Part 6: Close-Up Talk Radio w/ Virginia French, PharmD

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Wichita, KS – Visit your local pharmacy to pick up a prescription and most likely it will come with information warning you how the drugs may interact with other drugs you take. Though this information seems basic, it is extremely necessary. If a doctor makes a mistake, the consequences could be severe.

35 years ago the understanding of how drugs interact with each other wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today. This was also true in most of the state of Kansas. That changed when Virginia “Ginger” French became the first doctor of pharmacy in the state of Kansas.

“There used to be a saying: ‘If you’re going to Kansas, set your watch back 20 years,’" says French. "Pharmacy departments were very different then. It wasn’t as scientific as it is now, which put people at risk for no reason”

A trailblazing pharmacist and educator, French has personally seen the evolution of her field. In many ways she has been responsible for it.

“You have to be very detail oriented to be a good pharmacist. It requires precise calculations,” says French. “I’m just fascinated by this information and I want to do the right thing so I put the time into it. I also enjoy sharing what I have learned.”

As a doctor of pharmacy (or PharmD), French understood the chemistry and the physiology, the drug and the patient. She bears the distinction of being the first clinical pharmacist ever to round with physicians in Kansas, as far as she knows.

Though an injury forced Dr. French to resign from her position in late 2010, today she is a seasoned investor for French and French, LLC, applying the same scientific approach to her investments she did as a PharmD.  French’s portfolio includes some major pharmaceutical companies as well as companies developing speculative drugs that could one day help millions.

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