An open letter to my patients.

Dear patient standing in front of me.

Yes, I mean you.  You standing at the counter eye-fucking my forehead.  Listen, I’m sorry its taking so long to fill your prescription.  I mean you’ve been standing there for a whopping 5 mins not including the time it took my girls to verify that all of the information is correct in our computer system.  I’m very sorry that its taking so long to bill your insurance, be it that you left your card at home a whole 5 min drive away and refuse to get it.  I really wish I could make your day happier, but regrettably I can’t stay in business if I dispense $400 worth of medication to you without some sort of guarantee of payment, and I can probably safely guess that your credit-card won’t be able to take that hit (if you even brought it with you).  Yeah, I hear your sighing as if its some huge inconvenience we are putting you through by actually making sure we get paid for this drug, not to mention checking to see if they will actually kill you or not.  Whats your rush? The 5 other patients that you managed to cut in front of don’t act the way that you do.  In fact, I’m sure your actions have brightened their day as much as you have brightened mine.

I really wish you could see it from my perspective, getting paid $5 over the cost of the medication only to be screamed at because you don’t feel you should have to pay your share of the cost that equates to about a 97% discount for you.  I wish you could see yourself acting like a spoiled child who didn’t get brand name frosted flakes because your mother is on a tight budget.  In fact, I wish your mother slapped some manners and common courtesy into you growing up.

When you snatch that bag out of my clerks hands and storm off like we just pissed in your cornflakes it sucks, not for you but for us.  We work hard to help you, and to be quite honest, we can only do the best we can with what we are given.  In your case you gave us nothing to work on, no information, no help.  Im sorry my crystal ball isn’t working properly today so your prescription took a bit longer than expected.  Your attitude ruined our day, because we have that feeling that we could have done something different to make you less angry, like rub your feet or give you a lapdance.

So I’m sorry patient who is screeching his tires as you leave the parking lot in anger, Im sorry we took so long to fill your prescription.  I hope we can do it better next time.

Oh, and go fuck yourself you worthless sack of shit.

Sincerely,

Your Pharmacist.

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95 Comments

  1. Melinda says:

    OMG you crack me up. Why can’t I work with a pharmacist like you. No instead I have to work with some fucking idiot that is a bitch to work with. It takes her hours to fill the pres. and that’s after you dispensed it for her. And she takes 45 min. to consult patients about god knows what. Thanks for the laughs, I love that you speak the truth =)

    • Melinda,

      Your supervising pharm/staff pharmacist is actually doing what we were taught to do in the School of Pharmacy; counsel and check, check, check, OCD-style. No two people are alike and that goes for pharmacists as well. You are not there to like her; it is not a
      personality like test behind the counter. I don’t think TAP makes all his likeable venting outloud on the job.

      • Cindy says:

        I agree totally with you. It’s hard enough doing a good job and making sure everything is done right without having the techs trying to tell you to hurry up, or that you aren’t giving the right info in front of the patient or going ballistic because you have pointed out an error and they have to re-do their work.

      • RADrone 5316 says:

        Sabrina, get the pole out of your asshole; it’s pharmacists like you that make it all a GIANT MISERY. Don’t you get it??!…..no one cares that you’re “counseling them” they just want the prescription in 2 seconds for 2 cents and with minimal effort from them !! Go back to school and become a real Doctor, you stuck up idiot…..

        • RADrone,

          FYI, as one multi-degreed…no need for your unneeded recommendation…but I can’t help but pick up some of your self-esteem issues disguised in hostility (and don’t tell me I need a clinical Psych. D. to make that call) …
          no, not stuck up at all…wrong assumption…and surely not self-righteous like you
          Next time someone has a medication question, surely said person would appreciate a non-reponse, have him/her go on their merry way, therefore, no time taken. Nice logic.
          No worries, I am sure your sweet disposition brings ‘em in droves….

        • Ann F. says:

          Radrone,
          It’s obvious you are not a pharmacist. If you are a pharmacist, you probably didn’t graduate from a decent school. You have no idea what you are talking about! Your post just shows how immature and ignorant you are to the profession of pharmacy.

    • THADUCK says:

      As any seasoned pharmacist knows, you’re right TAP!
      And don’t forget about the idiots that want to call at closing time and say they are on their way to pick up the medicine they called in 3 days ago. They think you should be happy to see them when they get there. NOPE! Only been here 12 hours with no break or lunch. Standing 95% of the time. Thanks for coming at closing time ASSHOLE!!!

    • American Pharmacist says:

      Malinda, Being the Pharmacist on duty is NOT a popularity contest LOL. Its really not her concern whether a technician likes her or not. Your Pharmacist is doing her job which is whatever is in the best interest of the patient. If it takes her hours to fill an RX because she is uncomfortable wi something about it or it takes a lengthy consult then so be it. You are there to do the busy work so she has time to do exactly what you’ve described she does. Get a clue or go work for Mcdonalds.

      • BitterRPh says:

        I feel that you don’t truly appreciate your technicians. I can honestly say that as a manager I would be utterly lost without my technicians. You say they do the busy work but I don’t feel that’s the case at all. The techs are there to help make our lives easier. I’m not sure what kind of techs you have working for you but I can honestly say that my life nor my job would be as enjoyable without my team. I agree that it’s not a popularity contest but you best bet that I’m going to make sure that my team doesn’t hate me. A strong tech is worth his/her weight in gold. I would also almost guarantee that you didn’t start your career in pharmacy as a pharmacist. So whether you started as a tech or an intern I’m sure you can completely understand and remember what it’s like to work with a bitchy pharmacist. They can sometimes be worse than the the patients. The patients who don’t give a rats red ass that you are doing what is in their best interest. The ones who do are the ones you actually enjoy seeing.

