The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Rush it…or Ru SHIT!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:47 pm on Monday, November 23, 2015

There are few words that Pharmacy Chick gets annoyed over hearing MORE than being asked to RUSH a prescription.  Honestly if you think about it, its a stupid request in the first place.  Who asks a dentist to rush a cleaning..or a dr to rush an exam..or worse yet, ask a surgeon to rush the procedure.  Filling a prescription is a procedure of sorts.  There is a start and a finish and everything in between has to be right.  Since I wrote about an error on my last post, it really drives home that rushing anything is a bit of a foolish venture…rushing driving cars causes accidents.   Rushing a prescription and failing to follow procure by doing all the necessary checks can cause an error and potentially cause harm and the pharmacists job.  I am not saying that I rushed my error in Sept.  I have no recollection of that day in fact other than I clearly transcribed an e-script with the wrong strength.

To ask a pharmacist to rush a script is ludicrous not only because it increases the risk of error but it implies that we are some how slow, and putzing along doing non important things when we should be filling prescriptions.  To be quite honest, I like to have prescriptions filled and on the shelf as quickly and as safely as possible.  I don’t like work sitting around but filling rx is the priority job function.  The daily order, the invoices, the  return to stocks, the cleaning, the report filing, all that admin crap is secondary to getting things filled.  Yet why is it that people think that unless we are asked to RUSH something that we are going to take as much time as we possibly can,  deliberately making such patients sit around while we discuss world politics and what we saw on Facebook?

I dont rush rx.  Sometimes I will move someone to the front of the line.  I certainly have a heart, and can prioritize a person bleeding from  a dentist appointment from someone else who hands me a script for lisinopril at the same time.  Come on, give me a break.  However,  At some point there simply is going to be a wait, and no drama production at the counter is going to change that.   I might add that asking to rush a prescription also implies that their prescription is more important than the Rx’s that have preceded it and that is unfair to the people who have dropped off their rx ahead of the one I am supposed to rush.  Everyone is important. No one is less important than the other.  I know urgent, and I know rude. I also know fair. I am pretty good at balancing all of them to get everyone taken care of in the right order.

The last thing I need to hear is I rushed it so I Ru-SHIT..I made a mistake.  Because I guarantee you that the dude whose rx I rushed will be the least forgiving if there is a mistake made because I cut corners.

Cheers! and Happy Thanksgiving to all reading this.  May you find friends, a warm meal and a comfy place to rest your head on Thanksgiving day!



Two Errors, two different reactions.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:26 pm on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On Friday  night Pharmacy Chick was driving home from work.  It was dark, raining and I was very tired. Yet, as I approached this intersection, habit took over and I looked right and left before I entered it….and doing so spared me the impact of a young lady running a red light at high speed.  I slammed on my brakes and she missed me but she hit the car coming from my opposite direction.  By the grace of God, ( no comments please, its MY blog after all) she only clipped the front end of the car instead of T-boning her head on, which would have surely caused injury to both.  In the aftermath, I pulled over, went to the closest car ( the HittER) and told her to IMMEDIATELY call 911 and said ” You do realize you ran a red light right??” She assumed all responsibility for what she did.  I then ran to the other car ( The HitEE) where another driver had stopped to assist her.  She was startled and a bit disoriented but physically unharmed. All parties met at the side of the road.  I could hear the sirens so the police were nearby.This girl had made a grievous error by running a red light.

For all intents and purposes HitEE had every right to be angry and indignant. She could have been killed at the most, and harmed at the very least with a direct hit. What did she say to the HittER?  ” ARE YOU OK?” .   It was a twenty-something girl who hit the other car.  I can’t begin to assume what she was doing ( or not doing) when she sped thru the intersection..and “didn’t see” the red light.  Was she playing with her phone?  Fiddling with the radio?   It doesn’t matter at that moment, and it wasn’t my business.  As a witness on a dark night I only saw HittER run the light and hit HitEE.  What I also saw was GRACE.  She said ” Im ok it was an accident.. we are all alive”. HittER was apologetic and upset at what she had done.    HitEE wasn’t angry. She wasn’t indignant. And, to be honest, I am not sure how I would have reacted if I had been struck.  I might have asked what she was doing  and if her phone was involved.Im do not tend to be an over-reactor but I haven’t been nearly killed in a car accident either…. But…this wasn’t my story or my error to react to. It was hers to own and she chose a forgiving and accepting response.

In Sept I made a filling error on a prescription.  I transcribed Atenolol 50mg instead of 25 on a prescription that had been e-sent to us.  This patient was a long timer.  15 years or so.  We had a (what I believed) to be a great pharmacy patient relationship.  She had been on 25mg for a long time.  She took the 50s for a month or so before discovering the error.  She had felt ” a little more tired and my resting pulse was low” –her reports when I asked her about any ramifications.  She had reported the error to my other pharmacist who contacted me. I called her immediately, made sincere apologies…asked if she had any harm ( no), and asked if there was anything I could do for her at this time ( No)  This error had my initials on it so I owned the error.  She also owned the error.  I made it and she controls whatever response she wants to it.  Its hers and her right to have any response to having a pharmacy error she wants.  I can’t make that decision but i have to live with it and respect it.   She chose to be angry, unforgiving and indignant.  I was surprised simply because this wasn’t the kind of person she had showed us to be over the last 15 years but then again,  everything had gone well and perfect for 15 years.   My apologies went un-accepted and nearly un-acknowledged.  She at least said ” I know we are all human and make mistakes….( but then we got the butt-sandwich)  BUT I dont think I can trust you again. I may have to transfer out”.

All I could say to that is ” I understand. This is a decision only you can make and I will support what ever you need to do, again I am most sorry”.

