Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Generic is the same thing....

Because of the great Tylenol Recall of 2011, there has been no name brand Tylenol/Benadryl/Motrin, etc. on the shelves for a while now.

This confuses the hell out of costumers.

When you explain to them the store brand is pretty much the same as the name brand, you get this cow-in-the-headlight stare. It's like Jesus appeared behind you or something. That kind of confusion and awe.

For example.

I was working the wonderful midnight shift. Just me and the pharmacist. You get a lot of people straight out of the emergency room who are in pain, tired of waiting for somebody to see them, and they just want to go home. So they want their script filled RIGHT NOW, which is understandable. What complicates this is when people come up to the pharmacy asking inane questions like what toilet paper brand is on sale.

A guy comes up and wants to get Benadryl for his kid. Of course there is no name brand only our store brand. He bring a package to the counter when he drops off his scripts of diphenhydramine (generic benadryl) and asks if it's the same thing. I say yes. "Are you sure?" ".....Yes it's the same thing."

He walks off to wander around the store. Comes back a bit later to the consultation window with the same package and asks the pharmacist if it's the same thing. Pharmacist says yes.

Comes back to pick up his script and, lo and behold, still has the same package of diphenhydramine. I ring up his meds and again, he asks if it's the same thing. I say yes, the pharmacist overhears the exchange, says yes.

After all this the guy still doesn't seem convinced but buys it anyway.

I really felt like just saying no to see his reaction.

"Hey buddy we're just joshin' ya. It actually isn't the same thing. HAHA!!!! Funny joke, eh?!"

These people need to come during the day when there are other techs to put up with it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Sorry for the long absence...just been hella busy with life and pharmacy. Will try and post some wonderful updates later. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Small Update

It's been hella busy this past week. Surprisingly, there was only one incident that stood out.

I was up front, putting up bagged scripts into bins. I dude runs up to the pharmacy counter. He's frazzled and has huge sweat stains in the front of his shirt.

"Ma'am! I need help now. I need something to make somebody throw up, or he's gonna die!!!"

Cue me giving the best wtf look ever.

Pharmacist on duty: "Well there was syrup of ipecac, but that was taken off the market. You should probably take him to the emergency room as soon as possible."


He runs out of the store.

I don't understand how if a person is that much in critical condition that it would be too late for the emergency room yet buying something over the counter can save him.

I found out after reading the very entertaining Apothecary Tales that all oral contraceptives will be required to have zero copays from insurance companies as of August 2012. I just can't wait for the huge abstinence-only backlash that follow. It will be an epic fight.

Pillpharmer aus

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strangely Uneventful

I guess I owe somebody an apple pie since I only sold one emergency contraceptive.

Quote of the night:

Patient: When will my meds be ready?
Pharmacist: The prescription is already ready. It was ready earlier.
Patient: What do you mean earlier?
Pharmacist: It means sometime prior to now.

The answer was just so blunt and no nonsense. I mean, what do you say to a question like that? All of us pharmacy peeps had a good laugh out of it.

Pillpharmer aus

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sand in Vagina

Another lovely weekend where I'm working. I got stuck working until midnight Friday and had to be at work today at 9am. So...I chugged down the coffee before work.

I posted previously about customers that are just downright mean for no reason. It's like somebody pissed in their Kool Aid and they just want to take it out on you. I had a lady call today for refills. She had her refills numbers on her script and rattled the first one off rapidly to me then said something about Amber Pine.

I took Amber Pine to be this women's name so I was confused when another person's name showed up on the refill screen. I thought, Hey, I probably just put in the numbers wrong, let's ask again nicely. This cue an exasperated sigh from the other end of the phone and then again the rapid succession of numbers and something about Amber Pine. Still no Amber Pine showing up so I ask the lady for her birthday so I can look up her entire profile. This started off a whole slew of ranting.

"Why are you asking me my numbers again?! Your pharmacy is always screwing up every order that I call in!!! What the hell is wrong with you? Where do you come from, girl?! My name is {name I had looked up previously}." I apologized and stated that I thought her name was Amber Pine.

"No!!! That's my pills! Amber Pine!!! I don't know how to say the damn medication names, that's your job! My name is {customer's name}, get it right for once!" Her medication was for amlodipine (am-low-dih-peen). So the mystery of Amber Pine has been solved.

"Well now I know your name." You only restated it about 20 times.

Cue her ranting for about another 10-15 seconds about how incompetent we are and how we still "don't do a damn thing right."

"I also need my metafoeman. That's for my diabetes." Metformin (met-fore-men) was indeed for diabetes. I said I brought her metformin up in the system.

"Yes. Metafoeman. That's for my diabetes." She said it in a way to imply that I didn't know what one of the oldest diabetes medication on the market was. Thank God I have customers like her!!! If I didn't, how the hell would I know about any medication. Jeez she should just TAKE OVER MY JOB!!!1111one

After giving her a pick up time. She promptly hung up. No thank you. No, hey I'm sorry I rubbed sand all in my vagina this morning and I'm being a bitch to you. Nothing.

I don't understand how people are like this. I really don't. Part of me wonders how her life is right now to make her so incredibly miserable that she has to take it out on retail employees that can't fight back. Was she always like this? Why so angry? Who knows...

