The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Beyond my help.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:48 pm on Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just a reminder that its probably not the best time to  ask for a vacation override when:

1. Its a Schedule II and..

2. you are getting on the plane in 4 hours..and

3. its 6pm and…

4. you insurance is on the east coast…and….

5. They closed at 5 pm THEIR time.

But we tried…

A non-holiday holiday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:55 am on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A guy comes to the counter, one I usually see only once a month..Dave…and today wasn’t his normal day.  ” I need a refill on this”..and he hands me an empty bottle of Norco hmm, wonder where the rest of them are...  It had been only about 18 days, and he is on a narcotic contract.  120 every 30 days..and 30 days means 30 days..its written in our comments section.  I look up the rx and he is scheduled for his next refill on Jan 1, and tell him that we will fill it then.

“But that is a HOLIDAY!” he whines.  “Hmm, technically yes but in practice NO, because we are open on Jan 1. we will fill it per your doctor’s orders on Jan 1”.

He kept trying. “But I am not going to be on this side of town on Jan 1″…not sure he thought that one out very well …“No worries, every one of our 100+ locations in the metro area will be open as will be most of our competitors. I will transfer it anyplace you find yourself near to on Jan 1. 

“I think you are being unreasonable..” he decided to counter.  I replied kindly ” Its not my decision, its your physicians orders. He makes the rules in this case, Dave” ” I’m sorry, if you need it filled early, you need to explain it to him.”

Since I received no faxes or phone calls from his doctor I can only assume he didn’t bother to ask or he just accepted that his ruse wasn’t going to work.

The Holidays…any holiday, really, seems to be the perfect excuse for early refills on medications, especially controlled substances.   Its rather humorous however that some people want these early refills  to re-set the clock…they then want them on a new refill schedule instead of  on the schedule they had been on before.   Its also rather coincidental how many seem to have to travel long distances over every holiday.. Arbor Day?  “yea, I am going to Antartica..on a cruise…Memorial day?.. “I am going hiking in the remote Appalachian mountains”..  President’s Day…”um, I am going to a Tibetan monastery”. Sometimes I swear that every human travels over the holidays…if thats the case…WHO IS HOME TO ENTERTAIN ALL THESE TRAVELERS??

Ok so this may a stretch, but do you just suppose for one tiny minute that I am not the complete idiot that you think I am?

We have one clinic who has come to a very clever solution to this early refill/vacation practice.  Dr Vicosoma requires the patient to call his office with his departure and his return date.  If the date of return is technically before he runs out then no dice.  If his return date is after the patient is scheduled to run out then he is allowed enough pain med to return him to home…plus 1 day.  After he returns he may request his refills on his proper schedule.  It may not be fool proof but its better than doling out a 30 day supply of meds to somebody who is trying to play us for the fool.

Even some of the insurance companies have leaped off the vacation bandwagon.  Unless you are travelling internationally, a few of them will not authorize vacation supplies anymore because their plans are nationally accepted. Granted, its probably a pain in the butt to fill a rx on vacation,  but since somebody else is footing the bill, I guess they can set their own rules. 

“Dave’s”  refill request is still sitting on  my computer with ” 1-1-11″ on it.  Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll fill it that day.

And on a completely different subject…what a cool day is 1-1-11!  I bet alot of geeks get married that day…a binary wedding!

The groundrules..Lets review. Who I am , what I write, and whose blog is it anyway…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:36 am on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My last posting about Providential Interference sparked several comments, most of which I posted.  Two of them were right on the edge of what I would be willing to accept as comments.  Eric and Mike took some exception to what I posted. No need to repeat them here.One was sarcastic and one was spot on rude. You can read the comments and my response under them.

Mike however really got my hackles up.  If you want to “tick the chick” off, you can accomplish it in one of two ways:  Name call and offend the Lord.  He did both. I can certainly understand his pain if some close friend of his perished in a horrible gun accident, but dont be mad at God (or me for that matter)..be mad at the idiot who was brandishing the gun.  Playing with guns and pointing them towards anybody is stupid on every level. God gave us the brains to make good decisions and bad decisions.  He is not going to keep us from doing dumb things 100% of the time anymore than he has preserved me from every single car accident….just this one.  There are hundreds of times in my life where things have happened that I dont like, want to accept, or understand.  I dont like wars. I dont like seeing soldiers with their appendages blown off.  I dont like to see hungry or sick children, I dont like to see homeless families.  I didnt like to see one of my dear friends blow his brains all over his bedroom. I dont like or understand ANY of it.  But as I said in my comment, we live in a broken world.  Good and Bad exist.  I hate the bad and love the good, but I have to exist with them both.

