Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economics is Everything

"$25 gift card with transferred Rx" reads the sign at the local Big Chain pharmacy today. So much for encouraging people to fill all their prescriptions at one pharmacy with the hope that all potential dangerous drug interactions can be detected. I'll be bracing myself this week to see prescriptions bounced around like ping-pong balls. And next month, the customer will attempt to call in the refill back to my pharmacy using their Big Chain prescription number, sending me on a wild-goose chase to figure out what the heck they want me to fill for them. Or more likely, they just show up with Big Chain's bottle(s) and look stunned when the technician tells them we've got to call the other pharmacy and it may take a little longer.

It's always been an attractive gimmick and a sign of the economic times, I guess. Our company has already put out the word that we are to decrease waste. The first thing that comes to my mind is the paper, paper, paper -- not the least of which is the stuff we have to cram into each prescription bag that gets thrown away (sometimes on the customer's way out the door).
We also need to start charging a shipping fee for mailing prescriptions. You want the convenience, you need to pay a buck or two. We're often mailing prescriptions that cost less than the packaging material needed to send it, and they are paying pharmacy staff' to chase down credit card numbers and expiry dates.

We'll see what happens. Don't misunderstand, I'm glad I have a job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One lady dropped off a prescription inquiring about the $25 gift card on transfers. Upon finding out that it's only on transfers - she took it back and dropped it off to cvs, then proceeded to come back to us requesting a transfer. Since this coupon deal began - one guy has been getting one transfer everyday (since the coupons don't have a limit - one per person per transaction) He has gained about $100 and paid about $20 for his scripts. I've had someone return with an older transferred script demanding a gift card. People are requesting transfers on CII scripts, it's insane. I wish they would pass a law to stop this. Filling prescriptions in multiple pharmacies should be discouraged not encouraged