The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Coverage Terminated: PBM nightmare

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:33 pm on Friday, February 29, 2008

Ok, The pharmacy Chick was hoping for a quiet Friday. It was not to be. A coughing gagging person comes in with 3 prescriptions with card from Biggest-PBM-on-Planet (BPOP for short). It came back Coverage terminated. No, not non-match ID, (which leaves open a minute possibility that we had something inputted wrong), but Coverage Terminated. I broke the news to one defiant female. “NO its not!”. Uh, yes it is. She whips out her blackberry and calls BPOP customer service who tells her her coverage is valid, and she smugly tells me that I am wrong. She hands me the phone that she has coughed on to talk to BPOP customer rep. I tell Mr. Rep: “Have YOU checked with your processing division to check her eligibilty?” Uh, no he hadn’t. He gives me a run around to try this (nope), try that (nope, again)and then he says “well, I don’t know what to tell you”

ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME? I am transmitting the correct BIN, ID, GROUP, and PCN number. It comes back Coverage terminated. CALL YOUR PROCESSING DEPT AND UPDATE HER ELIGIBILITY, THATS WHAT YOU CAN TELL ME. Because until I get a paid claim, she has to pay for these.

Coughing lady disappears for a while, and I assume she is calling her HR and trashing me to everybody she knows. She shows up about 4 hours later and says she wants me to transfer her RX to my competitor up the street (Things are looking up, I think) BUT she wants to make one more phone call (darn). While she was on the phone I called that pharmacy to see if we had the same insurance (we did) and asked them to run ANYTHING thru to check if it worked: Coverage terminated (oh yea, things are REALLY looking up, as I hope she is about to become somebody else’s problem).

I make a visit to the wait room and she is on the phone, on hold. I tell her that I am ready to transfer her rx, but I called her other pharmacy to check on her coverage and they also said she is terminated. The look on her face was priceless. I wasn’t deaf, I could hear what she was saying to her PBM: the pharmacy won’t give me my drugs(I offered her all 3 if she paid cash), the pharmacy computer says I am terminated (correction, My computer has no mouth, it doesn’t say anything–your insurance “says” you are terminated).

Finally she hands me that blackberry (where’s the sanitizer?) again and same Mr. Rep is on phone, and we go round and round again. I tell him under no uncertain terms that I have no more time for this. Either get a conference call with himself, me and the processor or hang up, because I have wasted enough time with his suggestions. BPOP is so big that one part is failing to confer with another and the customer is confused into thinking that if one person at BPOP says she is eligible that every part of the “system” is up to snuff. Sadly it is not.

Finally they take MY advice and the two parts of BPOP confer. AND they call me back. Other than the same BIN number, I have to change the PCN, the ID and the group number. It finally works. I do a print-screen and give it to Coughing lady. I tell her “KEEP THIS, because nothing on your card works, and THIS does. ”

I ask BPOP rep, if this will work from now on–she says yes.

I don’t believe her.

And I didn’t get even so much as a Thank-you.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest her bed.

I hate PBM help desks II

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:02 pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This is an actual summary of a recent call Pharmacy Chick had with an insurance help desk. A few things have been added for “effect”…:-)

bip bip bip bip….1-888 no-help here…ring ring.

“Thank you for calling MSPBIP provider services. to continue in English, press 1. To continue in Swahili press 2. (beeep)

For eligibiltiy press 1, For claims press 2, for prior authorizations press 3, for everything else press 4 (beeep)

For early refills press 1, for dose changes press 2, for DUR rejects press 3, other rejected claims, press four (beeeep)

please enter the subscriber ID number ( bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip)

I am sorry that number does not match our files..please try again.. (BIP BIP BIP BIP BIP BIP BIP BIP BIP!!)

Please enter the date of birth in a month month/day day/year year year year format (bip bip bip bip bipbipbipbip)

Please enter the person code (bip bip)

Please enter the prescription number (bip bip bip bip bip bip)

Please hold as we research this claim (la de da musak zzzzzzzz)

This claim was rejected for too early refill, it was filled at YOUR pharmacy on this date (duh) and the next date of fill will be (too damn late, I already know all of this) If you still need to speak to a representative please press 1 (BEEEP)

Please hold as we transfer this to a customer service representative (la de da musak zzzzzzzzzz) 10 minutes later…..

