Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion

Headline mischaracterized Board of Pharmacy's stance

On behalf of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, we are writing to commend Sun reporter Andrea Walker for a fair and honest reflection of information discussed during her interview with board executive director LaVerne Naesea and board commissioner David Chason about the board's monitoring of sterile compounding pharmacies and addressing potential gaps in oversight. The article's on-line headline, "Maryland pharmacy of board says it can adequately monitor compounding pharmacies — Board beefed up standards in recent years" (Nov. 18), accurately indicated the thrust of the interview.

However, as sometimes happens when a story isn't quite spicy enough, an editor may decide to change the headline to increase sales or perhaps raise controversy. The board suspects something like this may have occurred when the referenced article was published on the front page of The Sun's print edition on Monday, Nov. 19, under the headline, "Maryland board resists U.S. role in regulation of pharmacies."

Obviously, after reading the article's text it would be difficult to conclude that the board's interviewees intended to imply that the board is resistant to current and/or future recommended oversight activities by the Food and Drug Administration. Further, the article does not reflect that the board's approach differs from that suggested by Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of its umbrella agency, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In fact, the board applauds the efforts of all state and federal officials who are working to close gaps that exist in assuring the safety of patients treated with sterile compounded medications. The board also looks forward to working with all officials in creating a seamless network of protections for pharmacy patients in Maryland and throughout the country.

So dear Sun editor(s), it would be wise to trust your writers' words. It would also be prudent to understand that serious discourses about factors that led to the horrific meningitis outbreak and how to avoid future such occurrences are themselves hot topics, not requiring a misleading headline. As for Ms. Walker, the board extends a gracious thank you for the opportunity to examine this issue with you. Thank you for responsible reporting of the facts and for not compromising your personal ethics in order to pique your readers' interest.

Michael Souranis and LaVerne G. Naesea

The writers are president and executive director of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Baltimore's crane drain
    Baltimore's crane drain

    Hats off to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other top city officials for not blowing their tops when word came down last week that language included in the Senate's version of the state budget package would give a $2 million tax break to Ports America Chesapeake — all of it coming...

  • The people's representatives should be elected
    The people's representatives should be elected

    Members of Congress don't always complete their terms due to factors like death, a new job and scandal. When a House seat becomes vacant, the Constitution requires an election to fill it, and every House member has been elected. The 17th amendment established direct election of Senators as...

  • The conservative case for same-sex marriage
    The conservative case for same-sex marriage

    Before the current Supreme Court session ends this summer, the justices will make a landmark decision on same-sex marriage. But conservatives shouldn't wait to lose in court. They should accept same-sex marriage now.

  • More quality teachers, fewer administrators
    More quality teachers, fewer administrators

    Each year when it is time for executive central office school officials to present their proposed school budget to local government officials for approval, a funny thing happens. The needs of children anchor the plea for more funding. From a political perspective, this is a tough plea to...

  • No weather TLC without TWC
    No weather TLC without TWC

    People love to talk about the weather. And people listen to those who know what they're talking about — like meteorology guru Jim Cantore. But when Verizon FiOS unexpectedly dropped The Weather Channel (TWC) from its line-up on March 10, those voices went silent for the cable company's...

  • Replace court commissioners with judges
    Replace court commissioners with judges

    In DeWolfe v. Richmond, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that a criminal defendant's first appearance before a judicial officer after arrest triggers the constitutional right to counsel under the due process clause of the Maryland Declaration of Rights. Before Richmond, arrested defendants...

Comments
Loading