We bring the FAST and laughs to pharmacy.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Job Security?

It is 2:21AM and I am taking refill orders over the phone. The manager on overnights tells me to get off the phone. I keep talking to the patient. He tells me to get off the phone NOW. I look over and see him with a masked gunman. "Oh, shit! I will have your prescriptions ready in the morning." Click.

I get the joy of laying on the office floor while the gunman waves a 9mm semi-automatic at me and the manager empties the safe. Then we get to go to the front of the store where said gunman has an accomplice with another employee on the floor along with a handfull of late-night shoppers.

Brain: "Son of a Bitch! I have a lot of work to do. Why the fuck did they have to come on my week! This floor is gross. I hope they didn't hurt anyone.... Maybe I should take the rest of the month off. Maybe I should look for a new job..."

Gunman 1: "Stay on the floor!"

Gunman 2: "Have a nice day! Haha!"

Brain: "I would love to kick you both in the nuts but instead I get to lay in the nasty floor."

The whole thing took about 5 minutes. We were lucky that neither gunman had an itchy trigger finger or maybe because instead of being my usual mouthy self I had a big dose of "shut the fuck up" or what some people call "shock."

The moral of this story is overnights are dangerous. Armed robbery, like shit, happens. Quiet + Compliant = Alive Too bad it wasn't ninjas. It would have made a better story. I got robbed by ninjas.....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Nation of Addicts

Ah, the United States of America, the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." That may have been true when the country was young and growing but now we should be called the "Land of Instant Gratification and the Home of the People who Need it Now."

I lay some of the blame on advertisers. They paint a masterpiece of life where everyone should have large houses, expensive vehicles, fabulous jewelry, and designer clothing/fragrances, etc. This is reinforced by music videos, television shows, and retailers everywhere.

Live the American Dream.......where all your wounds are healed with a magic little pill, where healthcare is only an emergency room visit away, where food is readily available for purchase (whether you cook it or someone else cooks it for you), where the shopping mall has become a right of passage from youth to "responsible" consumer, where the internet allows you to put up your selfish "I am better than you" blog......

Your Reality Check Bounced!!! A Pill Will Not Fix Everything Immediately!!

Colds do not miraculously disappear because you dropped a couple of fizzy tablets in water and drank it. Viruses work on their schedule, not yours. Better get some tissue and wipe the snot off your disappointed little face.

Diabetes does not go away because you take insulin injections and pills. Perhaps you should use some of the dietary recommendations from the physician you so seldom see.

High blood pressure does not magically disappear because you take a few pills sometimes because you just can't remember to take them everyday. It is not called the "Silent Killer" for nothing. High blood pressure has severe, many times fatal, consequences if left to run rampant. Perhaps you should start some regular cardio like your physician told you to, and don't forget those dietary recommendations you dismissed as quackery.

Genital herpes does not ever go away. These lesions will pop up whenever the virus feels like reactivating. The pills you get for outbreaks do not kill the virus, they just give it the chemical equivalent of a cat nap. So use condoms because you can still pass it on even if you are taking pills. Who knows what your sex partner is not telling you.....

Oh, no. Your partner didn't tell you he/she has HIV. It can also be passed even while the infected is on a regular treatment regimen. Better rethink getting that prostidude you ordered from the back of a bar magazine. I guarantee they have a few little secrets you will not be told but find out about later. If you think they haven't been playing hide the salami with a lot of people you are dead wrong. Just what do you think that prostidude does when he is with other clients. I guarantee they are not playing Yahtzee.

My teeth/leg/back/neck/spine/nerves hurt (you pick the pain). I need Vicodin/Tylenol with codeine/Percocet/Roxicodone/Oxycontin (you pick the drug). Pain management meds make you feel good, so you take a couple more, then you take a couple more, then you take a couple more, then the bottle is empty. You have to call your doctor but he says you don't need it anymore so you find another doctor. You take a couple pills, you feel good, so you take a couple more, then you take a couple more, then you take a couple more, then the bottle is empty. You have to call the new doctor but he says you don't need it anymore so you find an unscrupulous pain management doctor that will write for anything you want for a small fee, of course. (No offense to legitimate Pain Management physicians, but you need to police your peers because they are making all of you look like the devil incarnate.) Caveat Emptor (buyer beware), you get what you pay for and you may lose every little speck of that American Dream you used to believe and your humanity. Hell, you may even end up like the aforementioned prostidude, but instead of sucking dicks to pay your bills you will be sucking dicks to get pills.

The moral of the story is a recurring theme: Take care of yourself. This body was given to you at birth and will be yours until death. No doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or medicine will make you a masterpiece of human health. You have to take care of your body like a precision driving machine. It needs lots of maintenance and the proper fuel to run smoothly. Any excuses and neglect will lead to a breakdown that may or may not be salvageable.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Le Douche (cousin of Ass Clown)

Ah, Le Douche. I knew I would not survive a work week without an infestation of you.

Setting: McDruggie's late Sunday evening.

And scene: You walk up to the counter, a gallon of milk and two Nestle chocolate milks in hand.

Pharmacist: Are you picking up or dropping off?

Le Douche: I am picking up for >>>>my name>>>>.

Pharmacist: We need refills from your doctor because there are none left in your records.

Le Douche: Why isn't my prescription ready? They told me it would be ready when I called it in an hour ago! Why didn't anyone tell me it needed refills?

Pharmacist: I am sorry but there are no refills in your records. Unfortunately I cannot give you some tablets to hold you over because Ambien is a controlled substance. I will call your doctor in the morning.

