CHATHAM, NJ- In what CEO Larry Merlo described as an "exciting new development for the profession of pharmacy" CVS, the nation's second largest drug retailer, today announced the beginning of a unique clinical study into the effectiveness of prophylactic breast cancer treatment. In cooperation with, apparently no one, 50 children given prescriptions for the common cavity prevention medicine sodium fluoride were instead given the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Patients will be monitored over the course of their lives to measure the effect of an early-life course of tamoxifen on eventual rates of breast cancer development.
"Everyone talks about the role of pharmacy evolving into taking on more clinical functions" Merlo said at the office of CVS' corporate attorney. "And while the spread of pharmacist immunizations and medication therapy management services have certainly been steps in that direction, we are pleased today to become the first pharmacy organization to offer its own complete scientific study. We look forward to publishing our results and contributing valuable knowledge to the fight against this terrible condition."
Outside experts, while welcoming any effort to find a cure for a disease that kills almost 40,000 people a year, cited several problems in the study's design, including its rather large control group compared to number of active drug subjects, limiting its location to one neighborhood in this New Jersey town, and even the need to know how cancer meds affect healthy small children. One aspect drew almost universal praise however.
"We can rest assured that this is indeed a double blind placebo setup" said Robert Klinghoffer, director of clinical research at the Ohio State University school of medicine. "As it is obvious no one ever looked in any container of fluoride that went out of that store over the course of two months."
Seriously. Fifty fucking prescriptions. Over the course of two months. And no one bothered to look. This isn't a case of the occasional horrifying misfill. This is a case of obviously no one paying attention. Matching the markings to the picture is the last thing you do before you let a prescription go, or maybe I'm just a little old school that way.
Reached for comment, a Rite Aid spokesman said, "Oh sweet mother of mercy. Thank God this didn't happen to us during that 15 minute guarantee promotion."
(Thanks to the alert readers who tipped me to this story. A record number of them. Which tells me there are a lot of people out there who really.....really......hate CVS. )