  2. PA WV RPH says:

    Getting ready for a 12 at work now and I absolutely love this post, and I also love you by association. <3

  3. Jenn says:

    Thank you. You are a god.

  4. Kris says:

    Amen and Hallelujeh!!! You forgot to mention the magic wand… the one that is so over used it blew up last week trying to deal with all the idiots.

  5. anonymous says:

    Oh you must be talking about yesterday, the shitfest that was the last weekday before memorial day. I had the suboxone wrecks, the way too soon pain med people *i have different doctors for different pain*, and the whining state assistance bitches who eat their clonzapams (how they say it) like candy cuz their lives are soooo stressful. Must be stressful staying at home feeding your fatass face with junk and shooting up insulin *heroin* with the 20 cent needles you bought from me 2 hours ago. Oh and thanks for calling me up whilst stoned as s*it wanting a refill for your ADD med cuz you can’t focus. Must be hard. I hear your baby screaming in the background. Tires screeching, must be the same guy. Does he have a loud muffler too? What about the bitchy women complaining about the 50 dollar copay for Loestrin FE 24. Not my problem, either cross your legs or go on different pills. Thanks for making me laugh.

  6. Anon says:

    If you let your friendly neighborhood MD know about this, I tend to start “forgetting” to send in refills.

  7. DOCBOB says:

    Fantastic!!!! Keep the honesty coming and get the populus to vote out the vote-whore politicians in the upcoming elections. You can do it !! Become political activists and run for offices in your own communities and take positive steps to change “the system”. It’s in your hands to bring about change…..are you willing to motivate to bring about changes we all need?
    We can bitch all we like BUT that’s not gonna change anything. You’re not going to change asshole customers attitudes, you have to bring about changes in the system that allows these assholes to behave the way they do. Aim higher and destroy the political jerks who write and enforce these policies for their own agenda. Keep the faith…you’re not alone.

  8. DrugSlave says:

    I do wished I could print this out with my patient leaflets for those that are complete asses!

    You rock!

  9. janerx says:

    And so goes another day in the life of the psychic pharmacist.

  10. pharm tech says:

    Great post. reminds me of all the idiots who think their script will be ready when they if they walk over to the register. and then they hover over the register thinking that will speed up the process.

  11. Mark says:

    Why don’t you lobby for Xanax and Percocet de-scheduling then. Would save you a lot of trouble having to be a gatekeeper for these most intoxicating medications.

  12. I_hatemyjob says:

    There is one thing that I never understand, TAP please help me to find the answer. Why anyone went to “In and Out” order a meal never asked “How long he/she has to wait”, instead he/she always asked when he/he came to pharmacy????? Funny thing is no one wants to wait more than 15 minutes, maybe this was why wronghelp banned its 15 minutes promise because 15 minutes is not fast enough. I wish all our deans of pharmacy school could come up an conclusion what is the reasonable wait time for “one prescription”. When I mean one prescription that means only one medicaition not a piece of paper with 15 antipsychotic medications not to mention Caloptima is expeired

    • RADrone 5316 says:

      dude, good points, I’d re-print for my pharmacy wall of fame, but you are too ESL, another issue with the no respect for pharmacists problem.

  13. Newname says:

    No offense, but if I call for a refill and am told it will be ready in an hour, and then when I get there I have to wait another hour, then yeah, I might get a little pissed. It works both ways, you see. I don’t wait until I’m completely out and then come in expecting my prescription to be filled in five minutes. In fact, there have been times I’ve called a refill in and told them I’d pick it up the NEXT day, only to go there and find that it still hasn’t been filled. Get that? I give them a whole fucking day to get a prescrption ready, and still have to wait a half an hour or so when I go to pick it up. Sorry, but I have every right to be frustrated when things like that happen. Like I said earlier in this post, it works both ways.

    • Heidi says:

      Easy fix: call ahead to make sure it’s ready. Yeah, you shouldn’t have to do that, but sometimes the automated system doesn’t work right and your order doesn’t get put in.

    • grumpyrph says:

      You are absolutely correct. At my pharmacy there better be a damned good excuse on the part of the employees and pharmacists. If there is a delay in your rx you should be notified before you make an unnecessary trip to the pharmacy. At times we will not put the prescription together until the patient gets to the pharmacy. Expensive seldom used medicines fall into that category.

    • RADrone 5316 says:

      Newname, that’s because they’ve singled YOU out. They GET the message to fill your rx, they have the med in stock, they have the help and time to fill it, the computer works great, they have ALL the info they need, but yet they choose to just stare at your day old request and just laugh and say “not gonna do this one” I’ll just do the other 499 today, but not newname’s. IDIOT! Do you think they want to listen to you gripe? IDIOT!

      • Newname says:

        Hey RaDrone, everything I’ve said is true. Your lame and childish prattle doesn’t change that fact. When it comes to getting medications refilled, not all pharmacists are flawless. Some are just incompetent. If I have refills and it’s not to early AND I give the pharmacy a whole day to get it refilled, then yeah, I have every right to be frustrated if it isn’t ready when they told me it would be. Should I call before going? Yeah, but that doesn’t excuse the pharmacy for that kind of poor service. If you’re so damn jaded by your profession, then I suggest quit and find something more suitable to your obviously bitchy demeanor.

    • newnamebs says:

      Hey NEWNAME. Make sure when you call in your refill A DAY A HEAD OF TIME, you have VALID REFILLS…Look at your bottle. Note the refills. Does it say “0″ refills? Does it say “x” refills by XX/XX/XX date? Is today beyond that date? If so, we have to call your doctor. CALL BEFORE YOU COME IN!

      If you have valid refills and you call 24 hours ahead of time and it’s still not ready, change pharmacies.