“Allo, dis is Quishtaz my ID 203948. vat is the pachent’s ID numbah?”

PC: “I just spent 15 minutes entering that information.”

Quishtaz: “I still need it pease”

PC: ok, its 17399659029……..

Q: “Pachent Nahme?”

PC: “Ignotus Nobrainus”

Q: “Date of birf?”

PC: “I already entered that”

Q: “I musht veddify the dat of birf”

PC: “ok 10-10-10”

Q: “preskriptchun numbah?”

PC: “I already entered that also”

Q: “ve need the numbah peaze”

PC: (heavy sigh) ” ok, 246890″

Q: “Jour nahm?”

PC: “MY name?”

Q:…………”yahs, Joor Nahm”

PC: “pharmacy chick”

Q: “Pharmocyct or Teknichon?”

PC: “um why??”

Q: “I must rekord dat informatun”

PC: “pharmacist,” (how about favorite color or what I had for lunch)

Q: your NCPDP or NPI number?

PC (shuffling paper quickly) ” 12345689 and my favorite color is pink”

Q: Ignoring me by now….”ok, ow can I azzist chu today?”

PC: “I need a vacation override for this patient, he is leaving for Mexico tomorrow (nope,couldn’t have done this a week ago could ya pops?)

Q: “zure, I jus need hiz dat of Deparchur and hiz arrivul dat”

Um, (I make it up, plenty long)

Q: Sank you, while I go and check on dis with my zupervizor……*click***click**(ominous sound of dead silence instead of Muzak)…then dialtone….

PC: hello? Hello? HELLO? AAARRRRGGGHHH!

Its a good thing that spatulas aren’t sharp, because Hari Kari would have been performed today. Mr Mexico is just gonna have to pay for his vacation supply.

Stupid Student Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:58 pm on Monday, February 25, 2008

Now before you think I am going to rat out some student of mine, this story is about Ms Chick herself, way back before she had RPh after her name. I was in my final rotations before I sat for the NABPLEX and I happened upon a 6 week rotation in a small clinic style pharmacy. It was a basic Mon-Fri type operation with one pharmacist (literally… he was the only one) and an assistant. I call her an assistant because I don’t think the concept of “Technician” had been developed yet. This was one tiny place. Good thing it wasn’t very busy because 3 customers in the pharmacy made for an intimate experience.

Anyway, I was working there one day and Pharmacist Mike (made up name, as always) was attending to a customer who came in to pick up a special order item that had arrived. He was 50ish balding guy (don’t ask me why I remember this) and Mike was labeling this big box medical device he had ordered. It had some rings and rubber tubing, a motor and it was to be plugged into the wall. Always the inquisitive one–hey I AM the student after all, gotta learn something new every day– I walked up to Mike and blurted out “Hey, is that one of those breathing devices?!”

Mike shusshed me like I had just dropped the F-bomb or something. I made note of the product name: XXXAid. (its still made, so I am leaving out the real name)
Mr 50, now decidedly more sheepish, bought his box and waddled out. Mike shot me a look that burned a hole clean thru. “WHAT?!?” I said.

“Do you know what XXXaid is?” He spat.

“No, why do you think I asked?!” feeling rather smug.

“Why don’t you go and figure it out?” as he motioned to some of the materials left behind. And so I did…

OH MY GAWD–ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HE GOING PUT THIS ON HIS (insert male genitalia here)!? Remember, I am 21 years old….
Yes, everybody, long before the days of Viva Viagra, there was XXXaid, a vacuum device designed to help those men with ED …um…perform a little better. The vacuum would pull the blood into the body part and the rings would keep the blood in place until which time the man would choose to remove them and said body part would return to its original size. No wonder Mr. 50 was dying at the counter.

