Classification Talk: Holly Henry

Holly HenryOn October 13, Holly Henry gave us a zip-fast tour through her early years and thence into the pharmaceutical interest that first asserted itself during her days as a WSU undergraduate. Throughout her life, there has also been an undercurrent (so to speak) of aquatic activity, i.e., swimming and boating.

Her first exposure to pharmacies came with a job at Pay & Save. This was followed by one doing seminars for the WA State Pharmaceutical Assn. With a partner, she bought her first pharmacy at View Ridge. Thus began a series of ownerships varying from one to a maximum of seven. The last store was sold in March.

Then began a happy occupancy, with husband Mike, of a houseboat in which they traversed the route encompassing waters north of Vancouver Island.

Her passion has been community pharmacies and politics. She has chaired The WA State Pharmaceutical Assn. as well as the national organization. Of the latter she was but the second female president in its long history. The National Community Pharmaceutical Association has pulled away from the parent organization due to the latter’s lack of political action. She has lobbied for pharmaceutical issues both in Olympia and DC. An act was passed in 1979 for the maintenance of patient profiles including all medicines being taken. This guards against allergies and interactions. A provision has the pharmacist counsel patients with new Rx’s. to ensure good outcomes. Often (but not always–ed.) the doctor writes a prescription and has little follow-up. The statistics regarding outcomes for hypertensive and cholesterol-lowering drugs are consequently not good, as examples. This has given rise to legislation allowing pharmacists to order lab tests, modify drug therapy, and to prescribe. Such is the case with vaccines, under “collaborative contract”. WA was the first state to pass such legislation.

The question of compensation for pharmacists has arisen. While this has been  a difficult area, it is now ordained that the payer must compensate another professional if his/her scope of practice is utilized. Drug pricing: There is “discriminatory pricing.” That is, different prices are assigned to a hospital pharmacy than, say a community one. While it appears that things are cheaper in Canada, our various prices average out to about the same. Much of the disproportionate pricing can be traced to two major  “Benefit Managers”. These middlemen control most of the pricing to the extent that, for doing little of the work, they derive most of the profit. This helps drive prices up to their current stratospheric levels.

Comment: In that some of her drugs are given by the intravenous route, it  can sometimes be a matter of The Holly and the IV.

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