Why does God allow it?  I dont have the perfect answer but this:  Our world is broken and we are broken sinful people. I do not buy into the opinion that humans are “generally good”.  Good needs to be learned..if you question that statement..take a look at any toddler..they dont have to be taught to be bad..it just comes naturally. A parent has to work long and hard to teach his/her child to be GOOD. As long as sin exists in this world then there will be pain, suffering, death, destruction, and questions unanswered.

That being said, this is my blog.  In this media I have to answer to nobody. I dont have to please a stockholder, a boss, an editor or a publisher.  I am IT.  I write it for my pleasure and for the entertainment of those who elect to read it.  I dont force anybody to read it.  Even Mr Chick,  has the option to read or not read it. I never ask him to read certain posts…and only occasionally does he sit down play on his computer anyway. 

I appreciate every single reader to chooses to read my blog.  I am amazed that as many people DO read it!  If you read me regularily, you know I am a retail pharmacist and most of my postings are of that genre.  I am also a lover of Jesus, Coke, Golf, tennis, quilting, playing the piano, and crochet.  Occasionally I post faith stories, general stories of my childhood or my family, but over 90% of my posts are about pharmacy.  I never post politically related stuff because I am generally disinterested in politics.

I also have my favorite blogs that I read and enjoy. Nobody forces me to read them.  If I read a blogger whose interests aren’t mine or I find offensive I just quit reading him/her.  I am not going to blast them in a comment and tell them to bugger off.  To me that is like  walking into a person’s home and then insulting their decor.  Its rude.

I also do not expect every one of my readers to share all my views, however.  Some of my readers are Christians, some are Jewish, some are of no faith at all.  If those do not like those posts, then wait for the next one.  Some of the blogs I read are written by people of different faiths.  Do you think I would insult Dr Grumpy because he wrote something about Hanukkah?  No way!  He is a talented MD, a fabulous writer and I love to follow him.  It would be rude and inappropriate. Likewise, he has never said anything unkind in my blog.

We all have the right to believe what we wish, write as we choose, and read what we want.

It is too easy to hide behind an email address a thousand miles away or hide behind anonymity and say unkind things to one another.  Sadly that is one of the problems we face on the internet that has spilled over to society.  People have called the pharmacy and have said horrible things on the phone that they probably wouldn’t have the guts to say to my face.. The veil of the phone….the veil of the screen removes a certain level of civility we should maintain with eachother. I have no problem if somebody wishes to state an opposing view..but do so appropriately.

Therefore, all being said,  I am sorry to say goodbye to Mike, If he doesn’t like my posting then perhaps I am not the blog for him. I am not going to change how I write nor what I write. 

Happy New Year to everybody…even you Mike.

PC

Providential Interference?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 1:34 pm on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am sure that everybody has their opinion on the Lord’s involvement into one’s personal existence.  Some of you may not believe in a higher power, but I do. This by no means is the sole reason but it certainly serves as a reminder to his existence, his involvement and his care for me.

I am going home from work the other day.  I have to make a left hand turn at this 4 way intersection with a stop light at it.  This intersection comprises 1 straight lane and 1 left hand turn lane for each direction…got it?  I am approaching the turn lane and there is a car (stopped) in the straight lane just to my right.  For some inexplicable reason I stopped my car about a half-car lenth behind him.  It seemed my foot worked on its own accord and I stopped..short.

You have to know I never do this..I ALWAYS pull up even to or maybe even just ahead of these cars so I can get a clear view of the intersection AND make sure I activate the sensors so the light will turn green for the left hand turn.

At the very instance I came to rest this car came zooming from my right (he was making his own left hand turn). He cut his corner WAY to short, narrowly missing the car in the straight lane next to me and also narrowly missing myself..  Startled the heck out of me. Not only was he going too fast ( trying to beat the light?) but he ended up cutting directly into the place I would have been 99.999% of the time.

