Il dottore, an Italian way to waste knowledge

In Italy, every pharmacy has a quite special character: il dottore (the doctor). This is usually the business proprietary, who holds a Pharmacy degree. This guy is generally an important figure in the local society, mainly in the small cities.

You might expect it would be nice to have such a highly educated professional to help you at each pharmacy. Well, that would be the case if we were not in Italy, where nothing happens as planned.

I mean, this highly educated person, does only three not so highly complex tasks:

  • Read medical prescriptions in order to identify medicine names;
  • Look for medicine names at boxes placed in alphabetical order;
  • Receive money and give exchange;

This is a typical Italian waste of resources. It mandatory to have a Pharmacy graduated at each Pharmacy doing basic activities, no matter how much their knowledge is needed elsewhere. A clerk would be enough, perhaps with some specific training, but not a degree in Pharmacy.

And now it is clear why there is no big Italian pharmaceutical company. Italy considers more important to place Pharmacy graduated to look for names in boxes, than to use those experts to make drug research. Does it make any sense?


7 Responses to “Il dottore, an Italian way to waste knowledge”

  1. It don’t see that as the reason for the fact, that there ist no no big Italian pharmaceutical company. Germany hast the same regulation and there are some well known pharmaceutical companies in Germany, i.e. Bayer.

  2. Cicero Says:

    I agree with you: there are other countries with similar rules.

    But if you add those rules to the typical Italian laziness, the result might be no pharmaceutical research, neither Italian pharma companies.

  3. The character you’re talking about is called “farmacista”, il dottore is the medic.

  4. Cicero Says:

    Dear Cox,

    I agree that guy’ should be named famacista… But in the region where I live in Italy they call him il dottore… I guess they are being respectful. But from my understanding they are just being ridiculous.

  5. Uhm, so are you italian or what? ‘Cause if you are it’s just silly to speak english between us.
    Anyway I didn’t know that…calling a worker with the wrong name, just to show some kind of respect, means just the opposite, those people are simply uncultured.

  6. Mary Rose Liverani Says:

    Pharmacy is a very interesting profession in Italy, its practice one manifestation of the widespread pernicious effects of the non-separation of Church and State, something yet to be debated in Italy. Many many products commonly available in anglophone pharmacies are banned by the Church, even when Parliament has decreed then legal. The most recently reported was the morning after the night before pill. The day after it was declared legal by the Parlianent, the Church addressed a meeting of the Pharmacy Association and in veiled language told then not to supply the product. In reply to a journalist’s query, the President of the Association made it plain that his members would not be complying with the law, adding that “it’s not legal”. Disappointingly, the journalist did not ask what other authority supersedes that of Parliament to counter the “illegality” of laws it passes by due process.

  7. Cicero Says:

    Dear Mary,

    I agree with you: another quite particular aspect of the Italian society is its strong connection to the Church. Although the country tries (or perhaps pretends) to be, Italy is not a secular State indeed.

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