      • Newname says:

        Hey, newnamebs (not exactly a very creative spin on my username, but whatever), I always make sure there are refills on my prescriptions before attempting to get them refilled. If there aren’t, I contact the pharmacy a few days before I need the refill so that they have time to fax my doctor and get a response. Clear enough for you? And when it comes to changing pharmacies, I’ve experienced the same kind of thing at every one that I’ve tried, so there’s really no point.

    • pharmdude95 says:

      Hey Newname,

      I would advise you to go to an independent pharmacy–if you go to a chain especially a Wal-mart or in our area a Giant Eagle, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU or how long you have to wait. An independent pharmacy is more likely to make sure you are taken care of because you are DIRECTLY supporting them.

      Just a thought

      • Newname says:

        That’s what I do now. And you’re right. The service there is much better. I have a great deal of respect for my current pharmacy staff and
        I show that by not waiting until I’m completely out of a prescription and then expecting them to get it filled in five minutes, or bitching to them about the cost of a medication. They don’t set the prices, but I’ve seen more than a few people give them hell about it.

  14. MarcW says:

    I thought of you yesterday when I filled my wife’s new prescription and the pharmacy tech said tentatively… “Um, there seems to be some kind of big deductible on your insurance… I didn’t want to ring it up until you saw the price so you wouldn’t be surprised…” and waited for me to scream at her.

    We have a policy with a very large deductible (which my company compensates us for: due to the way deductibles affect your group rate *we still come out ahead on the deal*.) The medicine was $325.00.

    I smiled and said, “Thank you, I appreciate that. I’ll just use my charge card instead of paying cash. By the time the bill comes, I’ll have gotten a reimbursement payment.”

    She looked like she was about ready to faint. I can only imagine the usual response to such.

    • rph3664 says:

      When I worked in retail (which I left 10 years ago), one of the most appreciative customers I ever had cheerfully wrote a $1,400 prescription for her husband’s thalidomide. The other pharmacist, who knew the woman (both had just come from another store that had closed), said, “Aw, man, she gets reimbursed 100%!” but still, that’s a huge chunk o’change. She was just happy that we had that in stock.

    • grumpyrph says:

      The hidden problem is that when you used your charge card, the pharmacy actually lost money on that prescription. The back end charge to the business is 3-4% for accepting the card. In your case, 10-12 dollars which is more than the profit allowed by you pharmacy claims manager.

  15. Mr Lucky says:

    The only good thing about guys (and gals) like that is they tend not to come back. In fact, when I come across those people I make a point of dragging my ass around, and I make sure to fill everyone’s prescription before I find the time for theirs. I make sure the gals call out peoples names, even if they’re not there so they know I’m NOT working on their prescription. When they call the manager over its even better, because then I get to spend some quality time chatting with the manager because she’s HOT, and she knows a shithead when she sees one. Generally I don’t get bothered by those people, it’s their problem, they own it. It’s not my cross to bear.

  16. Aaron says:

    The world needs more of what you’ve got. I’m sharing your blog with a friend who’s about to start pharm school.

  17. roundwhitetablet says:

    TAP, I enjoyed this open letter.

    Newname, you are going to the wrong pharmacy. Find another one. Try an independent – you may like their service.

    I’ve got a few unreasonable patients who like to complain. Even when they say my pharmacy is the worst ever and that they’ll never come back again, they come back. A couple a trouble-makers that I kicked out or banned from our pharmacy even try to come back – but I turn them away. I say set a policy and enforce it. If your patients don’t want to follow your polices, then they can go elsewhere.

    TAP, I suspect your service is pretty good, which is why these asshole patients keep coming back to you. However, assholes are still assholes. Keep up the good work.

    • rph3664 says:

      That’s one of the beauties of being independent. Telling a customer not to come back at my store, which was part of a grocery chain, was a firing offense even if they threatened us. All that mattered was that the money was good.

  18. Newname says:

    When I call, I always make sure to actually speak to a human being. I never rely on the automated system because you’re right, it isn’t always reliable. And if I’m told it will be an hour, I always wait at least an hour and a half just to give them a bit of leeway.

  19. ChismMonkey says:

    Once an asshole, always an asshole in my book. It’s a lifetime membership.

  20. Ed says:

    Sort of the same feeling looking around and watching the team working on the next flight control system. “You are taking too much time”, “Just verify the results and don’t worry about the flight control conmputer and air data computer disagree. It’s a glitch”. I say, “Well, find out what is the cause of the problem”. Then the PM is telling me “Oh that will cost us time and money, and there are so many triple redundant systems that will capture and correct this issue once the plane is in flight”.
    Each time I step from the gurney into the plane I freeze to read that ID tag on the side of the door. It’s just a bunch of numbers and dates, but I know what each means. A few Captain pull me aside asking, “Do you see something wromg”? I say, “Well I recall designing this A/C 10 years ago. Hows the FMS system”? A few tell me, “We have a few glitches” and I recall the oversight. I just think to muself, “Well it’s safe, but safe can mean time’s money, and too much time was spent on the issue”.
    I thought I’d mention this since “What goes around, comes around and thre are always a few days when a bad attitude means the engineering overlooks a few issues”.
    Fortunately, like counting those Adderall and Percocet prescriptions twice. We have a goup of peers who review one anothers work.

  21. anna says:

    LOOOOOOVE it!!! i work in a pharmacy where the pharmacists’s work station is right next to the register…. so…. i get stared by patients ALL the f’ing time!!!!!!! OMG, go away! go have a sit, shop, but get the f* out of my sight please. then my eye starts to twitch… started twitching since pharmacy school.

    TAP, you read my mind 99% of the time and so glad you can clearly and so eloquently state it in your blog.

  22. Ryan says:

    What do you guys think of the Manchin Amendment to reclassify Hydrocodone as schedule II?

