The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

The insinuation

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:48 pm on Monday, December 16, 2013

As a human, I dont like to have my personal failures pointed out to me, nor do I take any joy in pointing them out in others.  We all have our things we do that may not be smart, and I accept that.  However, THAT BEING SAID,  I do not appreciate when somebody has a failure  in their life and then tries to create a situation like its my fault or I will be to blame if I dont bail them out.

“bail out”..we do a lot of that.  I dont need to list them all here. If you are a pharmacist, you know how we bail out customers all the time.  Whether it be vacation overrides AS THEY ARE ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT, or finding a way to get a med covered because they allegedly LOST it..again… we seem to be in  the business of “rescue” several times a day.

Not everybody should be rescued however.  Take Thursday…please..Id really not like to have that day over. For some reason Wed was slow and that created a super busy Thursday.  By day’s end we were almost 50 over our normal Thursday volume.  It was close to 6 ish when this guy came in.  He asked for me by name which was odd because the only thing we had ever done for him was one flu shot. I remembered him vaguely as being a pretty nice guy.  He handed me a bottle from a store several states over. Lisinopril 10mg # 30….One daily… Dated Sept 26 2013.  O refills remaining.

” I forgot I was out of refills” ” We moved here a couple of months ago and don’t have a new doctor yet. What can you do for me?”  Wow, I thought that was interesting verbiage to be honest.  What can you do for me?  I looked at the bottle and a couple of thoughts came to mind….1)  by all intents and purposes he should have run out of this med on Oct 26. Today was December 12.  So roughly 45 days have passed since he should have been out, so compliance is an issue.  2) He said he moved here so his relationship with the doc would technically have ended and 3) he has no new relationship established with a new physician tho he has had 2 months to do so.

” My options are pretty limited” I said and proceeded to tell him what ” I can do ” for him.  I would call his previous pharmacy and get the doc information and fax the doctor on Friday and request one more refill  and see if the Doc would do that.  Most likely he would unless he had some kind of acrimonious ending prior to moving or if he was grossly overdue for an appointment…..OR He could make a trip to a Urgent Care or Quickie clinic and get the doc to check his blood pressure and give him a month RX or so til he actually established care locally.   He certainly didn’t want to spend any money by going to urgent care he said…. so that left option No. 1.

I took his bottle and said I would contact the office and ask if they would take care of this matter but HE should call them first thing in the am to make it a priority…after all  ” they have to act before I can fill this…I can ASK, but I cannot REQUIRE.”

I hoped I had made it very clear what I was going to do, and what he should do to end up with the desired result within 24 hours.

He then said ” Arent you going to give me any meds for tonight?”    ” Lets just see what the doctor says tomorrow before I have to make that decision”, I said. ” We dont know what he wants yet. So lets give it one more day”

And then the topped off this conversation with this little zinger… ” Dont you think you are putting me in harms way by denying me this med?”


If I was the store OWNER, I could have responded with a nice little zinger of my own, but I dont sign my own paychecks sadly.  ” I truly dont think you are in any danger.  By the date on this RX, you really should have been out in late October…one more day will not matter.”

And off he went… It wasnt an angry conversation, but he didn’t get what he wanted.  I did what I felt was professionally the correct call.

The tech was dumfounded.  ” Harms way??” she said.   ” was he serious?”

He was essentially attempting to make his failure to refill his drugs promptly,his noncompliance, or get a new doc in a timely manner, MY  PROFESSIONAL GUILT TRIP.

And, I was having none of it.  One flu shot does not make him my responsiblilty.  And certainly he didnt feel in harms way for either going without or skipping days the last 2 and 1/2 months.

Would it have been the end of the world if I gave him 3 tabs and it was refused?  no, probably not. But thats not the point here.

I am not properly packed…Please dont send me on a guilt trip not of my own making.



Comment by Don

December 17, 2013 @ 4:51 am

Yep. Maybe when he starts taking responsability for his own health, he won’t find himself in this situation again.

Pretty rude to dump on you.

Just a patient.

Comment by Dennis

December 17, 2013 @ 8:59 am

No, you didn’t put him in harms way. He put himself in harms way by not making arrangements for a new doctor. If he really felt he needed the medication that night he could have gone to any urgent care and I’m sure they would have given him one fill to hold him over until he could get a new doctor.

I think it takes a lot of nerve to try and lay a guilt trip on you. If he was truly concerned about getting his medication, he would have made sure to either get more refills before he moved or signed up with a new doctor asap after moving.

Comment by barb

December 25, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

What’s the saying….”failure of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part”…yeah after 20+ years of practice and dealing with these morons more than I’d ever want to, I’d probably be that *itch of an RPh that would throw that quote at him. I got taken one too many times ‘here’s a few to get you by til you can bring me a script.’ They get the RX and go elsewhere to fill it, and i have to explain the write off to owner/corporate. Also got told more than once by former doc refused to ok 1x refill “because patient moved so longer their concern,he can go to urgent care or ER one”

Comment by barb

December 25, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

Sorry that last sentence should read **for one**

Comment by DX

December 29, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

Legally he has no right to ask for a schedule 6 medication without a valid prescription. There is no harm’s way and you wouldn’t be liable if, God forbid, something happened to him.

I try to impart on my patients/guests/clients that their medication is their responsibility. My job is to get them the right medication, teach them everything I can about it, and facilitate anything I can with their doctors.

0 refills from 3 months ago and you just now are asking for a transfer? I’ll send the fax/make the call, but sorry, I won’t loan out pills based on that.

Comment by Mickey Blue Eyes

January 9, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

Everyone is a victim. The guy is a victim of the doctor not giving him one more refill. The guy is a victim of [insert villain here] for preventing him from taking his meds as prescribed and noticing he had 0 refills left. The guy is a victim of a cold-hearted, mean, cruel pharmacist (just kidding) for not being his “knight in shining armor” to rescue him from being a victim of those villians who caused him to get himself into this situation.

As a layman, I would agree the best advice to him is to go to a quickie care center for an exam and an Rx while he finds a proper primary care physician.

Then again, because of ObamaCare, I have read that California is in such short supply of doctors that they are classifying optometrists and pharmacists as primary care physicians. In that case, you may become the guy’s primary care physician and can write prescriptions that you can then fulfill yourself. 🙂

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