It didn’t seem like a pleasant procedure, and its side effects (black and blue body part) doesn’t seem like it would be very desirable. I don’t suppose there were too many options back then however.

Mike got over my Faux Pas tho he did relegate me to the back room to make progesterone suppositories all day.

This intern did indeed learn a few new things that day. She learned how to keep her mouth shut. It keeps the foot out better.

Why I hate PBM help desks

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:55 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

“Thank you for calling Mega Super Pharmacy Benefit Inc Provider services. We’ll pretend your call is important to us but we always experience a large call volume, so please hold for stinkin ever until we decide when or if we will answer your call. You may choose option 1 to leave us a message that we will not return or you may choose option 2 to remain in the que until one of us finally comes on the line. Your representative will likely not speak English as their first language and it will be entirely likely we will disconnect you in mid sentence. If we promise to do something within 15 minutes, we won’t get it done unless you call us back. We will ask you to verify every minutae factoid even tho we have it all in front of us. It is our way to find an excuse to not help you today. If you need an ID number, we will tell you HIPAA doesn’t allow it. If you need a birthdate, we will tell you HIPAA doesn’t allow that either. If we have incorrect information, we will never correct it. In all likelyhood we will need to transfer you to another representative and once you have re-explained your situation, we will have transferred you to the wrong department. Once you have run the gauntlet, you will be informed that only the insurance carrier directly can correct your issue and the 800 number we will give you will be wrong. Thank you for calling MSPBIP, our regular hours are (closed just before you called). Please call again later…*click*

The Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 2:37 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

I dreamt about her again last night. About 2-3 times a year I dream about her. She died about 10 years ago. In some of the dreams, she is well, coming back from the great beyond to talk. I hold her hand and touch her face, re-memorizing every feature. In others, like this one, she is sick and dying, and while I still get to hold her hand, I get to do something I never got to do in real life: say goodbye.

She lived out of town and was my best friend for as long as I can remember. Wise beyond her years, she was a source of good advice any time I needed to talk. She was raised poor, married young, had her family and when her kids were old enough to fend for themselves, she came into her own by going back to school and becoming a nurse. She worked as a nurse for 20+ years before she died.

It started insidious enough, so slowly that nobody ever noticed: A headache when she would laugh, or lift something. She never thought much of it, having had migraines her whole life. When it finally began to irritate her enough to act on it, it was discovered she had a tumor, dead in the center of her brain, just under the size of a golf ball. Surgery revealed it to be a tough mass of grissle with a prolific blood supply, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse: benign but completely inoperable–too much could be lost by trying to remove it. She accepted her lot with grace, knowing that managing her headaches was all she could do. Knowing it was benign was good enough. Life went on.

A couple of years later she had a hysterectomy and she started HRT, and she loved to kid me because she loved not having periods anymore. Six months later I got the call: “its back”. The tumor was growing like cauliflower off the original stalk and by the looks of it, it wasn’t benign anymore. Two more surgeries, followed by the insertion of radiation pellets slowed the growth and for a while, it looked good. I got to look at her recent head x-ray and there was a huge black hole where her brain would normally be. It was a good thing according to the Dr.–thats where the tumor WAS, and the brain does not flex back to fill the space. We were thrilled. The pellets were doing their job. The surgeries had impacted her vision, but she could live with that, tho going back to work was no longer an option. She was alive and grateful for it.

Our joy was short lived. Just a few days later she stumbled and remarked. “If I hadn’t seen the scan myself, I’d say the tumor was back”. Unfortunately it was, and nothing was going to stop it now. She accepted this news with stoic resignation. I always wondered if it was an estrogen sensitive tumor triggered by the Premarin she took. We’ll never know.

Because she lived a 12 hour drive away, I usually tried to visit her once a month and stay for a few days. Watching this cancer ravage her body was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It begged for a rewind button. She took many visitors, and joked with them to keep them at ease. She loved to say she had picked her funeral music: Drop Kick me Jesus thru the Goal Posts of Life, and Got Along Without Ya Before I Met Ya, Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now. She never lost her sense of humor despite how undignified the dying process became.