  23. Lisa says:

    “You standing at the counter eye-fucking my forehead.”
    I had to laugh when I read that. In the outpatient pharmacy at the VA, my forehead gets “eye-fucked” on a daily basis. Are their burning stares able to control my mind and get their prescriptions bagged up and ready to go toot-sweet? Ummm. Nope. Oh, and don’t get mad when I ask you for your ID. Even though you’re here EVERY fucking day, you’re not famous, and you STILL have to whip out that ID every time you pick up. Especially when you have around 10-15 prescriptions at a time, sir. That includes the 4 scripts for your narcs.
    Too bad I’m not allowed to eye-fuck them back.

  24. Propharmpt says:

    I must be lucky. When I go into the pharmacy (indep. Mom-n-pop) I visit, every time I might add-the pharmacist looks up, smiles, gives me a little wave and asks how I am. He is one of three pharmacists I know who is very pleasant. Looking at these posts, I now understand why. To be honest-i had made assumptions about pharmacists that i now see are entirely unfair to them. One gave me a fill of instant-release on a medication that im supposed to receive time release. Adderall. But when i went back in there was a woman yelling, bitching at the man without any visible signs of shame about her pain meds. So I decided i can break the stupid things into quarters. By and large, i really cant complain about my past experiences with pharmacists. Its physicians that (nearly) kill me. Let me ask something: a date in a thirty-one day month is thirty-one days from the same date in the next month, is it not? Also: one fentanyl Rx for 10 patches=10*3=30 days, does it not?! Because I cannot seem to convince my doc that it is, INDEED, a VERY big deal to go without pain medication for a day. I have RA. I never call early for anything. But apparently all I get is 30 days of meds for (am i wrong here?!) 31. And-I assure you-thats a BIG fuckin’ deal, especially when you take as much as I do and your lower back hurts already (before w/d kicks in). If I am wrong, someone please edumacate me in the errors of my ways….

    • I always take the 30 days of meds/31 days in the month into account when filling my patients’ prescriptions, but I know not everyone does. The insurance companies only allow 30 day supplies many times. They would rather not do the math, even though most months have 31 days. That sucks that your physician doesn’t see your point. =/

      You should have been persistent with the Adderall. If the physician wrote for the XR, you should have been dispensed the XR. The pharmacist could have easily checked the hard copy for you. I’m sorry the pharmacist on duty that day scared you away from getting what you should have.

      When I look around, I see a lot of “angry pharmacists”, some of which are only a year out of school. It makes me think they didn’t realize what they were getting into until they were out of school and working. It also makes me feel lucky to actually like and enjoy my job. I feel like I’m in the minority sometimes. This blog is funny to me because of its sarcastic humor and satirical nature, but I would be appalled to meet a pharmacist that carried on like this in real life. I’m sure TAP doesn’t present himself like this at work. You probably wouldn’t even know if you were talking to him.

  25. Propharmpt says:

    Oh, and One additional reason I bring this up is that it makes ME look like a crackhead, because I have to painfully jitter my way into the store after anight without sleep-right when they open, try to say “hi” without vomiting, in extreme pain the whole time and look like a warmed-up corpse with a seizure disorder of somekind (nice, classic crack-head look)-for something that-far as I can discern-isn’t my fault. This site (and having this disease) has made me loathe crackheads and addicts and even those douchebags that say “durrr-wish i could get me somma dat med-durrr” in a way that is beyond healthy. GO TAP!!!! Make ‘em cry, the bastards!
    Sincerely,
    Allen

  26. Chubsley says:

    Hahaha, this post was perfect

  27. NamPharm says:

    I loathe and despise the people who walks into the pharmacy and says; “I’m here for my medication”, without giving their name and surname or presenting any identification. I know I’m suppose to be the all-knowing pharmacist, but I do not know the names of all the people and their dependants on the system! I once made a medicine box that read “Your Medication” on it, and then put that box the counter when this happened. Some patients went ballistic, some got the joke, but it went past most of the brain dead zombies. I had to stop it thou, the other pharmacists said it was unprofessional and would offend the customers. These days, if the scenario happens, I sometimes start inhaling and sniffing very loudly in the direction of the patient. Upon them asking what I am doing, I would reply that I’m trying to smell who they are, but I’m getting old and my sense of smell is not so good anymore, so would they please be so kind and tell me who they are!
    They then give you their surname and initials and many times they are totally flabbergasted that they are one of twelve people on the system with that surname and initials! Is it so unbelievable? Have you ever looked for you name in the telephone directory sir?
    Just present you medical card please sir/madam, THAT IS WHY YOU GOT IT in the first place.
    They usually say; “but we always come here”, to witch I say; “I always stand here, what is my name?” Lo and behold, 90% of them do not know.
    By the end of the day I have trouble refraining myself form taking some of the benzos in the pharmacy.
    Thanks for the excellent blog TAP!!

  28. RADrone 5316 says:

    NERD ALERT !!

    • NamPharm says:

      Hahaha, RADrone has a good point. It does appear to be a bit anal.
      But considering the following:
      The majority of our patients started walking upright only yesterday, has unpronounceable surnames, and have no grasp of english but insists on speaking it.
      Quite a few of the doctors here have not yet discovered the secret of fire (wonder how they passed their exams) not to mention how to write properly (trying to write the unpronounceable surnames). (Luckily not all the doctors.)
      There is also no pharmacy technician or pharmacist assistant, just the pharmacist.

      Nerdy regarding the Medical Cards? Hell YES.
      Anything to get the names out of 100+ patients a day.

  29. MarieC says:

    HI, I’m a RN (who wants to be a pharmacist,…one day) Anyway, you guys are a huge help to me and always find me an answer to any question I have when I’m at work…whether it’s a drug calculation or finding out if 2 drugs are compatible to be administered IV simultaneously. I love you pharmacists!!!!!!! : D

  30. deanrx says:

    Yeah TAP – its the nature of the business unfortunately…

    Customers in ALL sectors have raised being a spoiled brat to an art form.

