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The Legal Drug Dealer Podcast

Getting Pharmacy as a profession Closer to The Patient

January 7, 2020 ~ By Marilena

Doctors in Pharmacy... Yup, we are doctors too!

Marilena Grittani, RPh

Episodes Intro and remarks

  • Pharmacist are in the doctorate level, the same way that physicians, dentists, and veterinarians are…
  • At least six years of education that pharmacists need to go through to become a licensed pharmacist
  • 17 pharmaceutics classes. Pharmaceutic classes are those that are talking specifically about medications. Here we learn about all kinds and all sides effects of pharmaceuticals. And then you have to go through at least three biology’s and then 12 therapeutic classes. (one semester per class)
  • Physicians get just one of it… one semester of each. Did you hear that? They have physicians go through one semester of pharmacology and one semester of medication knowledge throughout their doctorate school.
  • When you tell the pharmacist, but my doctor didn’t tell me anything about it, is because they don’t know, that’s not what they do
  • NAPLEX it is a national test that every single pharmacist that is licensed in the US have to take to prove to the Board of Pharmacy that we are qualified to practice
  • The four years of pharmacy school average, whether it is a private or public school, a standard is $160,000.
  • We (pharmacists) have to register and document every single drug, and every single pill that is prescribed by a doctor and is dispensed by a pharmacy to a patient, how many days of medication, the patient is supposed to have, when was received when was picked up, and how many more days that should last and also when the patient is approved to receive more. This is the law. 

"Pharmacist are at the doctorate level, the same way that physicians, dentists and veterinarians are"

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Episode Transcripts

Marilena Grittani, RPh  0:05 

Marilena Grittani here. Welcome to another episode of the legal drug dealer podcast. Today’s episode is episode number two. And it’s a very interesting episode in my standpoint, because we’re going to be talking about pharmacy as a profession in general. We’re going to know about the profession itself, but also the schooling, the time that it takes to become a pharmacist how much we studied to become pharmacist. And also I want to touch base with the law, what laws are related to pharmacy and how important they are. So let’s just start jump right in.

0:43 

The question that I have for you is how many of you really know what a pharmacist have to go through to become a pharmacist to be a licensed pharmacist? I bet most of you don’t know. Well. That’s part of my intention with this podcast, which is educate and Let you know exactly what we have done and we do for you every day. And those details that are important for you to keep in mind whenever circumstances or situations present and then you would know who to talk to specifically when talking about drugs.

1:14 

So pharmacist are in the doctorate level, the same way that physicians, dentists and veterinarians are we do go through four years of pharmacy school, but Previous to that we had to do pre-pharmacy in college. And it goes between two to four years depending on the prerequisites of that school and what they have done for the student have done in high school to get some prerequisites approved before they graduate. So as I said, is that least six years of education that pharmacists need to go through to become a licensed pharmacist. So just to give you an idea of how in depth and how specific we study stuff to learn about drugs to help you.

2:04 

I’m going to tell you a general information about just to give you an idea of how deep we go to learn about drugs. So what we do in college before we joined pharmacy schools, we have to at least go through five chemistry, three biology’s and one physiology which studies how the human body works. Normally when it’s healthy, and everything is perfect. Among a ton of other subjects that they have to go through. But I’m talking about specifically about drugs and medications and how they work in the human body. When you go through pharmacy school or what is called the farm D program, which is as I said, For years, you have seven pharmaceutics classes. Pharmaceutic classes are those that are talking about specifically medications you learn about all kinds and all sides of pharmaceuticals. And then you have to go through at least three biology’s and then 12 therapeutic classes. Each class is one semester, you have to take one of this class for a whole semester to get this credits approved.

3:14 

When I talk about therapeutics, those are the way that drug work in the human body when it’s not that healthy, to help it heal, to help improve, and to get the best quality of life that the patient can with medications. We’re talking about 12, 12 semesters of therapeutics and seven pharmaceutical classes, just to give you an idea of how much prepared in relations with chemistry, medications, therapeutics, and how drugs work in general in the human body.

3:52 

I want to tell you how many pharmacology which is the science of study how drugs work, and medications, which is specifically drugs that are available commercially, physicians have to go through to get their licenses as physicians. Well, they just get one of it one semester of each. Did you hear that? They have physicians go through one semester of pharmacology, and one semester of medication knowledge throughout their doctorate school. This is not their area of expertise. They do way other stuff. They don’t specify they don’t study drugs, because this is not their area of expertise. That’s the pharmacist area of expertise. When you tell the pharmacist but my doctor didn’t tell me anything about it, is because they just don’t know, that’s not what they do. The same way that we don’t know what they do in general. We have an idea but we are not physicians. So we didn’t study all the stuff that they did. And when I’m comparing this I’m talking about I’m comparing that USC University of Southern California program for PharmD (pharmacist docotrate), the physician program at Harvard. So I’m not talking about little schools in a small town, we’re talking about the big schools. And I just wanted to make you understand how much more studies and years of studies we have specifically with chemicals, drugs and pharmacology and therapeutics as well, which is how the drugs work to get you better in the human body, in comparison with doctors. So if you ever had any doubts that pharmacists are the expert, this should clarify that

