Peter Lamy, authority on geriatrics

March 25, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Dr. Peter P. Lamy, an internationally recognized authority on geriatrics and gerontology, died Tuesday of cancer at the Washington Hospital Center. The Catonsville resident was 68.

In 1978, he established the Center for the Study of Pharmacy and Therapeutics for the Elderly at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

His 1980 book, "Prescribing for the Elderly," has been widely accepted as the standard text on prescribing medication for the elderly. He also wrote more than 400 articles on the subject.

Through the Parke-Davis Center for the Education of the Elderly, he produced two videos, "The Medicated Generation," and "The Silver Lining." He also published a quarterly newsletter, ElderCare News, which has a nationwide circulation of 43,000.

Dr. David A. Knapp, dean of the School of Pharmacy, said, "There is no question that in the last 10 or 15 years, he was the pre-eminent spokesman concerning drugs for the elderly. His evangelical advocacy of the drug-therapy needs of the elderly has no doubt improved the health and well-being of millions of geriatric patients. He has had a major impact on the field."

"I knew him as a friend and colleague at the University of Maryland for over 22 years," Dr. Knapp said. "He was an extraordinary idea man. His mind was always working, and his capacity for work was extraordinary. He even continued to edit ElderCare News from his bed during his illness."

Dr. Lamy was born in Breslau, Germany, the son of a physician. "I got interested in geriatric pharmacy because of my father, who was a physician who specialized in geriatrics," he said in a 1989 interview in a pharmaceutical industry newsletter. The family emigrated in 1947, settling on Long Island, N.Y., and Dr. Lamy went to work as a stock boy for the Long Island Drug Co. After serving in the Army, he earned a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1956, a master's in 1958 and a Ph.D. in Biopharmaceutics in 1964, all from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

Dr. Lamy began his career at UM in 1963 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutics and was made full professor in 1972. From 1980 to 1987, he was chairman of the Department of Pharmacy and Administrative Science and was assistant dean of the Geriatrics and Institutional Programs from 1980 to 1990.

He was a consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Veterans Administration hospitals in Washington, Baltimore and Edgemere, the John L. Deaton Medical Center and the governments of Ireland and Spain.

In 1988, he was given the Remington Honor Medal, pharmacy's most prestigious award given by the American Pharmaceutical Association, and he was the first to occupy the Parke-Davis Chair in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy at the University of Maryland.

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. April 18 at Westminster Hall, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 519 W. Fayette St.

Dr. Lamy is survived by his wife, the former Angela Pogorilich of West Collingswood, N.J., whom he married in 1952; two sons, Bernhard Lamy of Ellicott City and Carl Lamy of Catonsville; a daughter, Margaret Lachowicz of New Orleans; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the University of Maryland Foundation, Lamy Memorial Fund, School of Pharmacy, 20 N. Pine St., Baltimore 21201.

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