    Two examples from this past week:

    1) Narc-o-holic shows up and demands a refill (gasp, early). No refills left of course. They ask for a hold over. I tell them politely that we can not do this on narcotic meds. They complain to corp. and I get to fill out an incident report on WHY I pissed off the customer AND corp. gave them a $25 gift card as service recovery! Guess I need to start breaking federal law as long as it keeps the customers happy.

    2) Customer comes in today. I ask for name and DoB (company policy to prevent dispensing errors). Lady looks at me as states, “Don’t you KNOW who I am by now?”. I think – why yes I do, but I’m not going to make a mistake and get myself fired because you feel put out to tell me WHO you are picking up for. I reply – “Yes, but we have to ask, its for your own safety and so I know if its for you or your family memebr…” Her, “Well, can’t you just look that part up! You should KNOW who I need to pick up for.” yeah, because when it comes to the medications, guessing is the best way to make sure I don’t kill anyone…

    Think I’ll try that next time I go to the airport…”Why do I need to show ID? Don’t you KNOW who I am?”

    I’d be happy if they could just give me a name and DoB and hang up the cell phone long enough to pay for their meds… I offer consultation, but rarely give any, they just want the copay amount anyways.

    had a sign at the in / out windows (nice laminated, looked professional) asking that customers refrain from using cell phones while conducting pharmacy business… got told to take it down by the corp. shirts when they came through because it might offend someone!!!

  31. Sox says:

    Why are people still going to pharmacy school?!? There are no jobs! We need to convince these kids not to go to pharmacy school so we can get back our deficit and benefits!

  32. Disabled and hate it. says:

    Why did you all CHOOSE this profession if you hate it so much? Did you not think to find out what the job was really like before committing to school? Maybe you could be a researcher or something other than retail. Retail = dealing with the public, period.

    • NamPharm says:

      My sincere empathy regarding your disability (whatever it may be). I am not making fun about it, but in reply to you question. You probably did not CHOOSE to have it, and therefore have every right to hate it, but you are probably stuck with it. Sorry about it (honestly). Most pharmacists probably choose the job because they like to and want to HELP PEOPLE IN NEED who want their help. I have never seen a pharmacist turn away somebody in dire need, even if the cause of the need was the person self. We did NOT CHOOSE to bother with the rude, self-righteous, ungrateful, malingering, druggie, lazy ass, hypochondriacs, who knows shit or does not give a shit about their own health. But working retail = working with you, the public, we are stuck with it. So we become angry, we hate it, we vent about it and the next day we are a back with a smile.

  33. Jenneia says:

    Hilarious. I feel this way everyday I work. It’s tough to please them all. Thank you for the good laugh and side pain lol

  34. Ken says:

    I always get kicks from reading the rants of another pharmacist.

    In the UK, we have the same problem with people who can’t stand waiting a few minutes in queue. Some of them go apeshit over brand. That annoys me more in a country where prescriptions are either free (depending on an exemption status, or if you live in Scotland) or paid with a relatively small fee (the health service is primarily funded through national insurance). If you’re willing to fork out the money for a private prescription then I’m more than happy to supply your branded medicine.

    In Scotland, we have a service that provides non prescription remedies free of charge to certain exempt groups. I know, must sound shocking to you. Anyhow, a lot of the people using this service are unemployed and I don’t mean people who have been made redundant or fallen on hard times. I mean people who have not worked A SINGLE DAY IN THEIR LIVES, who despite being jobless have 5 children and a 40 inch plasma TV. It gets fucking annoying when these are the ones sighing and moaning because they have to wait in queue.

    The job of a pharmacist can be so frustrating at times. However I lay ground rules that make things less stressful. Methadone patients are not to show up until after half 9, patients who forgot to order their prescription need to make the phone call and trip to their surgery (No, I will not dial the phone for you. I know it must be hard but I’m sure you can do it) and I will absolutely not send a delivery man to your house with your medication unless you’re crippled.

  35. Dee says:

    Just smile, smile, smile. Never stop smiling, be sugar sweet to them.

  36. Pryor says:

    What do you have against Target pharmacists?

  37. Pharmacy Intern says:

    I’m SURE the pharmacists I work with would LOVE that new law. See, where I work, all C2′s have to be counted out by the pharmacist. Given the number of scripts we get for Vicodin/Norco/Lortab, that’d be a fun extra bit of work dumped into their laps.

    In all honestly, I doubt it’d change anything.

  38. Silky 1 says:

    I totally agree. I only use independent pharmacies. The service is more personal.

  39. I found your blog the other day, and my techs came running back here to see why I was howling with laughter (this is not normal for me, as I work in the pit of hell known as retail pharmacy). I thought you would appreciate, especially after reading your letter, the “guide” that is posted at my store – no one knows how long it has been here or who put it up, but here it is:

    A Patient’s Guide to Pharmacy Etiquette:

    1. Be sure to stare at the pharmacist while your prescriptions are being filled. Staring makes them work faster.
    2. Never remember the name of the medication you want filled. By calling it “the little white pill” you are sure to receive the correct medication.
    3. When calling in 8 or more prescriptions, always arrive at the pharmacy to pick them up within 10 minutes. It is ok to hurry the pharmacist. If they make a mistake, it won’t kill you or anything. It is strongly encouraged to call them in on your cell phone while waiting in the drive through.
    4. Instead of calling your insurance company, who sets the price, feel free to ask for the exact price of your prescription before it is filled. After all, the staff should know the copay of every drug, for every person’s individual plan.
    5. Always ask how long it will take to be filled. If you’re lucky, you will get it free if it is not ready in 15 minutes or less. Also, be sure to ask if the prescription is ready every 5 minutes, because the pharmacist often keeps them after they are ready just to piss you off.
    6. Be sure to complain about the copay. The copay is set on the whim of the pharmacist and has nothing to do with the insurance company you chose.
    7. It is not necessary to present your insurance card or even know the name of the company. Pharmacists are psychic and know everyone’s insurance.
    8. Upon requesting a refill for a maintenance medication with no refills, always question why the doctor has to be called when you’ve taken the same medication for years. It is only a myth that prescription medications have to be ordered by a physician. The pharmacist usually doesn’t fill prescriptions just to piss you off. NOT filling prescriptions is good for business, after all.
    9. Always question why the insurance company is so concerned with you getting your medication ten days too soon. After all, you’re only paying $5.00 for it and that’s all it costs.