Had I  pulled up to where I normally do, I would have had a good part of my front end smashed to bits because all this happened at the same time.

Did my foot act on its own accord?  Nah, the Lord stopped me just in the place I needed to be to avert this accident.

Thank you Lord, for whatever angel you sent for me that night.

Help PC pick a new blog roll!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:24 pm on Monday, December 27, 2010

Like sand in an hour glass, so goes the days of our lives….( or something like that)..I haven’t watched soap operas since I was a teenager…

However, its a good segue into my request to you all.  What (who) are your favorite pharmacy blogs?  TAPest hasn’t written in forever, sadly I have dropped him..but I miss him.. Pharmacy Mike retired his prolific writing (much to my chagrin). Pharmacy Good Guy doesn’t write any more either and Guzzo has left the building and took his site with him (also made me sad..he posted the best videos).

I would like to expand my blog roll to link up with some of the favorites out there…even if they aren’t Pharmacy related. Do you have a hilarious never-miss-it blog you wanna share?  Is there a pharmacy blog anywhere near as interesting as MINE?  (haha, tongue firmly in cheek ).

Comment with a link.  I’ll check it out and if its appropriate, I will add it to my list!

The Dangerous Christmas package.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:55 pm on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Geez, it looked harmless enough.  “Here Pharmacy Chick..we love you so much” in her heavily accented English.  Olga was bringing me a bag of her home made goodies in a bag stapled shut.  I thanked her profusely then went about tearing open the bag like I was a shark in blood infested waters.

She had stapled the bag as tho it was securing gold bullion..and I missed one..

OUCH..dammit!  One staple right thru the thumb..(of course being PC, I have to make some kind of joke)

“Hey, I’m bleeding…anybody wanna check my blood sugar and kiss my boo boo?”

(shaddup, Chick!…whats on the plate.. dibs on the rum balls)

I get no pity.

Merry Christmas everybody (and happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and any other winter holiday that my readers celebrate! ) I appreciate you all and hope your 2011 is Happy, Healthy and full of wonderful surprises!

A rewind moment.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:36 pm on Sunday, December 19, 2010

So now we are up to 3 posters about the Board of Pharmacy ruling on Plan B.  I would like to go forth saying that I carry Plan B, I sell it to every legal person who asks for it, and I have made it very clear that my issue is not the DRUG in question, but the situation where the Chick feels that the Board moved beyond its athority when it made this ruling, making it appear that its some kind of God given right at every woman who walks into a pharmacy should be able to have 100% access to Plan B.

Lets rewind 23 years.  Pharmacy Chick is a pretty new pharmacist. She hasn’t been doing this for very long and PBM’s are still quite new.  Online adjudication is still a few years away and every claim is done on a UCF (universal claim form)  PCS and PAID are THE major players in the industry and if you want to know what is covered you had to go to this GIANT binder sent to you by said agency full of blue or green pages: 1 page for each plan.  Look at the card..Plan 378, go to the plan 378 page and see its coverage and exclusions.  Get it right because if you didn’t, you weren’t paid and good friggin luck getting the patient to come in and pay for the drug after the fact. ( I remember my boss FUMING over every unpaid claim..it was money out of his pocket after all)

I wish I still had these books because I would show you all something..and if you are old enough to remember..the “exclusions”…

NOT COVERED:  Oral contraceptives,  Fertility medication,  Obesity medication,  and the list went on..

Oral contraceptives were nearly the FIRST on that list every single time.  It just wasn’t done..and really, nobody did much about it.  Did the board of pharmacy scream to the PBM’s and say “you must make this accessible to each of your members!”?  No, they  didn’t.  Gradually, over time,  a few insurers covered it and for the most part, its a covered drug by most plans, albeit not all.  Nobody did it because they had their hands forced.