During this nightmare, we received an invitation for a wedding in Hawaii of all places. I was not going to go but she insisted. “I cannot go, you go as my representative” Mr Chick and I went and had a nice time but my thoughts were always with her. When I got home, I immediately made plans to fly to her home, but I had to work at least a couple of weeks. My partner was more than willing to help, but he couldn’t work 7 days a week. I had been back for only a week when the call came. I was at work . “It’s over” was all her husband said.

No, It couldn’t be over. I didnt’ get to tell her about the trip. I didn’t get to see her one more time. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I was at work and couldn’t even cry about it til I got home.

She ultimately chose to have no funeral. About 2 weeks later my father called to tell me they were having a pot luck dinner in her honor and would I like to come? I was covering my partners vacation now and there was no way. “Thanks, but go on without me this time”. I said.

I was there, however, when we scattered her ashes in the mountains several weeks later.

She was my best friend, and 10 years later, I miss her terribly.

I love you mom, See you in my dreams.

I said No. (a followup)

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:49 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ok, The large-quantity-narcotic-spouse-prescribing Dr came back to retrieve the C-II prescription that we wouldn’t fill for Spouse. This could go down as a historic moment in physician maturity. Dr huffily reported that ” I still prescribe for a few patients. If I get any refill requests from your company, I will deny them”

Knock yourself out buddy, the Board of Medical Examiners already has your number. I told them I would take the high road on this unless you gave me trouble, but If you wanna take off the gloves, I am ready. You already told me you gave the narc prescriptions you wrote for yourself to your spouse. Have a serving of insurance fraud with a side of DEA violation?

Don’t mess with the Chick..

What’s up with the Schedule II’s?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:01 am on Saturday, February 23, 2008

I was putting the order away recently and I just happened to notice my C-II cabinet. We have way too many drugs in there. No, we aren’t overstocked, we just use way too many C-II’s in my opinion. When I took my first job, the II’s consisted of the basic few: Percocet, Percodan, MS Contin, Dilaudid, Ritalin, Dexedrine and a few others. They weren’t used often and it was a common occurrence to outdate. Back then Tylenol 3 or Darvocet N-100 owned the pain business and if a Dr prescribed something stronger, you had better be in serious pain. We almost never used ADD meds.

Fast forward to 2008. Not only do I have a cabinet bursting at the seams but I have expanded to a drawer as well. Every trip to the dentist gets some Percocet or Oxycodone, and I have an embarrassing number of kids (and adults) on ADD drugs. I don’t order weekly anymore, I order daily. It looks like a virtual salad bar of amphetamines and opiates in that cabinet.

I have to wonder, what has happened in one generation that has turned what used to be extraordinary drugs for special circumstances into the commonplace?

I said No.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:35 pm on Thursday, February 21, 2008

The tech took the two prescriptions from a customer. She filled them both then plopped them on me to check. The first thing I noticed was the patient and the Dr. shared the same unusual last name. I deduced (correctly) that the Dr. was prescribing for his/her spouse. Rx #1 was no issue. I am fairly liberal and while I am not a huge fan of self/family-prescribing, I realize its not illegal so I don’t fret. Rx #2 was another story. Sitting before me was great big bottle of 100+ Maximum Strength Schedule II opiate. I didn’t much like the look of that.

I checked the computer–Dr had only one rx at our store, recently filled. Dr’s spouse only had a few rx’s, also recent fills but no narcs. The blank was clear that this Dr was a specialist and the med was obviously out of the scope-of-practice, for the written prescription even had the condition being treated. The Doctor was also retired.

So, lets add it up. Retired Dr Specialist writing large quantities of C-II’s for the spouse outside of the scope of practice.

I decided I was not going to sign off on it.

I dunno, if it was for a dozen T-3’s, maybe I’d look twice but decide to go ahead, but this was way outside my comfort zone. The couple had taken off so I decided to fact-find and called some of my contemporaries. Not one of them would want their initials on the back of the hardcopy. I even called my other pharmacist at home and he didn’t like the look of it either and he knew of the physician.

