Contribute Try STAT+ Today

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.”

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • This is public relations intervening. He knew what he said and he meant it. But someone pressured him, so he had to say that he doesn’t know of anyone who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Because he doesn’t. Only the doctor and the patient know that. However, he does know who is taking medication for Alzheimer’s because he fills their prescriptions. The statement at the end about speaking broadly is complete rubbish. They are trying to whitewash his statement.

  • This pharmacist talks like a teenager (kind of, literally like) and yet manages controlled substances? He might not even remember what happened yesterday and yet he is working with the people who make the highest laws of the land.

  • Why worry about dementia when there’s a sitting senator who has been voting on important legislation this year while having brain cancer? Had it operated on, with a bad outlook on recovery, and hurried back against doctors advice to take another important vote.

  • The Nation is terribly served if a member of Congress has dementia and hiding behind HIPAA regulations only aggravates the situation. Rule deontology is not an end onto itself.

    The Constitution needs to be revised so that elected and appointed representatives of the State can be removed from office for medical cause.

  • I am a pharmacist and owner of a independent RX, all I could think is the HIPPA violations. Think before you ever grant an interview to the press. I also think John Kerry would agree.

    • So even if we are all going to now pretend like the Alzheimer’s comments were totally unrelated to the people he was discussing in the interview….he absolutely identified John Kerry as a patient who picks up prescriptions at his pharmacy. He can’t really deny *that* HIPAA violation…

  • It may be legal to talk of treating a subgroup of patients without naming names, but I think it is not ethical or professional. I think it is not the public’s business. I am a customer of Grubb’s Pharmacy, and would not like Pharmacist Kim talking about his customers on my block.

  • If a member of Congress has a prescription for donepezil, I would be very concerned about that.

    • Donepezil is used off label in treating other neurological disorders such as sub types of migraines. I also have patients with very early suspected Alzheimer’s that take medication “just in case”. Who hasn’t walked into a room and forgotten what they were looking for? For patients over 50 some aggressively treat those forgetful moments because it’s difficult to diagnose early Alzheimer’s. It’s very irresponsible of that pharmacist to speak the way he did. He gives our whole profession a black eye. If the man had any compassion for his patients, he would never have put them in such a position. Every patient of his now has reason to doubt his professionalism.

Comments are closed.