In fact, back then the BOP didn’t micromanage pharmacy like it does now.  Pause for a side trip:  Take for instance the standard BOP inspection.  23 years ago the inspector would come in, shake your hand, announce  he was doing an inspection.  He would check a few files, make sure you signed off on your C-2 rx’s, check to make sure your water ran hot, and your fridge was cold, make sure your lisence was on the wall and in date, checked a few drugs on the shelf to make sure that you didn’t have outdated drugs on them, then signed off on his one page inspection report and said adieu.  Fast forward to now. I recently had my inspection.  Its a 12 page document and he was there for 2 and 1/2 hours going line-item thru every single one. Don’t get me started..i’d never quit writing..

Times change and the perception of some certain drugs that evoke emotion and anger..and that these have become the hot-seat drugs.

For a while it was selling cigarettes in a drugstore. (it may STILL be for all I know).  I know very well that its the anthesis of what we stand for, but then again, there are a lot of things that we sell that I think are trash.  Did the BOP step in and tell us YOU SHALL NOT sell cigarettes because it endangers public safety? Nope,not even a peep. But for some reason the BOP got involved in THIS issue.

At the risk of getting too lengthy, I will just summarize by posing this question.

When does “regulation” step across the line and become “big brother interference”?

Thats all I am asking…

8:15 Friday night phonecall

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:57 pm on Friday, December 17, 2010

This is NOT the phone call you want to receive on a Friday night…8: 15 pm..

(ring ring)  “Pharmacy Chick Pharmacy..Chick speaking”

“Um hello, this is Frances…I was supposed to be your tech tomorrow”

“WAS SUPPOSED”….What the heck……(head on counter)

I just KNOW a “Candid Camera” crew will jump out someday and tell me the joke is on me………ok, I’m waiting…

Washington State and Plan B

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:40 am on Friday, December 17, 2010

AP reported today that the Washington board of pharmacy refused to overturn a ruling that prohibited pharmacies from refusing to “dispense” Plan B based on personal beliefs, etc…citing that it would cause undue patient delays especialy in rural areas where pharmacies are few and far between.  I am, of course, summarizing the article but I fail to see a problem here.

Plan B is an OTC item .  There are no rules or regulations that state what we must or must not carry as far as OTC items.  If you dont want to dispense Plan B, then dont carry it..be “out of stock”.  Simple.  The board may not be able to regulate what you “dispense” but they cannot regulate what you PURCHASE…

Any Washington pharmacists out there with  input?

(and by the way PC carries and dispenses it so, no flaming me..I have no personal opinion on the matter either way..I am just reporting the news)

Its the most Wonderful time of the year!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:43 pm on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Despite my aversion to superfluous Christmas gift giving, I do love the holiday season.  I especially love the music…Christmas music..bring it on. I probably like it even more because there are only about 30 days a year I can listen to it with impunity and not be put under psychiatric evaluation.  My all time favorite song is O Holy Night..I always get get goose pimples when I hear the second verse.. “Christ is the Lord, Praise his name Forever…

I think I love Christmas music so much because it makes the holiday appear so perfect in our most imperfect world.  There are tons of fluffy white snow, and no traffic.  The houses are full of people who all like each other and get along.  There are  crackling fires in giant fireplaces in the corner, and the kids are quietly entertaining themselves.  The food is plentiful and everybody is merry.  There is no creepy uncle Lou whose hugs are about 5 seconds too long and no odd Aunt Rose who always smells like moth balls. 

The songs are full of merriment and romance.  A giant tree laden with ornaments and lights guard lots of beautifully wrapped presents.  There is always enough money and food.  There are no issues…no agendas…no grudges…no broken-ness. 

I can close my eyes and envision the perfect Pharmacy Chick Christmas:

A giant log cabin house in the snowy mountains somewhere.  All of my family is there..Mom is alive and healthy and making her favorite cookies, and Dad is playing cribbage with (and soundly beating) my brother.  There is a big fire in a massive river rock fireplace and all the furniture is covered in Pendleton Wool furnishings.  There is a warm glow all over. I am just taking it all in.

As it is, Mom has passed away, Dad remarried to somebody I can’t warm up to. My brother is divorced and tho we care about each other, he never calls, emails or txts..(0r answers them). I dont have a log cabin or a river rock fireplace.  I live 700 miles from any blood relative.

Sigh..I think I’ll just close my eyes for now…and listen to Christmas music….and remember that Jesus didn’t have a “perfect” Christmas either.

Next Page »