Monday, November 14, 2011

Pharmacy Gets A Mention?

Billy Crystal is going to be hosting the upcoming Oscars. I like him on the show and I think he's funny (although I hear he's a raging egomaniac -- but who isn't in show biz.) I couldn't help but notice this in the news article:

Crystal, who has hosted the widely-watched Hollywood telecast eight times previously, announced his new job on Twitter with a post: "Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up prescriptions. Looking forward to the show."

It's a funny line, but I would like to personally congratulate that 'young woman in the pharmacy' for doing her job. People don't understand the catastrophes that have resulted when names aren't verified in the pharmacy -- even if we're supposed to know who you are. Give us a break, Billy --- but I'm looking forward to the show too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Talking About Waste (Again)

"The Drug Enforcement Administration says people turned in more than 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired prescription medications in the agency’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29."

This kind of bothers me. What a waste! There are a lot people around the world who have little or no access to quality pharmaceuticals and you wonder how much of this stuff might have helped someone.

Sure, there are a lot of reasons why prescriptions are wasted or not completed. A patient starts a new medication and can't tolerate it; they start an antibiotic and it has to be changed later because of lab results; a patient is prescribed 30 tablets of pain medication for a minor procedure and needs only one or two. But there are a lot of situations where I feel like I'm looking waste right in the face, like:

-- a person starting a brand new medication, and is prescribed a 90-day supply right off the bat...

-- a tiny little baby prescribed voluminous quantities of a topical product (the jar of ointment is almost bigger than the kid)...

-- OTC products that are prescribed in multiple packages at a time (this is especially unsettling when the recipient of the prescription seems completely clueless on what they're supposed to do with it)

-- a gigantic bottle of some horrific-tasting liquid medication, for a kid who I can tell you right now ain't having none of it after that first dose....

-- boxes and boxes and boxes of expensive nebulized medications, inhalers, aerochambers going out the door ---especially for anyone who can't look up from their cell phone long enough to even answer me, when I ask if they know how to use the stuff.

When someone complains that they can't get more than a 30-day supply with their insurance, or that they can't get an 'early' refill, I'm kind of sympathetic but I understand what the point of that is --- it's to try and keep the waste to a minimum. I don't feel like a lot of people have the respect for prescription medication that it warrants. And sorry, but I see NO reason why any prescription should be 'lost.' Things happen, but I really grit my teeth when someone airily tells me they misplaced their $200 inhaler like it was a bag of M & Ms.

And of course, don't even try to figure out why you fill all those prescriptions that never get picked up----

That's my little rant for today.