An hour passed and they were both a no show so I called and left a message at their house to please contact the pharmacy. About 20 minutes later the Dr. called back. I gave my gentle and very well rehearsed schpiel as to why I didn’t feel right about filling the drug. Dr. didn’t take it very well. He/she announced that for the 14 years he/she had been self prescribing narcotics for his/her own orthopedic condition and no pharmacist had ever given him/her any trouble. Dr also added that he/she had sharing his/her prescription for years because Spouse didnt have insurance (what?!?!). Dr proclaimed that he/she would just wait until tomorrow when my partner would be on shift “because HE knows me”. I (again gently) informed Dr that he/she is free to do anything Dr’s wants but nobody at this store will be filling that prescription.

The Dr announced he/she was offended at my actions and would just take his/her business back to the competitor he/she had been going to. (fine with me).

As far as I am concerned this Dr was just digging a deeper hole, admitting self prescribing narcotics, billing them to his/her own insurance, then distributing them to the spouse. This constitutes not only insurance fraud but is a violation of federal law. All of this was confirming my decision to hand the prescription back unfilled.

I called the Board of Medical Examiners the next day just to get their stance. They agreed with my actions and said that every member knows that the practice, while not specifically illegal, is strongly discouraged. He also added that the rest of this Dr’s revelation (self prescribing and distribution to the spouse) was a violation that could result in action by the board.

I decided to take the high road and not play tattle tale. I told him that if the Dr gave me any additional trouble then I would call back and give him more specific information but for now, lets just make this call a fact-finding inquiry.

In the state of my original liscensure, this practice is illegal. Too bad its not here. It would have made for a much more pleasant evening for Pharmacy Chick.

When I am NOT the Pharmacist

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:53 pm on Thursday, February 21, 2008

During the Holiday season, Mr Pharmacy Chick and I went at the mall. We go to the mall MAYBE twice a year–and generally try to stay away from it between Thanksgiving and New Year. We did however get a coupon in the mail for $10.00 to be spent at a major department store in any way we chose. This was cool because it was not restricted like “save $10 on a 100.00 purchase”. So off we went to spend our bucks. Mr Chick was off looking at something on sale and I was immersed in socks when I heard “Oh Hi!” and I looked up and saw one of my customers from the store. I returned the greeting and hoped it would be a meeting in passing.

But NO, it was not to be. It began with “Can I ask you a question?” Just once, I wish I could answer it with what I am thinking…”Do I have a choice?” But I choked that thought to death and let her speak. To make a long story short, she was less than happy at her last interaction at the pharmacy because 1) when her husband had waited til he was OUT of ReallyImportantDrug to call for a refill (no refills remaining) and 2) she wanted us to IMMEDIATELY call the Doctor (poor planning=my emergency) , 3) she was put on hold when she called and 4) it was using up her cell phone minutes being on hold and 5) when she came in to get the prescription she didn’t recognize anybody there to discuss this travesty with (relief pharmacist).

I was still waiting for the question…she never actually asked one. However using my astute skills of deduction, I figured that the issue was she was burning cell phone minutes on hold and she didn’t like that much.

I am sorry that she has such a crappy cell plan that she actually has to worry about minutes. But the thing I am MOST sorry about was the fact that she found ME off duty to discuss this issue.

She is generally nice so I played the sensitive pharmacist and did my best to kindly address her concerns. But you know what? I was off duty. At that time I was NOT the pharmacist. I was just Joe Shopper looking at sox.

Why is it that I am fair game to be the pharmacy manager 24 hours a day? I live in the same neighborhood that I practice in. I run into people at the gym, on the street, at community events…etc. Just once I’d love somebody to say “Hi! Nice to see you get a day off now and then!” “Have a good one, see you at the store!” That just never happens however. If I am at a dinner party and a new aquaintance finds out what I do, there invariably comes the questions about drugs. I notice all the questions start out with “I know you are not a doctor but…”

As much as I’d love to blow them off, I never do. When I am shopping in the store after work or even at church, customers come up and hand me empty bottles to fill or verbally ask me to refill something. Are they kidding? Do they honestly think I am going to remember? So I don’t forget I keep the bottles out in view at home or on the console in my car–I am sure HIPAA would love that!