5:35

Well, let me just tell you, what’s the process of becoming a pharmacist. Once a pharmacist goes through all these studies, and I’m talking about not only the few subjects that I mentioned, they have to go through rotations, they have to go to hospitals and pharmacies and practice there and train on their other practicing pharmacist to learn the trade. Once they finish that, they have to complete, you know, a specific number of credits to be available to get licensed. We have an association and national organizations that that is called the NABP, or the National Board of Pharmacy that is an entity that regulates are all related to pharmacy in the whole country. This is the organization that allows that we submit all our information or credits from schools that we pass, we did all the studies and we approve all the classes. And then they said, okay, you’re ready to sit for the National Board of Pharmacy test, which is called NAPLEX. NAPLEX is the North American pharmacist Licensure Examination, it is a national test that every single pharmacist that is licensed in the US have to take in order to prove to the Board of Pharmacy the NABP that we are qualified to practice. It’s not that we just took classes and we cheated all the way through and then we’re good. No, ma’am. No, sir. We have to take a test to prove it. That test is long is about 150 questions its last about six hours and includes anything and everything that we study through pharmacy school. It is a very, very tough test. But it’s something that we take to prove that we are qualified to practice and we’re worth to have your health in our hands. Once you pass the NABP tests or NAPLEX, then you decide which state you’re going to believe in or practicing rather, and then that state have their own laws.

7:29 

Because the country is composed by different states. Every states have certain independency and specific laws, and they change the vert vary between one state to the other. So every state has sets of laws that you must know as a pharmacist because you are liable practicing pharmacy and you must obey those laws. So before you start practicing, you have to go to that state and tell the Board of Pharmacy of that specific state that you want to practice. There, and then they ask you Okay, did you complete all the requirements in pharmacy school and you say here, here’s my documents, everything is here pass. And then they said, Did you register with the nav bill? The National Board of Pharmacy Association? Yes, I did. Here’s my paperwork. And then they said the to pass that Netflix, which is in North America pharmacy, listen to your examination. And you said, Yeah, I did. I got more to 75 I passed.

8:25 

I got 129, by the way, was a very good score. I’m very proud of it.

8:28

Anyways, once you submit all this information to them, they said, okay, you can go ahead and take the state law and prove that you know, the law, which you need to know to practice pharmacy in this state. Once you pass that test, after a week or so they send you home the letter that says that you pass and then you are licensed in that state to practice without those two licenses without those two tests and without the number that they assigned to you in that specific state, to practice, you cannot practice pharmacy, I am going to repeat that without the license in the state that you want to practice. After you pass the test and you submit all the documents that you need to become a pharmacist in that state is when you can practice pharmacy.

9:20 

How do I know that will because I have moved a lot within the US and I do have five state pharmacy licenses, which means that I can practice pharmacy in five different states. Yeah, have a lot and that is a lot of money. That is another thing that I wanted to talk to you about. But just in case you’re curious, my first license was in Nevada, then I got Texas, then I got Colorado. Then I got California and my last one the most recent one rather, is Arizona.

9:51 

So talking about pricing or costs or money. Let me just give you an idea of how much money we need to Spend or invest in this case to become a pharmacist, you have to go as I said an undergrad for two to four years depending of what you need to do based on the education and the requirements from your school. And an undergrad will go roughly around $40,000 that you normally ask for loans, student loans for that. Once you’re finished with the prerequisites in college or community college or a college, then you have to go to pharmacy school and apply for that. The four years of pharmacy school average, whether is a private or public school, an average is $160,000. I’m going to repeat that number $160,000.

10:44 

That’s a lot of money that you need to pay to complete your education. At this point. You have not worked one day you have not made any money yet. You have just been paying to become a pharmacist to study everything that you need to become a pharmacist. There are some schools that are up to $200,000 for the pharmacy school only, not pre pharmacy. are you adding up? If you think that Well, we’re going to do average about 180,000 plus the 36,000, that is pre pharmacy is about what 190, almost $200,000

11:20

Okay, then when you’re out of school, you have to pay interest on those loans, which is around 4%. So there you go to lot of money that we have to pay back. Anyways, going back to what we have to spend, the average application that we have to submit for the main national test is about $550, $550. And then if you apply to take that one in the state is $100, more that is paid to the National Association for pharmacies, but then you have to pay the State Board of Pharmacy also, do sit for the test and the average of those tests are around 160 to $300, up to $400 in some states, so that adds up to almost $1,000, just to sit for the tests and still you have not been able to work because again, without a license, it is against the law to practice pharmacy.

