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My friends in the pharmacy profession portrayed in the CVS article (“Crummy Variety Store,” 3/1) were not quoted about another crisis confronting our patients: the rarity of a pharmacy that still compounds specialized prescriptions for dermatological and other unique needs. At Grubb’s Pharmacy, Mr. Dillon and Dr. Kim continue to provide this care, along with Bruce Zagnit of Braden’s Pharmacy and barely more than a dozen more within 15 miles of inner D.C.

My patients are frequently, and blatantly, lied to by chain-store pharmacists about their lack of time, supplies, equipment, and willingness to compound mixtures. The main root cause is that they are mostly overwhelmed by the volume of prescriptions that confront them without adequate support staff, and to some extent they are undertrained for measuring, calculating, and compounding. Not too long ago, the Maryland State Board of Pharmacy eliminated the requirement for compounding from the test for routine licensure!

Of course, the insurers bear some of the blame, because of their resistance to compensate the skilled pharmacist who provides this needed medical service.

Silver Spring, Md.