In response to Yolonda Barnes (April 4 Guest Opinion) for biologic medications, do you understand the role pharmacists provide in medication optimization or how a prescription works? First of all, a prescription already has a place for physicians to mark (Dispense As Written) and by law, pharmacists are not allowed to change the medication prescribed. If the physician chooses not to mark that on the prescription, pharmacists have an obligation to give you a choice. Drugs that are substitutable, by law, have to show that they are as effective as the drug that was prescribed. Pharmacists, by law, are then allowed to offer you that medication without a phone call. There are medications that have what is called a narrow therapeutic window, and if the physician does not mark the box, pharmacists do call the physician to see if substituting the medication is OK, like with seizure medications. Second, you have the right to refuse any generic or biosimilar offered. Your insurance will dictate what price you pay for it, and that has nothing to do with the pharmacist. If the pharmacist has to make a medication change within a drug class due to your insurance, by law, they have to notify the physician.
Todd Montrose, Meridian