Pharmacist backtracks after Alzheimer’s remarks

Grubb's Pharmacy, Capitol Hill. Image: Google Maps.

A Washington pharmacist has drawn unwanted attention from social media after he intimated that US Congress members were dementia patients

STATnews reporter Erin Mershon interviewed Mike Kim, the “reserved” pharmacist who owns Grubb’s Pharmacy, supplier of drugs to the Capitol’s Office of the Attending Physician.

Mr Kim explained how the pharmacy fills up to 100 prescriptions a day for Congress members alone, billing each member’s insurance plan and occasionally letting them skip waiting lines to access drugs quickly.

Until the article was published this week, very few members actually knew much about the pharmacy.

STAT surveyed around two dozen House and Senate members, both Democrats and Republicans, and found that only one knew about Grubb’s: Georgia Republican Buddy Carter, himself a pharmacist.

Now, however, the quiet arrangement is out in the open, after Mr Kim told Ms Mershon that he’s become accustomed to knowing “sensitive details” about members’ health.

“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” he said, and then listed medicines for conditions including diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday’.”

These remarks soon began to circulate on social media, with several pundits expressing concern about the potential privacy breach.

In a follow-up article also published on STAT, Mr Kim explained that he was committed to patient privacy.

“I am not aware of any member that actually has Alzheimer’s and would certainly not disclose any such information if I did know,” he said.

“I was speaking very broadly about disease states that the general American population have and that it also applies to everyone including members of the US House and Senate since they are also people just like you and I.”

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