Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Mini-Vacation

I'm headed out for a few days to visit Canada and re-kindle my love affair with Canadian pharmacies (see post of November 6, 2009). It's been too long.

Tim Horton's, here I come !! And after the snarlingly unpleasant set of customers I had today, that honey-glazed is gonna go real good.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Another Day at the Salt Mines

Guy come in and plops down 4 med bottles from a mail-order pharmacy, and wants to transfer prescriptions to my pharmacy. Wants to wait for them --- doesn't want to stop back, because apparently he doesn't live close but his doctor is here. I already see that one of the prescriptions is for 480 tablets of something I don't have, because I've got no one on it.

I take a deep breath and try to keep an eye on everything else that's going on, because the phone call to the mail-order pharmacy is going to be at best, a 15-20 minute ordeal IF all goes well.

Oh yeah, and he's got new insurance. He's going out of town, leaving on the weekend. When does he choose to present me with this little project? Three o'clock on a Friday afternoon. (GOD, I'll never understand this.)

The call to the mail-order pharmacy goes surprisingly well, but still takes about 15 minutes to reach the appropriate person and do the transfers. While I'm on hold, I manage to check a few other prescriptions that are waiting. Amazingly, the mail-order customer's prescriptions still have refills available. We run the first one with the new insurance.... it's not covered.

I explain that there are some generic alternatives available and those will probably be covered. He doesn't understand why I can't just call up the doctor and get that prescription right now. His other 90-day prescriptions are covered, but with pretty high copays. I don't have enough of another medication to fill the whole thing.

The guy's been waiting awhile now, and starts to get a little pissy about the prices, and about the one med not being covered. I'd like to get a little pissy with him too and in my silent soliloquy say the following:

1. Don't get irritated with me, sir. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to juggle half a dozen other customers here.
2. Why in the HELL did you wait to fill these 3-month prescriptions, with NEW insurance, on a Friday afternoon, just before you are leaving town?
3. I don't set the prices. You're on some expensive stuff. I can't write you new prescriptions. We both know who has to do that.

And most importantly,
4. PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL AHEAD. If you had called me yesterday we could have had ALL of this straightened out and ready to go. The doctor could have been contacted, the drugs ordered, and you would be in and out.

And to the other customers, this is yet another example of why your prescription takes so damn long to fill.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lie to Me, Go Ahead and Lie to Meeeee......

You know that song by Jonny Lang? If the pharmacy had Muzak (and thank God it does not), this would have been great background music for one entire morning last week.

(I've changed a few minor details here to protect the untruthful)...
#1 was a regular customer and a nice guy. He gets a prescription for codeine-like pain medication, and for as long as I can remember the prescriber has specified it "must last 30 days." He came in to pick up his refills and we told him that one was 4 days early, and we would be glad to fill it on day #30, which was after the weekend. He looked somewhat perplexed, like this had never happened before (it kinda had, I'd let it go if it was one day early), and then said he was going out of town and would need it.....then said something like, "well, maybe I'll have to change my plans till I can get it filled," and left without further protest.

Later that day, doctor's office calls in and says not only to go ahead and fill it, but gives it more refills. The nurse says, "He's flying to Hawaii, and needs to get it before he goes."

Whoa. Nobody said anything about flying to HAWAII. I mean, I could have worked with him on that --- true or not, I would never know the difference I guess. And y'know, this doesn't sound like the kind of travel plan you could just postpone for a couple of days. So, are we just trying to get it today, or are we flying to Hawaii?

I don't know which is the real story. Like I say, I don't think this particular customer is a bad person or anything. No previous bad interactions at all. In fact, I think he would have told me about his trip to Hawaii if he was actually going there. Why you gotta lie to me?

#2 was a person whose purse was stolen. As we all know, when a purse is stolen it invariably contains someone's ENTIRE prescription of a controlled drug, as though it's a good idea to carry around a bottle of 240 Percocet (or similar med) in your purse. We had received a new prescription, insurance rejects it as too soon, and customer phones in to check on it. She assures us she talked to her insurance, and they will cover a stolen med. So, do people think we're not going to know when that's not true?

We call the insurance, they say nope, not for a controlled substance. Customer calls back and is aghast ( "Well, they covered it LAST TIME!!")


Lie to me, and tell me everything's aw-rightttt....................