The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Common sense and looking at the big picture

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:23 pm on Wednesday, May 21, 2008

She wasn’t the most stable of individuals. Her profile was a plethora of antipsychotics and anxiolytics. She was also the poster child for the non-compliant patient. She wasn’t taking her meds regularly and given that fact, she might have saved her $2 copay and not taken them at all for what good they were doing her.

She came in for a refill on a Friday afternoon. She complained she was out (it had been around 45 days on a 30 day supply of meds)but she didn’t have the $2 until Saturday, so being the kind and benevolent pharmacist that I am, I gave her 3 chlorpromazine to “tide her over”. Even if she never showed up again, we’d be out about 15 cents of meds, 1 vial and a label. So what.

I filled the rest of the meds and put them on the shelf, minus the 3 tabs, marked as such. I finished the day and went home.

Unfortunately (as it turned out) the next shift was to be covered by a relief pharmacist from an outside agency. I got a call late Saturday afternoon from the pharmacist. No conversation starts out well with “I thought you should know about this”….

This gal had decided to go to a different store (in our same chain) to pick up the chlorpromazine. It was about 5 miles away. In her unstable mind it didn’t matter where she went. The pharmacist went to the shelf, discovered we had advanced her 3 tabs and refused to transfer the prescription to the other store. This enraged the patient. (remember: profile filled with antipsychotics and anxiolytics?) She drove to our store, made a complete scene at the counter, pretty much ruined the day for the pharmacist and the tech, and just just to complete the tirade, grabbed a display of wine sitting on an endcap and pulled it to the ground, shattering about 2 cases of wine in the process.

I was speechless. All I could think of was “Linda (fake name), it was 15 cents worth of drug. Do you honestly think it mattered that much?” She muttered something about the principle and her not being in a position to make that kind of decision. The tech thought I would be proud of them for not transferring the prescription.

For 15 cents of med, an enraged woman brought $200 worth of wine crashing to the floor.

The next monday, I had a LONG discussion with the tech about looking at the big picture.



Comment by Manu

May 21, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

I don’t think it’s the tech’s fault. What if the lady didn’t destroy those wine bottles? Then would this have mattered? I mean, if the responsibility belongs to anyone, it should be the relief pharmacist.


Comment by Shalom (R.Ph.)

May 22, 2008 @ 10:03 am

I don’t understand something. You and the other store are in the same chain, right? Why couldn’t your floater call the other branch and tell them to give 27 tablets instead of 30? They fill it in the computer for 30, dispense 27, and do the inter-store transfer for the other three tablets (from their inventory to yours). Customer is happy (well, as happy as anyone on Thorazine ever gets), corporate is happy b/c they didn’t lose the damn 15 cents, the janitor is happy b/c he didn’t have to clean up all that wine. As long as it’s not a control, which it isn’t, there’s no reason (legal or financial) not to do the transfer.

I mean, what the heck, I’ve been a floater for two national chains and I wouldn’t have hesitated.

(But you should definitely bar this woman from your store in future. Who knows what she’ll do next. The wine is probably a lost cause, unless someone wants to take her to small claims court.)


Comment by pharmacychick

May 22, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

I agree with you somewhat. Yes it was the Rph responsibility. She was the decision maker. BUT the tech was highly supportive of the pharmacist NOT transferring the rx. She was also a long time tech in my store. She wasn’t a newbie.Plus, It was a store in the same chain, and the drug was all of 15 cents. Had she told the pharmacist “hey, PC won’t care about 15 cents AND it is within the company” things might have been different.
Thanks for writing:-)


Comment by PharmacyJim

June 3, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

Heck, I can top that. I’ve loaned some tabs or caps to a few patients (say a weekends worth) over the years and had one of my competitors call on Monday for a copy. What are you going to do? Needless to say, the next time they needed a “few” they did not get them. Fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most of my patients know that I will take care of them on their regular (non-controlled) meds and they do appreciate it. I also agree you have to see the big picture. Those doggone trees get in the way of that forest from time to time.


Comment by pharmacychick

June 4, 2008 @ 8:24 am

Yes sir, good rule of thumb is “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”

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