Monday, July 21, 2008

Just a Little Thank You

I'd just like to take a moment to thank the old asshole who made me look like a complete moron to his doctor today.

He brought in a prescription for Motrin. However, he's also on Coumadin. It's not a very good idea to be on those two medications together. Adverse effects of the combination may include... DEATH. I called up the doctor that prescribed the Motrin, and he basically told me that this patient demanded the RX from him and said he's been taking the combination of Coumadin and Motrin for 20 years. The doctor didn't feel like arguing or inquiring further, so he wrote him the prescription. However, the doctor agreed with me that the patient probably shouldn't be taking both together. Therefore, he told me to find out which doctor was giving him these Motrin prescriptions and where he was getting them filled (we had never filled a prescription for Motrin for him).

I went and talked to the old guy, and he basically laughed in my face, told me to stop giving him such a hard time, and offered no other useful information.

"What doctor gave you the prescriptions for Motrin?" I asked.

"He's dead now," responded the elderly asshole.

"Well, where have you been getting these prescriptions filled?" I inquired.

"How the hell should I remember?" exclaimed the cocksucker.

I tried to tell him that Motrin and Coumadin are two medications that interact and shouldn't be taken together.

"Interaction?? I ain't never had no 'action.' Been taking them for 20 years."

I reported his answers back to the doctor, who suddenly had a change of heart and decided he didn't want to authorize the prescription. I asked him what I should tell the patient because I knew he wouldn't like it. The doctor then asked if he could speak to him.

I gave the phone over to the elderly bastard, and he proceeded to calmly and rationally answer all the doctors questions. He told the doctor what other doctors had prescribed the Motrin for him (and these doctors weren't dead). He then was able to tell him exactly which pharmacy he last got it from. When I finally got back on the phone with the doctor, he was annoyed that I didn't get that information from the start. He asked me just to double check with the other pharmacy to make sure it was filled there, and at this time, the old fuck produced an old prescription bottle for Motrin from that other pharmacy.

I bet that I didn't even have to mention exactly who was the last doctor that prescribed the Motrin for him. You guessed it... It was the same one I was talking to the entire time.

You know what... fuck both of them. I hope the old fuck gets a GI ulcer and bleeds to death and his family sues the numbnuts doctor for everything he's worth.

Can you start to appreciate why pharmacists bitch so much about their jobs? Pharmacy is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. There are a million rules to follow from a ton of different sources (state law, federal law, insurance companies make up their own rules). However, our clientele consists of elderly patients who half the time couldn't tell you what day of the week it is never mind following all the rules and directions given to them by doctors and pharmacists. We deal with doctors with god complexes. They don't care what the studies say or what the insurance will or will not cover, they want the patient to take that new $20 per tablet blood pressure medication no matter how much it costs. We deal with medical assistants and secretaries that are given prescriptions to call into pharmacies without having a fucking clue of what they're calling in.

You put all of these things together in a semi-busy pharmacy (or simply an understaffed pharmacy), and you start to realize that most of our day is spent trying to clarify prescriptions and correct mistakes.

Let me put it this way... I might make 2 or 3 prescription errors (usually small, benign ones) in a year. However, I catch and correct at least 10 errors on written, faxed, e-prescribed, and phoned-in scripts per day. That's a conservative estimate! And they want to replace pharmacists with robots and unskilled workers(and by unskilled, I mean didn't go to 5, 6, or more years of school dedicated to the profession). What a disaster that would be. They'll be so many prescription errors that people will start to avoid pharmacies like the plague.

I feel obligated to note that not all doctors have god complexes, nor do all medical assistants and secretaries not know how to call in a script. In fact, the majority do a great job. It's just the few asshole doctors and incompetent doctors' agents in the bunch tend to be the ones we remember the most. Sadly, they're usually the ones that take up the majority of our time.


Anonymous said...

this is THE pharmacy blog post that just about sums everything up

Anonymous said...

dont feel obligated to say all that, your being way too nice, they are all like that. how the hell did that dipshit doctor not know he prescribed that jackass motrin?

pharmacy chick said...

Mike, you pretty much summed up the retail pharmacy experience. Well written. Nice of the customer to give you a rash of crap while you are trying to extricate an ounce of information, then he give it all to the dr like the dutiful child. I truly believe, What goes around comes around. He'll get his.

ohladybug said...

mike - i am a pharmacy tech and just found your blog this morning. this is my life! i found your stories funny and very truthful. thanks for making my day! i will continue to read your blog!!!

Anonymous said...

I Had a guy bring in an ER script the other day gave me crap when I asked for a birthday, address and flat out refused to give a phone # by saying "That ain't none of your G.D. business son". I just calmly told him that federal law prohibits me from dispensing a controlled medicine like Vicodin and that no matter where he went they would ask him the same questions all over again. He decided just to give me his phone number.