World news wrapup: 23 January 2020

“Secret trade” of termination drugs in the Bahamas; Oprah lauds pharmacist’s work; US pharmacists well trusted

Bahamas: The Bahamas Tribune claims to have unearthed a “secret trade” in abortion medication Cytotec (misoprostol) after an investigator from the paper obtained the drug without a script from a pharmacy.

Reporter Rashad Rolle wrote that a pharmacist in the Over-the-Hill area was “happy” to give the investigator the medicine without a script.

The investigator allegedly visited one pharmacy, saying his girlfriend was five weeks pregnant and wanted a termination. This pharmacist said there was no product in stock but referred him to another pharmacy, where the investigator obtained five pills, again without being asked for a script.

Instead he was given the name of two doctors to contact if any problems arose after the girlfriend took the pills.

According to Health Minister Dr Duane Sands, there have been “anecdotal” reports of similar sales without scripts.

Gina Archer Carey, chairperson of the Bahamas Pharmacy Council, told Mr Rolle that she was unaware of any formal complaints relating to the alleged practice, but that if the Council was alerted to such incidents it would refer them to law enforcement.

“When you give persons these things without a prescription, you are putting their lives at risk. That’s not something we take lightly. I would love to have a complaint so we could address it because that’s really disturbing.”


Charlotte, North Carolina: Oprah Winfrey has surprised a Charlotte pharmacy owner by dropping by his store and paying tribute to his work, as part of her Vision 2020 Wellness Tour.

WBTV reports that the media star visited the Premier Pharmacy, which has a focus on educating patients about their medicines and helping them obtain them, and spoke with owner Dr Martez Prince.

According to WBTV Dr Prince’s work, which involves strong one-on-one relationships with patients, caught Ms Winfrey’s attention and she wanted to congratulate him.

“I could actually cry about the kind of courage and perseverance and determination it takes for a young brother to be working in a big box pharmacy,” Ms Winfrey told WBTV.

“And say something doesn’t feel right about this – I think I am going to start my own business and I am going to do that for my community. I could weep. I could really weep – that’s what God wants – that is what we are supposed to do.

“We are supposed to look inside ourselves and say ‘oh I just don’t want a job – I want to use my life and service and how can I do that – make a living – offer myself and still get paid,’ and that is exactly what Dr Prince did.”

She said the pharmacy was a “model for the country”.


Washington D.C: Pharmacists have been rated the United States’ fourth most honest and ethical professionals, according to an annual poll by Gallup.

Nurses topped the poll for the 18th year in a row, with 85% of adult Americans surveyed saying their honesty and ethical standards are either “high” or very high” – slightly up from 84% in 2018.

Second in line were engineers, with 66% attributing high or very high honesty and ethical standards to this group; next were medical doctors (65%, down slightly from 67% in 2018, and then pharmacists, at 64% – again, slightly down from 66% in 2018.

At the bottom of the list were car salespeople, with only 9% of Americans saying they had high levels of ethics and honesty. And second from the bottom were Members of Congress, at 12%.

”Americans’ high regard for healthcare professionals contrasts sharply with their assessments of stockbrokers, advertising professionals, insurance salespeople, senators, members of Congress and car salespeople — all of which garner less than 20% of US adults saying they have high levels of honesty and ethics,” Gallup noted.

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