As a pharmacist, I must respond to the letter July 25 alleging excessive profits by pharmacists from AZT sales. If a month's supply is bought for $750 and sold for $880 to $928, the pharmacy is making a gross profit of 15 to 19 percent. By what business standard is this considered excessive? This is by no means out of line with the margin of profit on any number of retail items, such as clothes, shoes, furniture, autos, auto parts, TVs, etc. If Mr. Ott believes that pharmacists are wealthy, then he is misinformed. A pharmacist's average pay is $17 an hour.
It is not unusual for a pharmacist to spend 30 to 40 percent of his time providing free professional advice. As an attorney who likely charges upwards of $75 to $100 per hour for his professional advice, Stephen Ott is rather hypocritical in his criticism. Why is it okay for an attorney to charge his professional fee, while a pharmacist's profit is considered a rip-off? DEAN D. LIMBAUGH Richmond
Stephen Ott states: "For its $130 to $179 profit, the pharmacy does nothing more than make a toll-free call, accept shipment and then wait for the patient to pick up the medication." Does he think that the tooth fairy pays the rent, personnel costs, taxes, utilities, etc., that represent more than 30 percent of gross sales a pharmacist pays for operating expenses?
A pharmacist who makes $130 on $900 sales (less than 15 percent) will soon be filing for bankruptcy.
What does it cost the good lawyer to make out a will for which he charges 100 dollars? Twenty-five cents' worth of paper and $10 (or less) typing charges. Profit $89.75. What did he charge the AIDS patients that he represented over the past four years and what did it cost him? HENRY M. BUTLER Annandale