Thursday, May 07, 2009

New Flavor, New Law

Four times a day forever, a friend of mine has to drink a tall glass of water with a vile pink powder stirred into it. It's medication.

Yesterday she called the manufacturer, their Customer Service Department, and asked if they would please develop a new flavor. The customer rep fumbled about and then sent her call to the Regulatory Department. They're probably not going to be the ones to add mango or licorice or bubble gum to their stock. But someone may. I wouldn't be surprised.

What I like is her taking the initiative to go to the source and ask for a change. It costs nothing to dial an 800 number and sometimes it works.

By contrast, another friend said to me once, "But it's the law. You can't change the law."

Yes, you can. I covered the NC state legislature for years for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot newspaper and on NC public TV. This gave me the opportunity to see that laws are made up, just like fiction except that lawmaking is done by committees. In this country, we elect the committees, and we can go talk to them. See: "How to Lobby a Bill into Law." It's a lot of work, but it can be done. Realizing that is a reminder of how many other things are also possible.

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Debra W said...

Laws are made to be challenged! That is part of the reason there are so many attorneys around. Being an attorney, my late brother never met a law that he couldn't debate.

I do hope that your friend is able to get some better flavors. I know that with children's liquid antibiotics, the pharmacy can add a huge variety of different flavors. Maybe your friend should also speak to a pharmacist.

Peggy Payne said...

Great idea! Thanks, Debbie. I'll mention it to her.

One of my brothers is a lawyer too, and spent 12 years in the NC Legislature, which also added to my education about this stuff.

billie said...

Interesting, Peggy. I actually have the name/website/phone number for a company in CT that does special flavorings and compounding for animal meds, which I have kept in my files in the event we ever need them.

Surely if there is something like this for dogs, cats, and horses, there is one for humans!

During this last year my dad had a number of things he needed to take but could only swallow liquid, and I know Hospice made arrangements for some of those to be specially compounded and flavored. I'm not sure where/how - but it has to be possible.

Peggy Payne said...

It's amazing the resources that turn up when we go looking. Or even mention the need. (I remember when, as a dry-skinned child, I first discovered Chapstick.)

Thanks so much for this, Billie. I'll pass it on.