LETTER: Disheartened by Womack's comments

Jun. 29, 2013 @ 04:56 AM

To the Editor:

In the recent cover article in The Sanford Herald regarding The Challenge Printing Company, I was extremely surprised and disheartened by the comments made by Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack. Clearly, Mr. Womack is not an expert in this field, and it is not clear to me how, in Mr. Womack's view, this issue relates to federal regulation and bureaucracy.

The facts are as follows: for decades, based on federal legislation originally requested by the USFDA to protect the nation's prescription drug supply, health care professionals have been provided with manufacturer-supplied literature, which, among other things, advises them when drugs are contraindicated, or not to be used. While this literature is certainly not read every day by every pharmacist and health care professional in the U.S., the point is that it is available when needed and has proven to be lifesaving.

Some have suggested that these inexpensive and lifesaving leaflets should be replaced by transmission of information exclusively via the Internet, without oversight or regulation, despite the fact that articles appear every day in newspapers across the country about foreign powers hacking government and private websites for malicious purposes.

Moreover, the current system provides vital information even when the Internet is down, as is frequently the case during natural disasters such as hurricanes, ice storms forest fires, etc. It seems to me that in an era when some medicines cost $50 per pill, spending a few cents on safeguarding the nation's prescription drug supply is money well spent.

Finally, I need to express equal surprise and disappointment with Mr. Womack's apparent eagerness to dismiss hundreds of workers in Sanford, and thousands of workers throughout the state, in pursuit of dubious theoretical and misplaced principles at a time when assistance to the unemployed is being slashed in North Carolina.

I am, however, grateful that many of our elected N.C. representatives, such as Rep. Ellmers, Sen. Burr, Sen. Hagan and Rep. Holding, are standing proudly to protect the nation's prescription drug supply and the continued employment of our citizens.

Margaret Polt