Kirk Bolas, RPh, PharmD is a California Licensed Pharmacist with 25 years in multiple practice areas that include both Retail Chain and Independent Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Long Term Care Pharmacy and both Consultation and Investigation of Prescription Drug Billing Fraud, Waste and Abuse by bad actors in the third party prescription claims process.
Over the years he recommended and dispensed numerous prescription orders for the Benzodiazepine Class of drugs with the status quo understanding that while they did carry a moderate addiction and abuse liability, that as a class, they were both very safe and very effective for treating a plethora of diagnoses. He noticed that some appeared to be experiencing odd and/or severe adverse effects from this class of drugs. In some cases, some desperately stating that they wanted to taper off Benzodiazepines, some of these people seemed unable to do so without suffering the most debilitating withdrawal syndrome symptoms. The others that were suffering from the odd constellation of adverse effects told him that it all started shortly after the initiation of Benzodiazepine therapy. In the early days, he dismissed this relatively few number of people to being addicts or manifesting some aspects of a mental illness. As time passed and he heard more of these kinds of reports, either first hand or from colleagues, he began to wonder if there were indeed something to this.
He researched and met many afflicted with this problem, and decided he wanted to help. He joins Benzodiazepine Information Coalition’s efforts because he believes that there is significant degree of ignorance regarding the deleterious effects for a small but substantial subset of people treated with Benzodiazepines and that this class of drugs is not as safe as generally believed. The general health care provider community consisting of prescribers, pharmacists and nurses share the burden by not becoming educated to what these drugs do to certain people and the grossly unethical pejorative labeling that results for a lack of knowledge.