Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't I get a discount???

A woman came in to pick up her precription for 90 capsules of generic Dyazide. Our company's price on this prescription was roughly $10.

"Excuse me. Don't I get a discount?" said the woman.

"What kind of discount?" I inquired.

"I'm a physician! Isn't there some kind of physician discount?" said the woman. It was at this time that I noticed she was the doctor who wrote for herself the prescription in question.

"No. There are no discounts. That price is set at the corporate level, and that's the same price for everyone," I informed her.

The woman didn't protest any further. She wasn't particularly pleased, but she didn't make a big issue of it. However, the nerve of the woman to even ask for a discount simply because she's a physician really ticks me off. Does that mean I can go to a doctor's office and ask for a "Pharmacist's Discount" on my next appointment? It's the same kind of reasoning. I mean, what exactly does being a physician have to do with the pricing at our pharmacy.

The really sad thing is that this woman probably makes $250,000 per year, and $10 is too much for her to pay for a 90 day prescription. She's one of the privelaged members of society that CAN actually easily afford to pay for her prescription medication. If anything... We should be charging her more to make up for some of the money we lose on Medicaid reimbursements.

I think this says something about society as a whole...


Pharmacy Chick said...

I have a physician who buys meds out of his pocket to take to migrant camps for clinics he does for free. He gets cost. Everybody else pays retail...unless its for office use. I have never asked nor have been offered a professional discount in any office I have ever been seen, and every physician I have seen knows what I do for a living. And I know they make a heck of a lot more money than I do AND they charge for service (time), I cannot.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple questions I hope someone can answer.

1. Isn't it frowned upon by both pharmacists and medical doctors for someone to write their own script?

2. Was she a young doc and did you know her specialty? The reason I ask is b/c young docs are usually saddled with > $200,000 in debt. Also, not all specialties make > $250000. She might be a doc who's starting her career or having her reimbursements cut.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

You're right, I don't know what it is about doctors but they will go through hell and high water to get a few bucks off their own prescriptions, and never fail to ask for that clinic employee discount for OTC's. They just don't feel they should have to pay the same as everyone else.

BiteTheDust said...

it's a world wide thing. Many years ago I visited a surgery where the docs had asked for a special rate.

I spoke with the practice manager for a "bulk bill" (free to patient) rate for myself and my staff as a reciprocal arrangement.
Needless to say I was never asked again!


Anonymous said...

oh god we encounter this a lot. I can't stand it. They know they can afford it, we know they can afford it, and they still have the nerve to bitch about it.

Such cases.