The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Fun with numbers!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:19 pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who doesn’t have a phone now days? Heck who doesn’t have at least 2 phone numbers?  So the whining I got today when some guy complained about burning gas coming to my store only to find out his RX hadn’t been oked by the dr fell on deaf ears.  Want some cheese with that whine?

However, it got me thinking.  Gas is just under $3 a gallon.  I am not sure how many cents worth of gas he spent driving to my house, but I’d have been happy to pay it just to shut him up.   I decided to so some simple math after he left.  I think he’d be pretty happy with his current fuel expenditures if he had to fill his tank with some common pharmaceuticals instead of petrol.

Price per gallon of some common pharmaceuticals: at my cost.

Generic Augmentin 400/5                        $575/gal

Butorphanol nasal spray                      $21,104/gal

Pulmicort 1mg/2ml neb solution        $ 25,344/gal

Auralgan ear drops (new sol)              $ 43,216/gal

Acetasol HC ear drops  (new sol)       $ 71,950/gal

Vigamox 0.5% eye drops                    $ 77,657/gal

Pataday eye drops                              $  129,331/gal

And then we get to the real bad boys in price per gallon.  How’d you like to load up on these?

Enbrel 50mg/ml                       $1,442,092/gal

and finally Humira 40/.08ml     $3, 192, 277 dollars per gallon.

Fill er up!

Refill me.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 12:37 pm on Monday, June 8, 2009

“Can you refill this?” said the Customer to the pharmacist.  A simple enough request if there were refills available. “You have no refills” said the Pharmacist to the customer.  ” But I need it now, today, immediately, for I will surely die without it, and I m getting on a plane, going on a cruise, leaving on vacation, and going to a funeral”.   ” We will call your Doctor and do our best” Says the pharmacist to the customer.

“Can you refill this?” Says the Pharmacist to the Dr.  A simple enough request to be honest. “Fax it here, fax it there, leave a message in this voicemail box,”, says the nurse to the pharmacist.  “Kind office,( we ask), your patient needs it soon, for he is going on a trip/ cruise/funeral, will you help us?. 

time passes….

“Did you refill this?” said the Customer to the Pharmacist a few hours later. “No. they haven’t called back, its only been 3 hours.” Said the pharmacist to the customer.  “Did you tell him I needed it right away?” said the customer to the pharmacist. “Yes I did” said the Pharmacist to the customer  “Did you call the office and tell them ALSO?” said the pharmacist to the patient”..no reply.

a little more time passes, its 430 pm.

“Did you refill this” said the Pharmacist to the Dr’s office.  “No. its still on his desk”, said the office to the pharmacist. “Did you tell the patient we require 48 hours for refills?” said the office to the pharmacist.

And so it goes. I feel like a messaging service. He said, She said. Tell him this, Tell her that. ” Tell him I want more pills” “Tell her she needs an appointment”

Back and Forth

WHY DON’T THEY TALK TO EACH OTHER?  They both have phones to call me, why don’t they call each other?

The odd thing is, this happens all.the.time. Its something I really don’t understand.  Everytime some customer conveys some kind of “emergency” I advise them to call the office as well.  After all, the Dr is accountable to  the patient, not me.  I’ll bet 8 out of 10 times when the DR has not called back AND I have asked the patient “Did you contact the office also?” the answer is NO. 

Hey, I did my best.  Dearest customer: you didn’t.

And most of the Rx’s still sit in the box at the end of the  day…

An irrevocable moment and my attitude adjustment.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:53 pm on Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pharmacy chick was a tad pissed.  It was Sunday and I had the weekend shift.  I actually don’t mind working the weekend shifts as they are WAY slower than the weekday ones and given our labor reductions, I am happy with less volume (provided I don’t have a flaky tech call in sick like I did on saturday).

BUT ANYWAYS,  I had someplace to go after work.  This social engagement was to begin and 4:50 pm and I figured I had enough time to get home, eat a snack, change and make the 20 minute drive IF I got out on time. So what happens?  Some lady shows up at 5 minutes of closing and hands me 2 transfers, one refill and a new script.  I told her politely that we were in the closing procedure and she may have the refill but the transfers will wait until monday.  One quick look at the new one told me “REJT-Drug not covered”.  I knew her plan well–state medicaid.    While tech extraordinare finished the refill, I did a quick transmit on the new one to verify it was not covered..and I was right. I printed the rejt and tucked it in the receipt and rang the lady up for her copay.  It twas now 5 min after closing and the tech had to clock out (labor dollars do not allow anything over shift schedule), so she left. 

This lady decided she wanted to argue about the non covered claim.  “My Doctor SAID it would be covered!”  (oh yea, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that…Doctors don’t write formularies lady)  My patience and the time was slipping away, but to my credit (Thanks God, again) I didnt’ get pissy AT her. I didn’t need to give her a reason to whine about my behavior. I just told her to discuss with her case worker (who will certainly blow her off) and I told her we had to close.

This is the long introduction to the story.

By the time I sat down in my car it was 20 minutes after.  Usually I am in the car by 5 minutes after closing. Crud, now I had no time to eat, I’ll have to go in my work clothes, and I’ll have mad dash to make it on time.  I was really brooding about this whilst I was on the freeway heading to my destination.

