective.

They have some explaining to do.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

An Unhappy Customer.

Brevity seems to be the soul of wit these days in the mailbag my friends, as this message came in today. Again, complete and unedited:

"If I wanted politics I would go to another and better written blog. Stick to pharmmacy (sic) workplace issues."

Your plight tugs at my heartstrings sir. I can only imagine how terrible your online experiences have been of late. And while I, of course, am more that willing to take my share of responsibility for your discomfort, your real problem may be with whoever is putting a fucking gun to your head and forcing you to read this blog.

I certainly sympathize. It must be some unique version of hell to sit there, cold steel pressed against your temple, as you are forced to read every word I write and never to be able to just skip to the posts that interest you. How it must rip your soul to know that others can simply click on one of the category links on the right, for example, the one that says "An Insider's View Of The Profession" when they want to see only pharmacy related posts while you sit there reading left-wing viewpoints constantly in fear for your life.

Does he quiz you? This man who sits there with cocked handgun making you read my words? Is that how he knows you haven't skipped anything? If so maybe we can work out some sort of arrangement where I can provide you with a cheat sheet. Let me know how I can help. Because while I appreciate the traffic, making someone read my blog at gunpoint is wrong. You can tell that man I said that. If you're not afraid he'll shoot you.

Moving on, you may have a secondary issue with whatever internet service provider is blocking you from accessing the other, better written blogs. I've heard of this thing happening in China, but perhaps the NSA is closer to having its electronic tentacles wrapped around our collective necks than I realized.

Or maybe you could just try Comcast.

I'd probably deal with the gun at your head first though.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

From The Mailbag, A Reader Concerned With The State Of My Relations To Federal Affairs.

The message, in its entirety:

So....How's Obama working out for you?! LOL

Glad you asked my friend, as I haven't had much of a chance here to tell folks  how many more prescriptions I'm filling these days from the Obamacare. Funny thing how people tend to give me more business once they're finally able to afford to see a doctor, and a little ironic how the reason I haven't had the time to tell you about all the extra prescriptions I've been filling is because of...all the extra prescriptions I've been filling.

That's the main effect I see as to how the Obama's working out for me. I'd call it a win win for me and my customers.

Of course there's more to a presidency than money for me, so I suppose we should take a minute and ponder some of the other workings out of the Obama administration:

-A quantum leap forward in rights for gays and lesbians.

- A solution to a vexing problem in the Middle East that doesn't involve a bunch of dead people.

-Long overdue recognition that pretending that the government of Cuba doesn't exist is kinda stupid.

-Acknowledgement, at the top federal level, of the idiotic gun culture so unique to us.

-Net neutrality is now federal policy.

-AT&T and T-Mobile were stopped from combining to make your cell phone service even worse than it is now.

-Comcast and Time Warner were stopped from combining to make your cable/internet service even worse than it is now.

-No more federal cheer leading for the likes of Lloyd Duplantis and his ilk. Pharmacists, you'll remember, who got their 15 minutes of fame during the Bush administration for denying women birth control prescriptions.

We'll classify those under "things you definitely wouldn't have got under a President McCain or Romney."

By the way, there have been developments on the Lloyd Duplantis front. Stay tuned.

Back to the Obama workings out though:

-A president who addresses the out of control criminal justice system we've created, and the personal, spiritual, and financial toll it takes on every American.

-An economy that didn't collapse after it was left on the brink by George The Lesser.

Those will go under "things you probably wouldn't have got under those other two guys."

It hasn't all been roses and sunshine though, to wit:

-George The Lesser's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are still limping along, although another way of looking at it would be two fewer wars have been started than during the previous administration.

-Guantanamo's still there.

-Zero action, at the federal level, regarding the idiotic gun culture so unique to us.

-A monstrosity of a trade deal is working it's way into law. If you haven't read about the Trans Pacific Partnership you should.

Those will go under "things that probably would have happened under a Republican administration."

All in all I'd give Obama a "B," mostly for the increased foot traffic going through my business these days. If I were rotting away in Guantanamo or humping around in Afghanistan, I'd be inclined to grade him a little lower.

Not quite sure why you care about my views so much my anonymous friend, but there you go.