    You’ve inspired me to start blogging about my daily experiences. I’ve been thinking about doing it for years, but never have gotten around to doing it. After going home with my sides hurting from laughing so hard, I decided I’d give it a go. Feel free (that’s my nice way of saying “Please, pretty please, pretty, pretty please”) to link to my blog. I’ve added yours as a link. Thanks! You made my day, and I much needed it. Here’s the address to my blog – thanks!

    tphRPh.blogspot.com

  40. Heh heh heh says:

    Radrone,

    Has your pass from the mental health expired yet? Because you’re talking out of your arse again.

  41. MAP says:

    My polite way of telling a patient to fucking stop staring at me is, “I’ll call your name out over the intercom when your prescription is ready.” If they don’t stop staring, I put their prescription on the bottom of the stack until they fucking stop staring or go somewhere else. I’ll teach these assholes one way or another. If they get bold or stupid enough to raise a real fuss, then I back out their prescription, hand them back the hard copy and tell them “you’ve made me uncomfortable enough to prevent me from filling this” or “I just realized, we don’t have that medication in stock” — Boo Ya!!! I went to pharmacy school and earned a doctorate degree for god sakes — I can figure out a way to deal with these stupid people.

    • Silky 1 says:

      Whoops I now know that standing at the pharmacy counter watching is a no no if I want my medications. Especially it’s my narcotics.

  42. Rob says:

    Reality is that many occupations face the same stress level. And, while still not an excuse, some of those “huffing and sighing” clients to whom you refer may dealing with some pretty serious issues (albeit not all)

    All of us, you too, have a choice to make when dealing with those miserable souls who are lacking patience and dicorum. You can choose to respond in exasperated defensiveness and in-kind attitude, or you could make the choice to give that sour person the benefit of the doubt knowing that you may not truly understand nor appreciate what they are facing at that very moment. even the best of folks can have a really bad day.

    Who knows….a sincere smile combined with kind and compassionate words from their trusted pharmacist may be the very best medicine that a patient could ever have

  43. Sox says:

    TAP WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  44. JustAsAngryTech says:

    Sorry, but the pharmacy staff are not doormats for people having a really bad day. I have had my fair share of “really bad days” and I have NEVER taken it out on customers, doctors, friends, family, the grocery clerk,the kid at McDonalds, my dog, my neighbor, etc.

    The true (and sad) reality is that “customers” have been rewarded for being whiny, rude, unreasonable, and demanding. And some people are just nasty, period. Some people are on serious power trips and love to bully the person behind the counter, or on the phone. Retail has created this culture of positively reinforcing this behavior. I choose not to.

  45. Joanna says:

    This is unrelated to your post, but I wanted to pose a question to you, you seem like a pretty well informed pharmacist. I just recently found a lot of articles online talking about how the pharmacist shortage is now turning into a pharmacist surplus due to the high rise of pharm schools popping up all over the country. Some say that there’s still some demand in rural areas, but in CA and metropolitian areas it is extremely difficult to find open positions. I recently just started my prepharm program, and like many others, I was looking forward to graduating pharm school with the opportunity to get a job in a variety of places with demand. Now after reading all this, I’m quite nervous and wondering if I should start thinking of other options.

    • phishrph says:

      Do yourself a huge favor and get out while you still can. Explore other options, there are many. Don’t get into health care would be my advice. Our profession, if we can still call it that, is circling the drain thanks to big corporations and do-nothing so-called professional pharmacy organizations. Find a career that will make you happy and give you a nice quality of life. I used to think that pharmacy was that for me but not a day goes by where I don’t regret getting into this occupation (you certainly can’t call this a profession any more). After 26 years in this, when a day goes by I count it as another day closer to retirement. It’s sad but true unfortunately.

    • bcmigal says:

      Run from pharmacy as fast as you can.

  46. HonestAnswerNeeded says:

    Maybe I can finally get an honest answer here. I’m currently on specific bcp due to an hormonal imbalance. Some generics of my bcp cause additional side-effects (mostly daily vomiting and I’m underweight) and others cause none (I can eat 3 meals a day!). Since the generic that works has its own name, is there method for my doctor to write a script for a specific brand of generic bcp? Can I request a specific generic from a specific company and offer to pay the difference in price if a cheaper generic is available?

    I know pharmacists in general hate “DAW” scripts, but what can I do to get the specific med that makes me feel better?

  47. jody says:

    I can’t believe there are stupid ass ppl everywhere!!!

  48. Me says:

    The thing I hate most about some and I only mean some pharmacist is when they make a mistake such as putting a generic drug or cheaper drug in a bottle slapping on a label for a more expensive drug charging ins for the more expensive one why? Why is it they can’t admit to their mistake especially if it is a narcotic. Where is the cameras that catch them doing this? And because it’s a narcotic they think they can treat u like a junkie and say oh no I didn’t do that? Where is a patients protection from this? Why are the pharmacist not under survallience? Why?

  49. Me says:

    Damn that would seriously ruin your day??? U need a different job.