Another call Friday my coworker took. It was for refills as well. Instead of angry old lady, this was lonely old lady. This is the person that tells you their entire life story while on the phone for you. This is usually when you are an hour behind filling prescriptions, there are 4 other phone calls you need to take, and there is a screaming child in the waiting room because his insurance rejected his ear infection medication.

My coworker proceeds to stay on the phone for a good 10 minutes when it should have taken less than a minute. The last thing I heard coworker say was "Yes I hope you do indeed get your air conditioner fixed." I laughed at his misfortune. He flips me off. That is true pharmacy love.

As frustrating as these calls are, I really feel sorry for the people. These are the same older people you see eating completely alone in Luby's restaurants. Their children are probably halfway across the country, their spouse and a good portion of their friends have died, and they're lonely. If anything I hope that somehow, the lady telling coworker about her air conditioner breaking down maybe, possibly made this woman's day.

For another amusing tidbit, dad calls the pharmacy because he found an unlabeled bottle of pills in his son's pants. Dad already states that his son "will probably be in a heap of trouble." I bring up the pill identifier. Oh wonderful it's for generic Lortab 7.5 (a narcotic pain reliever). The man thanks me for my help and ends the phone call with, "BOBBY! YOU GET YOUR ASS IN HERE RIGHT NOW!"

A lady called asking if we could flavor her child's amoxicillin suspension after she had already left the pharmacy. Some children's liquid medication (clindamycin anyone) taste absolutely god-awful. So...we have a system in place that we can flavor the meds for a small fee. Amoxicillin was probably the favorite of children everywhere. It was pink, bubble-gum flavored, and, according to my mom, "stained the shit out of white carpet." Well now we are getting dye free amoxicillin. It's just white when mixed, which apparently makes it flavorless according to said lady. "It's white, it can't be flavored anything!!!" The pharmacist had to spend about a minute explaining to the woman that just because it wasn't pink colored, it can still have flavoring.

That made me have a nostalgic moment for Crystal Pepsi. Anybody remember that stuff? It was a mind fuck in a bottle.

I'm working the midnight shift tomorrow. I bet you a free apple pie that I'll sell at least 5 emergency contraceptives. Party all Saturday night and then spend 45 costly dollars on your mistake Sunday.

-Pillpharmer aus

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Take responsibility for yourself, please. kthxbai

Guy calls today asking about if his prescription is ready. Didn't see it in the work queue. He said we should have faxed the doctor to get approval. There really isn't a way to show if we've faxed the doctor by just making a fax so I tell the dude the doctor just hasn't got back to us.

"Well I waited two days for this prescription. What do I do now?"

"I'd suggest calling your doctor to ask them to resend a prescription to us."

"Well you're supposed to be doing that! Hell it's because y'all pharmacies are so close together! I dropped by scripts off at your pharmacy instead of {competing pharmacy}. I usually fill at {competing pharmacy} but I guess I'll just get them at yours."

".........the prescription is at the other pharmacy? So do you want us to transfer it here?"

"Well I thought that's what you're doing!!! This was supposed to be done two days ago!"


The doctor ended up calling us and getting the dude his script. IT IS NOT OUR PROBLEM THAT WE CAN'T READ MINDS TO TRANSFER PRESCRIPTIONS!!!! AAARRRRGH!

Now for something completely different. Let's take a moment back in time, shall we?

There is a patient that fills at the pharm that I'm trying to get over my anger seething at them. This person was the only person that made me cry while at work. Years before, I had gone over to see my mom and dad when my dad was still alive before I head off to pill land. He was having a rough day and wasn't able to breath very well which upset me before going to work. This woman comes up to the counter to get her prescription. I get it, take it to the register, and then ask to verify her address (SO WE CAN MAKE SURE TO SELL THE RIGHT RX TO THE RIGHT PATIENT. IT'S FOR YOUR SAFETY!!!!)

Women replies in a snippy tone, "You don't need to know my address. Everybody at the pharmacy here knows me."

"Well I don't know you and I need to verify your address so I can make sure to sell the right prescription to you."

"Dammit you don't need my address! I said that before a I had a person follow me home from the pharmacy. Everybody else here knows me, why can't you?!"

Ring up prescription, throw it on counter, and walk behind shelves to proceed to cry because I just can't believe anybody can be that hurtful for no reason. I'm used to people yelling at me because I deny their Soma pickup, or sell them needles, or take forever to fill a script. But for no reason? It hurts.

There was a guy in the waiting area chilling while we filled his script. We get it filled, I call him over.

"My name is {patient name} and I live at {patient address}. Just to let you know, I've been filling my scripts here for years now and nobody has ever followed me home after I give y'all my address."

My day brightened a little. "Well I guess you're just not special, sir."

He laughed, paid for his scripts, and left. He renewed my faith that people can actually be kind every once in a while.

Cue back to the present.

The same woman is still filling at the pharmacy. She actually verifies her address now and isn't a complete bitch to the other technicians. I'm trying to forgive her. She has numerous health problems, is obese, and probably doesn't have that great of quality of life. I still just cringe every time I see her. I just want to tell her that she made my day miserable all those years ago, just to get it out of my system. But alas, I'll just vent on here. It's more therapeutic and has a less chance of getting me fired.

Pillpharmer out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm back!

After posting my pharmacy stories on facebook, I decided to come back here to see if this place was still up and running. It tis! So this will be my pharmacy adventure blog.