Clinically this is a pretty mild error. It wouldn’t have had any long term impact on her health or well being.  But its an error and no error is the fault of the patient. But to her it was as big a deal as if I attempted to kill her…

Any error upsets me. I try to be careful and accurate every rx every day.. But I am more upset that I am un-forgiven. If she does decide to stay, I am sure I will get to be her punching bag for a while as she vents this out.




And more on price gouging

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:23 pm on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I wrote a piece recently about the ridiculous price increase of Glumetza. I haven’t received as many comments on a post since my oxycontin/oxycodone error rx of a couple of years ago.  I am glad that people are angry about this and I hope it trickles into a flood of inquiries as to the reason for this abomination.

What isn’t so noted is the other price increases that we have experienced in recent years.  Lets go over a few.  1. Tetracycline.  So this is a drug that was so cheap at one time, that I think I bought it for about 2 bucks/100.   Used almost exclusively for acne, it was a cheap drug for teens to take for their faces.  It disappeared for awhile only to reappear about a year or so later at a cost of nearly 1000.00 a bottle of 100.  Did anything change? no.  Just the cost.

2.  Doxycycline Hyclate: Same story different drug.  Thankfully monohydrate is less expensive and we have used it as an auto sub with permission from most doctors once they got wind that hyclate went thru the roof.

3. Digoxin.  Another drug that was under $10 per hundred is nearly 250.00 COST for same amount.  Its an abomination and nearly impossible to explain away.

4. Epi-Pen.  Several years ago my church wanted an epipen for their emergency kit.  The doctor bought on at the normal rate (at the time) for about 72.00 for the twin pack.  Today that same twin pack is rounding out at over 500.00.  Seriously?  When a person gets a copay back for over 150.00 they have a serious decision to make. Take it and be 150.00 more in the poorhouse or take the risk and leave it behind.  I always send them to the mfr website to get some loyalty coupon.  Might as well stiff the company.  they are ripping us off. Its a travesty to charge so much money for an item that 99% of the time outdates and is thrown away.  Its one of the few medical items that is made for the sole purpose of hoping to never use!

5. Clobetasol.  What used to be about 7 bucks for 15grams is now rounding out at bout 150.00 per 15 grams.  I quit making a compound a while back when the ingredient  copay to the pt was over 120.00 because the clobetasol was being included at current market value. They looked at me as if I was the person ripping them off.

Its not right. Its not fair..its the American way apparently.

Random thoughts for Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:42 pm on Monday, November 9, 2015

Pharmacy Chick is sick.  She has a cold but because she is a retail pharmacist she went to work because thats what we do.  The most glaring symptom that I have is the distinct lack of voice.  I sound like someone went over my vocal cards with a lawn mower…a gravelly squeaky kind of sound comes out now where a mere 48 hours ago, a melodic voice of a woman used to be.   For the most part people ignored me other than stating the obvious: “Geez you got a cold?’  no I always sound like this…really?   But not one person asked why I didn’t stay home until nearly 3 pm when it was the time for my shift to end.  This very high maintenance lady was taken aback by my rather horrific voice. “Why aren’t you  home?” she said.  I responded with the truth we all know to be evident ” because if I stayed home this pharmacy wouldn’t open today and you wouldn’t have received your prescription and I’d probably be out of a job”.” we in retail have to come to work because there is nobody to cover us when we are sick”.

An awful truth but its the truth none the less.


Another plane crash recently and subsequent retrieval of the flight voice recorder proved to me once and for all that if I ever fly again, I am going to be asked to be strapped to the flight voice recorder. At least my corpse will be recovered.  perhaps they should make planes out of whatever that recorder is stored in. it always survives.


I made a new recipe today.  Mac and Cheese.  It cost me over 20 bucks in cheese.  Mac and cheese shouldn’t cost 20 bucks.  It should cost 2.  Ill let you know if it was worth the trouble.


Regarding my cold.  I called my own doctor today and asked if perhaps( as I grovel) he might prescribe for me some Hycodan or Tussionex for the cough that rages after I go to bed. WE all know DM is crap, even the makers know its crap.  He didn’t return my call.  Thanks for that one Doc.  I found some outdated Benzonatate in the cupboard.  Down the hatch!


This welfare guy wanted a 3 month rx for all his stuff as he was traveling to Turkey for an extended trip. I told him truthfully that welfare doesn’t pay for  drugs for vacations. If you have money to travel you can buy your own meds.  He called the welfare office and they caved.  Tell me again why we do this for these pseudo poor immigrants?


I see that more and more places are closing for Thanksgiving day, and even a few are closed Black Friday.  I can see being closed thanksgiving day, but I really see no point in closing Black friday. To those who have to work TG day…I am sorry.  You should be home with your family.


I hate the clocks changing .  Its 430 pm and its dark.  This sucks no matter what.  Mr Chick seems immune to the time change, but I pad my way upstairs by 830 now days because it feels like freakin midnight.  perhaps I should live at the equator.


Starbucks is getting crap because its “antiChristian” cups .  1- Starbucks has never come out as a Christian company and near as I can tell  and 2- snowflakes ( or the lack thereof) have no christian significance to the birth of Jesus.   Are Christians over persecuted when we are slighted? YES  Everyone seems to be tolerant of everybody BUT Christians lately but this isn’t something to be heated over. Its a dang paper cup.  Im going to tell you Merry Christmas and if you don’t celebrate it fine.  I do.  Feel free to wish me a Happy Hanukkah , Kwanza or any other winter holiday.  Ill be civil and greet you back.  I don’t tell you to piss off and I won’t report you to your Superiors for offending my sensitive nature.


I just bought my plane tickets for my first vacation in 2016.  It makes my aching body feel a tiny bit better. Now Im going to take that same body and tuck it under my recently purchased Pendleton wool blanket and watch Football…