  50. PharmerBill says:

    Rx customers need to understand that while we try to get their script filled in an hour, it is not always possible. For example, the other day I had a stack of 3-4 waiters, 2 ppl waiting for a counsel, 1 in drive-thru, 2 drs lines waiting to call in Rxs, and don’t forget about the customers waiting for flu shots in the waiting room. Oh, and I was the only pharmacist. Not to mention the DEA just decided to change their interpretation of the law so we cant fax drs automatically for refills on controlled meds, so we have to manyally fax them. Do you see why we may not get it done in an hour every single time???

  51. Propharmpt says:

    @Pharmacy Thoughts:
    It wasn’t that the pharmacist scared me off by yelling, it was that some crackhead was yelling at him, pharm was full and I just figured I just figured it’d be less trouble for him…but….I sure hope that the Rx of instant-release Adderall (90) i received in a bottle marked “XR” didn’t screw up their inventories or CII medication ordering or-even much, much worse-get someone in trouble.
    I’ll be sure to point it out in the future.
    My Dr. Has been wonderful about everything but the 31-day issues. I got a kinda creepy feeling because the same month (third in a row) that I asked for the med on day 30 and was refused, when I went in for a regular appointment he told me I need to switch to butrans in the near future. Then he flat-out said there would be “withdrawals of course, but Ill be giving you some Percocet for that”. I said “ok” because he had a student with him but sent him an email explaining to him that I quite frankly found the idea TERRIFYING, and asked him for another option. Now he gives me 80 oxycodone 10mg tabs/month, and I find its very good at smoothing out all the rough spots really. A bit sad I think that he’s willing to give me 80 Percocet ES but not refill Rx on time.
    Also a tad creepy how the Butrans thing came across to me as a veiled threat, but he’s NOT a pain mgmt Dr, so maybe this was all just a misunderstanding.
    I really hope the future will bring something new or even perhaps a cure for this disease (RA). Because painkillers are like trying to make a shit sandwich palatable-dilute the shit all you want, but its still shit, and it will never, ever taste good.
    But as the saying goes: “hope in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first! ” thanks for the advice, and have a nice day!

  52. nom de plume says:

    I am NOT your patient. I have never nor will I ever feel that way. I am a customer and as a customer deserve to be treated the same as you would expect to be treated as a customer in my store. Period.

    • Silky1 says:

      Although you may not actually be considering yourself as a patient when in a pharmacy picking up your prescriptions YOU ARE.
      If a pharmacist can counsel you on health and medication matters you are a patient first and a customer second.

  53. Anon says:

    Wow! People can be crazy rude.

    I am an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran who was injured and inoperable on tour. I am on scheduled oxycodone 15mg 4x per day. I do not always take 4 per day but some days I take more to get relief for longer periods of time.

    I am actually educated by your articles and appreciative of them as I can see some if these annoyances seeping out of me at times when I am hurting and out. Your articles are necessary for guys like me.

    I have a great full-time job and I am a married and present husband and father to my family. I served my country and was injured as a result, people who abuse the system really screw things up for guys like me and I am stereotyped ALL THE TIME. It makes me feel like a shitbag for needing meds.

    Does the angry pharmacist have a good word for someone like myself?

    • Yes. Thank you for serving our country, and us pharmacists go the extra mile for patients like you. Its a shitty deal that most of the ungrateful sit-on-your-ass crackheads ruin it for people like you.

    • rph3664 says:

      Thank you for your service. We recognize people who NEED pain meds when we see them, and like TAP said, we are happy to accommodate you. People who take these meds legitimately almost never become addicted (they do become dependent, which is not the same thing) and rarely have any desire to stay on them when and if the pain goes away.

      The difference between addiction and dependence? If you are addicted, your quality of life goes down. If you are dependent, your quality of life goes up.

  54. Matthew Spencer says:

    I pay cash for the two meds I take and the 3rd PRM and I always have an excellent rapport with them all. I have filled maybe 5 opiate pain prescriptions after a surgery usually percocet 10 mg or Dilaudid 4 mg since I hate the itchyness but I had no chronic pain.

    I did the university insurance. Prior Auth’d everything, double checked before going, the pharmacist would try to put it through, wait 20 minutes to tell me to call them to tell me that they needed another diagnosis verification so I would have to call her to fax the same paper again every month and then I would have to call to verify which meds I was prescribed at the company, then he put it through. I used to have the look of shame and politely apologize. I dropped them after the 4th time because some fat slob was using the f word between every word about how she wanted the real Adderall XR 30′s and not the 180 generics (like she takes it). They smirked after telling her none were in stock and she swore her way out the door and they snickered. I go to an old mom and pop one though and aside from trading Depakote and Lamictal and reducing that zombie ritalin dose I had as a kid to a patch, I function and am sane and I am in great shape, got the exemption on my meds to compete in Judo and I can speak 5 languages… most people get on here and think that certain groups (i.e. people with illnesses) are being unfairly marginalized but since I actually have ambitions and goals other than going to support groups where one asshole thinks his shit doesnt stink (the last one beat his wife and was labeled “bipolar”) and the other group members went manic as adults so they are Thorazine Zombies because they can’t snap out of it. It started every summer at age 5, they feel like being possessed when it happens but I get over it with a day or two of coming down from the mood and laugh at myself about it… so to everyone on here on 12 psych drugs sitting on SSI waiting for all of your meds to kick in, miserable… pharmacists watched me go from State $50 per month insurance to school insurance to paying it myself and they stock up for me when they can because I pay in cash… and if I choose to let the early signs of mania escalate, I go so nuts that I write books with tachyon physics equations about portals in the Bermuda triangle and hear voices and the whole nine yards… my last mania was in my 20′s and I job hunted fresh out of the nut ward… not when whining to enabling therapists and social workers that get paid to keep you milking medicaid for their agencies.

