WASHINGTON — The pharmacist who prepares prescription drugs for Congress would like you to know that he does not know of any members with Alzheimer’s. And if he did, he wouldn’t tell you.
“I am not aware of any member that actually has Alzheimer’s and would certainly not disclose any such information if I did know,” Mike Kim said, adding that “patient privacy is a very serious matter that I am committed to upholding.”
Kim was featured in a story, published by STAT on Wednesday morning, about his pharmacy’s relationship with Congress. In interviews, the 47-year-old owner of Grubb’s Pharmacy, located just a few blocks from the Capitol, spoke candidly and on the record.
“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim volunteered, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.’”
Those comments, in particular, generated a significant social media reaction, with speculation about which members might have Alzheimer’s. There were also suggestions that Kim may have violated privacy laws. (He did not identify specific patients with conditions.)
Imagine knowing *you* are the Congressman who takes some Alzheimer's-related medication that he's gossiping about. And reading this. Crazy.
— Pastyskin McIrishman (@thepubprobably) October 11, 2017
So apparently at least one member of the U.S. Congress is receiving Alzheimer's medication. https://t.co/hEj8DrY0ji pic.twitter.com/xiUFhSwe46
— Joshua Hopper (@joshhopper98) October 11, 2017
In a follow-up statement, Kim said his suggestion that members had Alzheimer’s or any other specific condition was meant as “hypothetical.”
“I was speaking very broadly about disease states that the general American population have and that it also applies to everyone including members of the U.S. House and Senate since they are also people just like you and I,” he said.
He added: “My pharmacy is in a very unique location on Capitol Hill and fortunate to have the opportunity to service the U.S. Capitol.”