Monday, April 12, 2010

Random Thoughts While Waiting for the Cable Guy

So we're getting more OTC proton-pump inhibitors on the shelves, and I know people will be confronting me with boxes of Prilosec OTC, Prevacid 24HR and now Zegerid OTC, and asking "Which one is better?" I don't blame them for asking, but I don't look forward to giving my usual mealy-mouthed answer which is, "There's probably no real difference." Then they kind of look at you like... yeahh.....rightttt..........thanks a lot........
By the way, Zegerid OTC (which is Prilosec + sodium bicarbonate) says it contains a "special ingredient" (that's the sodium bicarb, the medical term is "baking soda") that "protects the powerful medicine from acid in your stomach so it can be quickly absorbed." However, there's a little asterisk after that last line: *Speed of absorption does not imply onset of symptom relief." Whaaaa??? I guess the selling point is not really.... a selling point after all.
What the hell, maybe that bicarb will help your heartburn.

I got totally bogged down in a Sudafed transaction last week. Scan the driver's license.... won't scan for some someone over to help me.... fill out logbook, get signatures, etc. etc. and babysit customer while you walk them through all this. I've concluded that since there's no central database that pharmacies share anyway, our lawmakers should have just done the following:
1. Sudafed products go behind the counter.
2. You can buy ONE package of any available size. No screwing around with logbooks.
3. If you want more, get a prescription.

And if you come back too many times, we'll recognize you. This would accomplish pretty much the same thing as the system does now, while giving me a few precious minutes back.

Someone handed me a prescription for Robitussin 200mg/5mL syrup. Every Robitussin product (brand or generic) I could locate is 100mg/5mL. There used to be an "Extra Strength Robitussin" but I could find no evidence it still exists. This was a computer-generated prescription. Could we puh-leeze purge that system of products that no longer exist? Again, the customer looked at me a little strangely.....

I know what I'm doing back here, honest.


The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

I noticed how they added that "special ingredient" line in their television advertisements of Zegerid. It seems like they are misleading the customers with that little line. I wonder why they aren't stricter with advertising claims? Look at some of the birth control commercials if you don't believe me! It is a shame because patients are left with more questions than answers. I guess that is where we come in!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Zegerid is right up there with Treximet and Flexmid as least impressive medical breakthroughs.

Pharmacy said...

Well Said! But I don't think it will be much affective

Anonymous said...

Regarding the pseudoephedrine transaction.... In Arkansas (where our state PSE laws are even stricter than the national laws), we are required to log all purchases in a centralized database (called Leads on Labs). The database tracks purchases by any given buyer and tells us if they have bought anywhere else, and if they are over limit.

I agree that it would be reasonable to just make PSE Rx-only. It is MUCH quicker for me to enter a Rx into my system than to jump through the PSE hoops.