    Those agencies are better spent investing their time in helping serious schizophrenic people, not wasting it on a bunch of professional victims.

  55. Linda Jones says:

    I an not a patient of a doctor or a pharmacist. I am a paying customer, to both. I appreciate a good pharmacist that will fill my meds (not oxy or other controlled sub.) and only bother me with details if I ask or a deadly combination is seen. I have a brain and certainly research what I take on my own. I don’t know if that scares the medical profession, however I dont’ appreciate being treated like I don’t know anything. I won’t tolerate it from any other retail establishment and shouldn’t have to with a dr. or pharmacist. The whole medical profession need intense customer service training, with only very few exceptions.

  56. Jane says:

    Andry Pharmacist,

    I have two questions: Can you write a post to explain why I have to call you three times to get my prescriptions refilled? If I call only once, I will need make at least two trips to the pharmacy. If I call twice, I will need to wait at least 20 minutes at the pharmacy. But three times seems to work.

    So, I try to call three times: Once to phone in the prescription; once to check on the prescription; and yet another time to check on the prescription again. The third call tends to annoy the pharmacy technician, but please realize I would NEVER call you if I had my druthers; it’s not like I enjoy this.

    My next question sounds kind of cruel, but I really would like to know why the pharmacy seems to want me to die. If I don’t take my medications, that’s what will happen. But it seems like the pharmacy does everything in its power to ensure that I can’t get my medications. They are open from 10-7. the hours that I work. They are closed on Saturday. So, when I come by on Saturday and find that I only called twice and need to come back, I have to wait an entire week without drugs that are supposed to keep me from dying.

    You don’t make any money if I die. You make money if I live and keep buying my prescriptions. So, doesn’t it make sense to make it easy to dispense them?

    I’m not trying to be a smartass. I just have no idea why getting the same prescriptions that I have been getting for every single month for 10 years will always be disastrous when my refills run out. Is the insurance company, the drug company, the warehouse, the grocery store? Who has decided that it should take at least 10 days and three phone calls to get a refill?

    I look forward to reading your post. Stay angry. You might be prescribed blood pressure medicine, which will keep you in business. (:

  57. Sterilizemedicaidppl says:

    Dear Jane, stfu. Go to a different pharmacy. Yes all pharmacists are here to try and kill you because you had a problem at a pharmacy and didn’t use your “brain” to visit a different pharmacy. Not every pharmacy is perfect, talk with other patrons and see if they have the same problem or politely discuss it with the pharmacistfucktards. Ever think that maybe it’s not the pharmacy? I’ve never heard of anybody taking 10 days to get an ex filled unless they don’t have their shit together.

  58. Fractured spine says:

    I have a serious question for you angry pharmacist. My spinal cord was fractured in a car accident over 12 years ago. I’ve had multiple MRI’s in two states done during this time span. From the base of my skull to my tail bone my spine is trashed. To the point no surgeon will touch it for they say its not possible to do a spine transplant. In order to provide for my children and be a productive member of society I went to pain management. A surgeon referred me there. Not once have I dr shopped or filled my script early. I follow the rules to a T. Recently the ONE pharmacy I use ran out of my meds. Well I’ve went to the other pharmacies close to my house trying to get them filled. Each and everyone look for a brief second then hand it back. Then I’m either told “it’s out of stock” or “not taking anyone new”. I DO NOT understand this! I live in a rural area and don’t have many choices. By the time my regular pharmacy gets them back in stock I would have dealt with my spine for two weeks. Why is this happening to me? Why can they at least check to see my history. Believe me I hate going into a pharmacy as much as you hate your customers coming in. It’s not by choice I’m on this shit meds that make you look at me as a second class citizen. This has me wanting to say fuck it. Go on food stamps and disability and let your rude non-caring ass’s pay my way. I was raised honesty is the best policy. Sad to see your parents didn’t raise you the same.

  59. Dr Pullen says:

    Hope I never show up at your pharmacy. Although I would be very unlikely to put you in the same position as this patient did, it seems pretty likely that nearly anything I did do would piss you off in one way or another. I’m sure my office staff would routinely, though they would just be trying to do their job. Maybe you should do yours and smile a little more.

  60. Es says:

    You summed up my yesterday.

  61. CrackheadChris1 says:

    Please make note of the following…. I am not a patient of a pharmacist nor is anyone who goes in to a pharmacy !!!….& yes even when I bring a prescription from a real Doctor & hand it to you a.k.a the FAKE want to be Dr. I’m not your “patient” just because you work with prescriptions & handle medications!… I am a customer !!! just like in any other transaction ..Why when I’m at the pharmacy counter at say Walgreeens I’m YOUR “patient” but then when I stop at the front counter and buy something like gum I am considered the customer??? …It is the same a transaction occurred !!!! In your retard want to be Dr. world I suppose the following would be true as well…. If I worked for the US Treasury in the printing department on one of the presses that handles money …due to the fact I am in physical possession of all this money I am a multi billionaire…I am actually holding it in my hand! …right? It is the same as you when you are “playing house” & yes House MD as well !!! …anyway when you are playing Dr. with your white lab coat & just because you know the medical abbreviations (as do most drug addicts) oh and you handle a real dr’s prescription that does not make you in a profession where you have “patience” !!! If that is the case & since I equate your job to that of say a person who takes orders at McDonald’s ie …I give you a note/tell you what I want & you go get it for me.. hurry, along now!!! before I have to call my real MD & have him yell at you AGAIN & make things all uncomfortable (again). As I was typing I just thought of another comparison just like at McDonald’s when they are done with one customer what do they say ??? oh yea I remember because I was just at my local pharmacy it goes a little something like this “Can I help next in line?” or just “next” ….sme with the greeting “Hello how can I help you?”

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