About 1/2 mile from my exit I could see some serious abnormalities on the freeway ahead of me.  For starters I could see a lot of people milling about the freeway on the opposite side.  It doesn’t take a real brain trust to know that people standing around on an interstate freeway is NOT a good thing.  I could also see a car on MY left shoulder facing me.  Anything on MY side of the road should NOT be facing me.  As I slowly approached the area, I saw this car looked to have had a motorcycle welded into its grill all the way up to its seat.  The front of the cycle was completely intact, but it’s back half literally disappeared into the grill of the car that hit it.   Behind the car about 150 feet was a group of people milling around a figure laying on the ground. 

Oh Crap, somebody rear ended a motorcycle…at highway speeds.  Emergency personnel hadn’t even arrived yet, but I could see their lights about a 1/2 mile away.  I decided not to stop. For starters, the Ambulance was in view and the last thing this scene needed was another onlooker.  I said a prayer for the man on the ground, trusting that the trained personnel only seconds away would do a better job than I.

My broody mood immediately changed.  So what if I was 10 minutes late.  One of the people milling around was likely the driver of the car, and while I am no mind reader, I can bet he was wishing he could undo this irrevocable moment.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Nobody gets up and walks away from this kind of accident and the guy laying on the pavement was likely fighting for his life.  Neither of them woke up that day expecting it to end this way.

Had I been out of the store on time, I might have viewed this carnage as it unfolded. I may have been forced into a position of first responder, which I would have done.

I know this accident didn’t happen so I would view it and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me and my petty grievances.  Thats not how things work.

It just turned out that way. 

__________________________

Addend…one of the people at the social engagement saw the accident,  her husband pulled over and WAS the first responder. He is an EMT.  I don’t know what the condition of the man is, and couldn’t find anything about the accident on the news, but I guess if you are gonna have somebody stop for you, an EMT is a pretty good choice.

Where is the “farmer” at this market?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 4:43 pm on Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I love an old fashioned produce stand.  Starting in the middle of May, there is a nice one operating out of a tent about a 1/2 mile from the home of Chick.  I support him as much as I can, because I like his fresh produce and he’s making a living in an empty lot literally across the street from a huge grocery store.  From the turnout I see as I drive by every day, he does a good job.  I love his beefsteak tomatoes, a variety rarely seen in a grocery store.

There is also an organized “farmers market” that runs every saturday not far from my store and once in a while I will stop by on my way to work and see what they have.  This one is rather small, with about 20-25 stalls.  There is one thing distinctly missing from this farmers market:  the farmer.

Here is a sampling of what was there:  A lady selling beads.  Another lady selling hand made jewelry (presumably with the beads from her neighbor?).   A display of plaid table runners.  A shop of bird feeders. A man selling wooden chickens.  A man selling colorful wind socks and wind chimes (I H.A.T.E wind chimes).  Puppets, decorated terra cotta pots, 35 varieties of canned olives (at least its a food item),  and a guy sitting in a macrame lawn chair selling..macrame lawn chairs.

What I am getting at is:  of the 20-25 vendors, over 2/3 weren’t selling anything grown from the dirt or produced by the hands of a farmer.

This may be a traveling crafters mall, a summer bazaar, but trust me,  its no farmers market.

Although, I wonder what Mr chick might think if I brought home a wooden chicken….nah, better not.

Hot and Cold and cold and cold.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:54 pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pharmacy Chick is the consumate heat lover.  I’d be a happy pharmacist if I never had to wear long pants and sweaters again.  Always cold, I love it when summer finally hits my part of the planet.  I could live forever in a warm climate. Unfortunately I seldom ever get to work in one.

The person who controls the temperature of of the pharmacy is a cruel sadistic menopausal woman I think. All winter long we languish at a bone chilling 63 degrees (really, it feels cold).  They dispense degrees of heat like its gold bullion.  All summer long, however they crank the air conditioning like electricity is free, and we still get that bone chilling 63. 

For about 2 weeks a year, however, we get “temperature nirvana”.  Its too warm for the heater to come on, but not so hot that the AC has kicked in.  Its a comfortable 70-72 degrees and I can actually wear short sleeves at work.  Silly me to think it may last.  I went to work on saturday morning in my short sleeves and noticed immediately that lady in the checkstand was wearing a sweater.  Darn.  It was freezing in the store.  I had a light fleece in my locker so I wore that most of the morning.

It was a wonderful 80 degrees outside by noon.  And, no less than 5 people who came to the counter to pick up their prescriptions complained “Geez, its freezing in here, I’m gettin’ out a here”.

Way to go corporate.  Spend millions of dollars a year on adverising and kill all your sales by freezing out your customer base.

There is a grocery store near my house I routinely shop at. Its notoriously cold.  I keep a fleece in my car at all times for such places. 

PC does not like to be cold, so she dresses like Nanook of the north all summer long at work.  If they would warm it up a few degrees, maybe they could pay the tech they forced me to lay off in april…

Just another rambling thought.

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