12:20 

Well, if you transfer from one state to another, you have to pay also for that. And it’s about $1,000 to get your license transfer plus you have to study for the test that is completely different in every state. So it is a lot that we need to be managing just to become a pharmacist. Not an experienced one. We’re talking about somebody that just graduated. So when you need to ask a question about a medication about a drug, who do you think you’re going to talk to the one that one semester about pharmacology on one semester about medications, or the one that spend at least six years studying to get ready to become the next expert in drugs for you, that is a no brainer question, I believe we are the drug experts. And we’re here for you. We went to school just for that to serve you with that.

13:09 

Another subject that is important that I clarify during this episode is control drugs. Control drugs are a bunch of medications that are known for causing dependency in those that consume them. Ones do cause more dependency than other ones are easy to get used to than others. We have a classification from control drugs, one to five control drugs ones are those that are so addictive, that the benefit that they might cause to the patient are not worth the risk. So they’re not even for sale. Nobody can buy them just like that. Then we have see two so controlled drugs type two, which are the ones that are the most addictive ones that our prescription drugs. So what those are the ones that you normally get triplicates and you need triplicate To buy them or what it used to be triplicate, or we need the prescription drug originals from the physician. And these are examples are oxycodone, hydrocodone or Norco, or the old vikan, morphine, hydromorphone, all the pain medications, and most likely the ADHD medication, all the attention deficit medications are controlled drugs, and they are the most addictive type. We’re talking about Adderall. We’re talking about drugs that people give to children because they need it. That is how risky they are. It doesn’t necessarily mean that because the doctor ordered their safe. They are drugs and they’re dangerous, you need to know about him. And again, nobody knows more about drugs than us, the pharmacist. So whenever you get a prescription drug that is controlled drug, when you see that prescription number, it starts with a C, which means that is a controlled drug. It has a bunch of different requirements that normal drugs don’t have. And you will know for a fact if it’s a controlled drug or not. If the number of the prescription and the bottle that you get from the pharmacy starts with the letter C.

15:12 

This are controlled by the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration. What do I mean by that? I mean that the Drug Enforcement Administration knows every single pill, milligram, bottle, vial that have been produced, who had them, who gave it to who, how many that person received. It is the law! it must be controlled by them. So the DEA not only have to deal with illegal drugs, the ones that come across the border, you know from the cartels or the drugs that are deal in the street. They also control prescription drugs that are as well addictive. So whenever we become a pharmacist, we have to register with the DEA. We have to send fingers Print to the Board of Pharmacy and they have to clear the DEA have to clear us that we have not relations with any illicit or illegal activities before they allow us to do this drugs. Did you hear that? The DEA gets our fingerprints to make sure we have no records so we can deal drugs. See, we’re drug dealers. I told you. I told you we’re legal though.

16:25 

So it is that basic! Is that controlled! Is that important!. We are not just dispensing drugs, willy nilly just because you need them or you want them is a lot of laws that are involved with this.

16:42 

One more thing that I wanted to talk about before I finish this episode is what is called PDMP or prescription drug monitoring programs. What this is, is that there is a database in a computer system that controls who prescribed What drug in which quantity, Which pharmacy gave it to who? How many the patient received? How long ago? How many days should it last? And when are they approved to receive it again?

17:13

Did you hear that? Are you paying attention? If you’re multitasking, come back to me and listen to this. The law has determined that we have a program that every single pharmacist have to register and every physician as well. And we have to register and document every single drug and every single pill that is prescribed by a doctor and is dispensed by a pharmacy to a patient, how many days of medication, the patient is supposed to have, when was received when was picked up, and how many more days that should last and also when the patient is approved to receive more. This is the law.

17:55 

This is what the government is trying to do to control and to help people not to trick the system, and to harm themselves even more. So whenever your pharmacy tells you, we cannot give you the drug yet, you need to wait two more days. That’s why, whenever you say I’m out, I need more, I took more than I needed. And now I need more because I’m out and I’m in too much pain. We can’t do that it’s already recorded. So the problem is not only that is just there for you. Because if you go to another pharmacy, they will register you, because it’s the law before they dispense them in that system. And the system is going to say all you are not going to give this person anything yet because they already had it and they have enough on to such and such date. The problem is that when you start jumping pharmacies, you raise the flag on yourself. And then the DEA there is the one that controls this program is going to tag you and then you’re going to get in trouble. So please, don’t do any of this. I’m not saying that you cannot use more than one pharmacy if you’re using it within the time that you need to.