Just once it would be wonderful to be anonymous. When I am off duty, in my mind, I cease to be a pharmacist. I dont think about work much, I probably couldn’t muster a mental snapshot of anybody’s profile if they asked, and while I may be a wealth of drug information, I’d much rather discuss baseball or football when I am not wearing the white coat. I can imagine doctors and attorneys go thru the same thing. No wonder they attend far-away conventions and go nuts.

Now I respect pharmacists who love to pursue the profession all the time. I am sure we need those who attend association meetings and read all the journals. I am not one of those pharmacists. If you would walk into my home, you’d be hard pressed to guess what I did for a living. You wouldn’t find any drug magazines on my coffee table and other than a few antiques from my independent days, there would be little to suggest that a pharmacist lives here. When I hang up the white coat at work, the RPH stays there too. I think its mentally healthier for me that way.

(An aside to all you association-loving pharmacists who think I should re-join–I’ll join when I get a lunch and a break–22 years I have waited, and there’s no light at the end of that tunnel. But back to the ranting…)

Someday however, somebody who isn’t so nice (that I won’t miss if they leave) is going to unload on Chick and they are going to get something they didn’t expect: an earful. I can imagine this: “You know, at this exact moment, I am not an X Pharmacy employee and am not subject to any of their rules or regulations. Nothing I say can be held against me nor can you complain to anybody about my behavior if I say something you dont like or agree with–do you really want to initiate a complaint at this moment?”

I am sure Pharmacy Chick is currently too chicken to try it anytime soon. But someday……….

Pet Peeves-101

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:51 pm on Monday, February 18, 2008

Ok we all have them–some are rational, others…well might not be, but they are what they are. If you are one of my customers and you want to keep your remaining limbs, then be advised to know these about the Pharmacy Chick…in no particular order.

1. I hate nicknames. I don’t care if everybody else on the planet calls you Chip, Trip, Butch or Buzz, if your given name is Clarence, then you will forever be known here as Clarence. Your prescription labels will say Clarence and when you ask for a prescription, you better say “Clarence”.

2. Put your freakin cell phone away. Nobody, not even the President is that important that you must answer every call 24-7. I may be telling you something you need to hear and if you answer that ringing phone, I am walking away from you.

3. Don’t chit chat to me while I am filling your prescription. I have one attention span and it needs to be focused on filling the Rx you just left me. I love ya, friend but yakking at me while I am filling it will only produce negative results: it will take longer and I may screw up. If you need to tell me something about your health, I am all ears, but if all you want to recount is your golf score, save it for later.

4. Witty comments about “eating on the job” while I stuff a sandwich down on the filling line has never been funny, is not currently funny nor will it EVER be funny. You may enjoy the benefit of a corporate cafeteria with fresh fruit, soup and a salad bar but I don’t.

5. Bitch and whine about how long an Rx takes to fill or how much it costs and you will lose my attention faster than a pickpocket can take your wallet. When you ask me how long it takes to fill a prescription, do you really think I am lying when I tell you 20 minutes??? And if 20 minutes is too long, head down the street to my 24 hour competitor who will tell you 2 HOURS!

6. Do not come begging to me when your mail order doesn’t come thru, and Medco, go to He** if you think I am going to sit on hold with you for 20 minutes to get an override for 14 days because you couldn’t get the mail out fast enough. If I am not good enough to be your regular pharmacy provider, why should I break my back to be your safety net?

7. Kids: ok for those of you who love kids, read no more–really….don’t. I don’t like kids much, in fact I prefer to keep my distance from all humanoids under the age of 10….and I don’t much care for the teenage attitude either, so I guess that pretty much takes care of all minors. But specifically, I really do not like your kids terrorizing my pharmacy. Keep their sticky fingers off my blood pressure machine, my magazines, my counter and my displays. I put merchandise out to sell, not as a personal entertainment system for your children.

