Tom DePietro of DePietro's Pharmacy about Governor Wolf declaring the opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency

Newsmaker Interviews
Wednesday, January 10th

Tom DePietro of DePietro's Pharmacy in Dunmore talks about Governor Wolf declaring the opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency and the effect on pharmacies on the Frank Andrews show.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And so I immediately called Tom DiPietro from officials pharmacy and done more Tom thanks very bluntly in Europe today. Yes frank and thanks for talking about the topic. I said that at a at a roundtable with the governor. I'm but I have to say it again you have to thank the governor fare for taking the action is taking. Because what is does is exactly what's happening right now the media is talking about it. And I think the more people that are aware of what is going and you know in a person's life that this that'll be elated diction and Toby Wright epidemic it is usually kept them between those for awhile that's our house and not talked about so. Thankfully the media. You know is making everyone hyper aware. Of the problem. That we have at hand and then this problem. But as we know healthcare providers if it didn't just happen you know this this year or the last six month. Maybe it's certainly been an ongoing. Battled. Without you know you one of the things that you said kind of kind of eases my my heart a little bit because you say you're at a roundtable discussion with the governor and I said I hope he's asking people in the front lines what what the real solution is so he's talking to pharmacist like youth that makes me feel a little bit better. Yes and I do have to say I try not to be politically. Lugar driven are motivated out well at all but what I will pay if he certainly opens sold into the conversation and open to ideas bill one point I keep making. About this epidemic and it then met up safety you framed it. The bad thing is it's it's so unfortunate that there's so many people affected but if there's good and it. That the good is that these patients. More of these addicted individuals. Are being touched by so many health care providers along the way and I gave me an example you may have a person that's misusing her over using their. Prescription painkiller they're seeing other doctors doctor to get the prescriptions so that's not only do they interact with the factor but they fetus that. That person brings a prescription to the pharmacy he interacts with the pharmacist and his staff if he if in this uses it to the point where he required medical attention. That EMTs but our rush to its home it is now he's intercepted by them. There's BMP's been taken to the emergency room where you don't see them that that. Addictive person has been evaluated. And unfortunately where I think. We need to be better at health care individuals. It is having difficult cameras stationed at the patients so. The bad patient that example they just get it gave you keep touched by so many health care providers so there's so many safety nets. For someone to step up and have a difficult conversation with the patient. I've had that I've had the discussion before the patient and it's extremely uncomfortable. But after you have a few uncomfortable conversations that they've become just kind of comforting. To the patient you could tell that there is they're ready to open up he'll. So I really think that. You know the action that the government taking the action that the media taking it out step in the right direction but what it what it comes down to it I think we all. Have to. Look inside of ourselves and say look look I do to help this epidemic here you might just go home to talk about at the dinner table tonight. And then realized tomorrow morning when you go to work like hey. You know she really seems off like she really. She's never late for work or if she never called out sick and that he's call I think three days in a row I think. I think we all have to look at ourselves and say what book I do. So maybe helped impact someone's life. Tom or talking to Tom the teacher all individuals pharmacy and done more Tom it is thus the federal government a few weeks ago you did something similar so there's going to be a big task force and a crackdown and now we have the governor taking action have you seen any changes in the pharmacy that has there been any restrictions any kind of a closer look anything that has really affected. You know what what what really has helped lift the path that I had a say it a little over a year and a half now we have we have. At the pharmacy level access to the State's prescription drug monitoring program meaning that. We checked again if you present a prescription to us what we'll check this State's web site to see if you had sold. The prescriptions. Anywhere else I may be a different provider or at a different pharmacy. Because prior to this web fate coming out. We would rely on the insurance companies to inform us of that information but if a patient wanting using insurance we would kinda. You know I have to make all these phone call to try to see if official account of the truth there Estes was early for. That that's that's to prevent doctor shopping right. Cracked in the end we've you know that's the accept that Websense has tremendously helped us just healthcare providers and it's pharmacists. Thanks Dan if I misuse hopefully we've identified amid huge before. You know that person this far too long addicted to the medications. I'm not talking about the stuff that's on the street but what what is the what is the most commonly prescribed OP right. I would say actually call donated you know the most commonly prescribed. OP UA. Behind tiger code owns. So Haider code on an oxy code own. Are both commonly prescribed all feel it's fair. You know acute pain who had a coat on a Tammany acute pain where you feel that a patient could have chronic pain and actually co down. Now Tom 10 a woman called I believe was Caron and she calls as she said that she had shoulder surgery and the doctor prescribed her it's a 120 per cassette Schilling needed him for a couple of days and she has the rest of the bottle and she just in passing so I guess I'll flushing down the toilet and we got a big response that and I said well when I walk into your pharmacy do you have a place there have been there where we can disposable drugs. If that I'm I'm concerned because you're so do we have to kind of do our part there's probably a lot of a lot of open yours that are hanging around the medicine cabinets that people would have access to the shouldn't right. I would absolutely agree with that and I think that they used it about you know carried it is just happened this week and my sister got discharged from the hospital the doctor here return when he tells. Cheney is three of them and should they get these out of my house because they don't want the kids I got forbid you know get into them. We yes you mentioned have a Dropbox that the pharmacy and I'm glad you mentioned that because I play at the other ones are located at courthouses generally civil lack or a county courthouse. Also has. A draft. We are one of the few pharmacies to have them another comment that I made at the roundtable at the governor is. If we get pharmacies. Dispense medications. We should be required by Pennsylvania lot. To have the ability to take back these medications. From the consumers because prior to having Matt boxer frank. Many patients sort of walk in and say you know what book I do what I do with these and we were paid unfortunately we're not by a lot allowed to take them back. But now because. Is you know this epidemic. What we have access to sign up for a system that you know we paid for but I believe that it should be mandated for every pharmacy. To have these it's it in the art enersys in their pharmacies so patient could take them back. Well I appreciate Tom thanks for talking to a site you know you've beat you you're a great guy and you're always there for us and I think one of the big mistake you made was giving me your cellphone number. I guess if it matters such a great shops thank you very much have a good day Tom antitrust officials pharmacy in Don Morton.