19:04 

I’m not saying that there is legit people that absolutely needs these drugs. I am not saying that. Nobody understands that better than I do. I am a pharmacist. I’ve been a pharmacist for 26 plus years. I do understand they need to it needs them. I do understand that is necessary for a lot of patients. I’m not criticizing or judging anybody. I’m just letting you know what the law is, What is the reasons and why it’s so important that when you take control drug medication in your in your hands, you understand that you are being tagged by the DEA knowing that you got certain number of pills or doses and they know exactly how many days and how many doses it should last. So you need to be responsible for that bottle of pills or that those patches that you received or those even the ones that you put in your under your tongue to dissolve. Those Are all control drugs and that is absolutely your responsibility.

20:03 

So think about this, if somebody steals that from you, that’s a felony, that’s a controlled drug, this person can end up in jail. When somebody says that my roommate used my drugs and they took them. I don’t know what to do that is a felony, you should report that to the police. When you’re selling control drugs to other people illegally, because you are not licensed to deal drugs, the way the pharmacies are. And I already explained to you how long the process is and how complicated it is. But when you decide to do it on your own in the streets, that’s a felony. So, don’t share any of your control medications or any medications whatsoever.

20:40

Don’t listen to other people of what they have taken and what have worked for them. Don’t do what others say that you should do unless that other person is an expert. And I would suggest that you only take those kind of advices from either physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners or pharmacist. We are The ones that know about this, not your neighbor, not your friends that has a neighbor that is married to a guy that once. dated a doctor and she said… No! And you please, please somebody in you avoid telling people what to do when they told you that they have something, for example, hey, I have pain in my shoulder, and then you go ahead and say, Hey, you know what happened to me? My doctor told me to take this and I took it and it ended up being cancer. You know how that person feels every time that you say something like that? Don’t say it. You don’t need to say that. You could say hey, go see the doctor. They need to find out what’s going on. Don’t scare them. And the most important part of this conversation that we’re having today, don’t tell people to take medications that you took because they work for you here different people. You don’t need the same things. And most importantly, you are not allowed by the law to prescribe any drugs. So that is illegal. Just think about this. Understand what I’m saying. Trying to say.

22:01

Get closer to us, your legal drug dealers or your pharmacist, that we are here to take care of you to support you and to help you through any needs and any questions and any doubts and any problems that you have or you may have related to drugs.

22:16 

So that’s it for the episode today. I know it was a little long and a little bit boring, but it’s a part of pharmacy that I think you all need to understand and learn, so you guys can understand us a little bit better.

22:28 

So thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe to the podcast. Give us a review. And if you have a question, please don’t forget to send it to me via email comments@thelegaldrugdealer.com and if you have a little time, go to the legal drug dealer. com website and look around see what we have to offer. The show notes are there. We also have information about our Instagram or Facebook private group where we talk and discuss about all this you can sign in for our mailing list and get the different document that I’m going to send you about non prescription drugs. And you also will get all information of future events that we’re going to be developing.

23:08 

One thing that I haven’t stated today is that the downloadable document that I prepared for you is about non prescription drugs is those drugs that you get over the counter. That’s how we call it over the counter or non prescriptions, that are for pain or fever for sleeping pills, vitamins or medications for little kids. So I have put together a very cute super informative PDF or document that it will be very easy for you to read to follow through.

23:40 

And if you can hear that’s my dog snoring. That’s always she’s very loud. Sorry about that.

23:46 

So the document has a lot of information that you can use now or you might need in the future. So I will absolutely recommend that you get it. So how do you get this you get it if you subscribe to our mailing list. The link is in the show notes, go there, click on the subscribe to the mailing list and you will automatically get that. And then every week when a new episode publishes, I’m going to send an email telling you that the episode is already live. And the document or the information that I’m going to send you every week will be included on that email. So you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. It’s all in your inbox that I will be sending to you every week.

24:27 

I hope that this information today was useful for you. And I know it wasn’t fun today, but I’m sorry, I needed to be very serious. So real drug dealer that I am. Sorry about that. So the next episode, we’re going to be talking about retail pharmacy what retail pharmacies are. Specifically we’ll be talking about chains, those big ones that are everywhere that are the same brand that are everywhere. And what is it to be a retail pharmacist, what is it the retail pharmacy chains do, And what is the difference between other type of pharmacy

25:04

I swear Zoey is so loud today.  She cannot go away from me. I’m sorry about that.

25:09 

So anyways, I hope that you come back next Tuesday with a little bit of coffee and a little bit of attention to give, so you can learn and understand pharmacy a little bit more.

25:22

Don’t forget the pharmacist are awesome and we’re here to serve you.

25:26 

But before I go on, just in case no one have done it yet. I wanted to take a minute to remind you of how awesome you are and how lucky are those that have you in their lives. Thank you for being the awesome you that you are.

25:40

Have a wonderful rest of your day.

25:42 

This is Marilena Grittani, The Legal Drug Dealer.. bye for now!

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