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June 04, 2006

Governor Jumps into Pharmacy Board Fiasco

This will be interesting to watch play out.  Governor Gregoire seems determined to stop this nonsense as soon as possible.  Caught flat-footed by last Wednesday's Board of Pharmacy proposal, she used the Democratic convention to make it clear she was having none of the Board's ridiculous position. 

People who attended the convention report that there was a letter from the Governor on every chair when they arrived.  The letter explained the Pharmacy Board's "compromise" and asked everyone to take action.  She mentioned the issue in her keynote speech and again asked people to contact the Pharmacy Board to get them to change their position at their next meeting, August 31, when they are set to finalize the proposal. 

She also talked to David Postman, the new blogger on the block, who says the Governor has discovered that none of the five Board of Pharmacy members, appointed by Governor Locke and herself, were confirmed.  That means she could replace the entire panel if she wanted.  Postman qutoes the Governor:

This is all about patients' rights and they must focus on patients. And if they're not going to do that I need a group that will. But they've got a chance. They can make it right. They have until August.

Gregoire is also working to broaden the groups fighting the Pharmacy Board's emphasis on "pharmacist's rights".  She is trying to enlist groups like AARP, doctors, and other healthcare groups, saying,

What if I came up and you assumed that I was an undocumented (worker), so you're going to deny me, because you decided I was getting some sort of state help and I don't deserve it. Or you decided because I'm getting some prescription having to do with AIDS, therefore I'm gay and you don't like that or I have some sort of cancer and you think I've been a smoker and that's my problem so you're not going to do that. I could go on with the list. I think there's no end to it.

Gregoire says she thinks the board did not appreciate what they were doing, wanting a compromise and not thinking through the implications of what they were doing.   As I said, this is likely to be an interesting political issue.  I don't think the people who instigated this "pharmacist's rights" nonsense understood what they were going to get. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on June 4, 2006 at 09:08 AM in Washington Culture | Permalink


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