8. I am not the store’s information booth. This is a pharmacy. I do not sell FastTix, money orders or fishing liscences at the pharmacy counter, so what ever gave you the idea to ask? Does ANY pharmacy around sell that stuff? I also am not a courtesy clerk, find your own peanut butter and canning jars.

9.. I am not a bank. I do not have change for a C-note at 10:00 am on a Saturday morning. I haven’t even put $20 in the till let alone be able to give you $95.00 change for your $5 copay.

10. Poor planning on your part is…just too bad. I am not going to create pandemonium at your doctors office and the insurance help desk on friday afternoon because you decide you need 3 vacation overrides and 1 Doctor’s auth on a controlled substance…when your plane leaves in 4 hours. Do it yourself or get your drugs at your destination.

11. Do not call me every hour to see if your prescription is ready. Its not going to speed the process and all you will do is tick me off and I CAN make it take much longer if I choose to. If I tell you I will call YOU when its ready, do not keep calling me “in case I forget”…I will not forget.

12. Do not compare me to my competitors unless you are lavishing praise upon me. I don’t believe you if you tell me they are faster (cuz they aren’t) or cheaper (cuz I’ve already checked). If they are so wuuuunderful, then why are you standing here?

13. Coupons and price matching– see number 12. If Cost-cutter Rx INC is so cheap, then why don’t you dump me and go to them? Let me tell you why, because they will tell you to comeback in 2 days to pick up the refill you waited til you were out of, they make you park a half mile away from the door, and stand in line for a half hour with all the other schmoes who wanted to save $0.42 on their atenolol. And spare me the gift cards, I have already written about that–you aren’t checking out my business, you are playing the company for the fool that it is for even offering that garbage.

14. Phone calls: you do not need to talk to ME to take your refill over the phone, see if your rx is ready, or to discuss store hours of operation. First off, we have a very efficient automated system to help you with all of that. Second of all, if you must talk to a humanoid, we have very efficient technical help who can manage the difficult task of writing down your refill number or checking on the status of your refill.

15. Do not, REPEAT, DO NOT chase me down the aisle or seize me in the parking lot as I am leaving for the night and ask me if its too late to get a prescription. There is no longer a counter between me and you–how much do you like your remaining limbs anyway?

AND a few for the Doctors:

1. If I take the time to maneuver my way thru your phone system to speak to a living breathing member of your staff, to discuss a patient issue that couldn’t wait any longer, do not do me the disservice of shuttling me to somebody elses voice mail! If I wanted voice mail, I wouldn’t have wasted the time calling!

2. If you are going to practice medicine out of your kitchen and call in stuff for your friends and neighbors will you at least do the the favor of telling me that so when we call for refills next time and catch crap from your nurse ” he/she is not a patient” we will know better?

3. English goes a long way–do you suppose you (and any of your phone-using staff) can effectively learn to speak it? If Olga the deeply Russian nurse, or Thuy the thoroughly Chinese medical assistant cannot seem to transmit one simple prescription accurately over the phone without assistance, how am I supposed to confidently fill it?

4. Your refills: Unless you are requiring your refill requests to be presented to you handritten on parchment by monk scribes, there is no reason you need to take 3 days to ok a simple refill! And I don’t care how irritated you are at receiving my 2nd or 3rd fax, I am going to fax you every 24-stinkin hours until you fax back an ok or denial. Simply ignoring it will result in only one thing: a really mad patient cuz I am going to direct them to call you when you dont call me back–It makes me look really good for trying SO HARD and you so REALLY BAD for not calling me back.

5. I know you are super important, God-like and stuff, but I must be a complete failure for living in a city with 2 million people, 10,000 physicians, a medical school and teaching hospital, because I have not memorized every signature for every single Dr. and Dr Wannabe. So just humor me and print your name and phone when you use the generic discharge blanks the hospital gives you, ok? Cuz it really sucks when I send your patient home empty handed because I can’t read your scribble…and I can’t call you….and by the way, DEA numbers aren’t just for suckers–if you write narc’s, you have to USE it.

Happy Trails! Send me your fav’s too

Pharmacy Chick

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