Nobody can possibly care about your health as much as you. The sooner you realize it, the faster you can do something about it.
Running to the doctor, and the pharmacy afterward, has become the norm for most health issues. If approached with common sense, however, many could be handled from home. Health isn't a right unless you fight for it. I'm the Un-Druggist, a pharmacist disgusted with what commonly passes for health care today in the U.S. The truth about healthy living often conflicts with those common medical beliefs.
Truth is our only chance.
I am a licensed pharmacist. I value the potential benefit that medication holds for good health. I also know the potential danger these same medications present. As a result, for many years I have considered myself to be in “recovery” as a pharmacist.
No, I have never had a problem with abuse. I am recovering pharmacist in the sense that I am recovering from the mindset that proclaims that “if a little medicine is good for you, a lot must be better.” I’m a recovering pharmacist because I have long become alarmed by the potential risks posed by the very medications supposedly designed to heal us. I am a recovering pharmacist because I think we can do a better job of taking care of ourselves.
Once I became convinced that the risk was real, I could not in good conscious continue business as usual, to work in a “common” pharmacy – which is, in truth, nothing more than an outlet in the chain of pharmaceutical dispensing. I have maintained my pharmacy license but I cannot participate in a process that I know in my heart to be excessive, wrong-headed and dangerous.
We – physicians, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies, patients – have lost our way. We have focused on the medicine rather than the patient. Our focus is medicine-centered rather than patient/healing-centered. It is past time to shift that focus from medicine and marketing back to the patient and healing.
Health care is a science and an art. One can disagree and engage in the important discussion about the balance between the two but we should all be able to agree on one thing – when medicine and the delivery of pharmaceuticals becomes primarily a business, patients and healing suffer. I object to the modern system of excess drug use, the one where pharmacists can make a living only by selling more drugs.
When I started in this business, the most common title for us was “Druggist”, the professional outside the doctor’s office who helped his customers achieve the health they wanted, and did so in a gentle, natural manner that supported and respected the true art of medicine. The doctor and the druggist were a team. Most of that has been abandoned in favor of a quick diagnosis and an even quicker prescription for the latest drug. The old title symbolized something special. Let’s make the effort to rekindle trust in the true benefits of medicines. Until that time, I remain Larry Frieders, The Un-Druggist.
It’s time to get back to the art of relieving suffering.
It’s time to get back to the science of healing.
"Too Many People Take Too Many Drugs". That's my motto based on over 3 decades of experience and study in pharmacy, ethics and philosophy. I sometimes refer to myself as a "recovering pharmacist", not meaning a problem with abuse. But over the years my awareness of the potential risks from drugs has increased to the point where I could never work again in a "traditional" drugstore. I retain my license to practice, but I can never bring myself to participate in a process that I know in my heart is excessive, wrong-headed, and extremely dangerous. My pharmacy is the driving force in curbing the overuse and over-prescribing of cholesterol lowering drugs in the United States. I live in Aurora, Illinois and enjoy shotgun sports, fine cigars, reading, and watching my grandchildren grow.