Pharmacist Brain: Is this guy f***ing kidding! He read the number off the bottle that said "NO Refills, doctor authorization required" when he called it in to the technician standing next to me that took the call. What a f***ing moron!

Le Douche storms off. Pharmacist asks Technician if she will return the abandoned milk products to the refrigerator case.

Technician: I will give him a few minutes to shop.

Pharmacist: He is not coming baaack.

Three minutes later Le Douche is nowhere to be found.

Pharmacist: It is cute that you thought he was coming back. Please return the abandoned milk product to the refrigerator case. Thanks!

Technician: I can't believe he did that.

End scene.

Unfortunately things like this do happen in the real world. Some people believe that refills happen like loaves and fishes (biblical reference if you didn't get the joke). These same people also believe that "drama" is going to "hurt" the people working in a pharmacy, when really, all it does is leave us scratching our heads and wondering how natural selection has failed to deselect you.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rules Rule!

Yes, we all have complaints on our government's official decisions that are supposed to make it harder for humans to hurt ourselves. Yes, some of these rules and regulations are a bit mundane or stupid. Yes, they are a necessary evil. Yes, it could be worse. Yes, you could live in a communist country that is failing its people.

Things went terribly wrong in one communist country via the department that regulates food, food products, and medicines. The Head took bribes to allow approval of medicines that may not work or be safe and to allow tainted products into the market. Other things that went terribly wrong:

***Over 18 hospitals and 30 pharmacies in one region were found to have fake batches of albumin used for patients suffering from serious conditions like shock and severe burns. These IVs are also used in open-heart surgery. (But at a whopping 300% profit for the fakes and drastic supply shortages it is easy to see how they got into the market so easily.)

***Malnutrition killed at least 13 babies from products labeled "baby milk" that had no such thing inside.

***Tainted toothpaste was exported to Panama and has been cited as the source of several deaths.

***Pet food was exported containing an ingredient used to kill rats and caused an enormous recall after several pets died. (Do not come between an heiress and her poodle. There will be hell to pay!)

***Exported anti-malarial drugs were either totally fake or contaminated. Considering malaria kills several people per day in the world it is a shame that many more paid for these "drugs" and got to die from malaria anyway.

The government punishment for the Head was death by gunshot. I think it is fitting, maybe a little extreme. A better punishment would be treatment with each fake or contaminated substance he let through, douse him with sugar water and make him dance in the mosquito infested wetlands. Agh, maybe just let the victims' families take turns punishing him. I am sure they would be gentle.....

Moral of the story: Rules are not perfect in their inception or enforcement but they were meant to help you out!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Omacor, Oh My Go$h

Several studies have shown the potential benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids to prevent coronary artery disease. There are three omega-3 fatty acids but only two of them are present in fish oils. I am not disputing any of the findings but, in fact, am disputing the cost of its nutraceutical form Omacor.

Nutraceuticals are marketed under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). They are not regulated as drugs and do not require rigid quality control standards allowing for substantial variability in potency and purity of the marketed product. That is a fact. Three cheers for government in allowing that one to get on the books! Sure, some companies guarantee potency on the bottle, but who has the time or equipment to test these anyway. I guarantee you the government has other "pet" projects to blow money on without a thought to the kava kava you got at the health food store.

Omacor is the holy grail of nutraceuticals. It got approval for an NDC (national drug code) so it can be marketed as a prescription item. This is probably how they try to justify the $180 average wholesale cost or maybe they make it "dolphin safe" by using magic nets to catch only fish (seriously people, even dolphin safe tuna has a few casualties). Frankly, after the markup on this product I pity the cash paying patient! Many insurances will not cover the cost of this one either because it is considered a vitamin supplement so it is not worthy of coverage (ie not their problem).

So here is my money saving solution. Buy an OTC omega-3 supplement and take the same dosage as Omacor. I recommend the well-reputed companies who do guarantee potency on the bottle. Sure, I made a nasty comment about potency earlier but the Better Business Bureau and various consumer watch-dog groups are all over that. I just cannot justify a patient spending almost $200 a month on the same fish oil they can purchase OTC for $30 or less a month. Hell, that savings alone could foot the bill for the other 20 prescriptions they have. Maybe not...

Monday, June 4, 2007


No, it is not the newest technological revelation from Steve Jobs, it is I PLEDGE! This handy dandy little system was designed to protect the user from themself....and any offspring they may accidentally produce....

As you know the use of Accutane and any of its analogs is fantastic for severe cystic acne. We are not talking of a sprinkle of teeny tiny white-heads popping up here and there, we are talking HUGE painful subcutaneous mountains of puss, bacteria, and sebum that alter your face so you look like a lumpy bumpy version of the kid from "Mask." It ain't pretty folks but neither are some of the nasty little things it can do to you.

1. Accutane has been shown to increase the tendency to hurt yourself or someone else if you already have a screw loose.

2. Accutane can trigger a fatal asthma attack or severe allergic reaction.

3. Accutane can decimate your heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

4. Accutane can greatly increase your blood sugar and change your life into a status diabeticus nachtmere (I never took Latin so I fake it).

5. Accutane will increase disintegration of osteoporitic bones (especially if you smoke. take Dilantin, or corticosteroids).

6. Accutane may help you lose your hearing, notify your doctor if you have ringing in the ears or your hearing gets worse...I can't blame it on loud music anymore...

7. Accutane decreases your ability to see in the dark. So much for third shift.

8. Hyperlipidemia and hypercholesteremia, anyone? Yes, you get these too!

AND THERE'S MORE!!!!!! decreased red and white blood cells, loss of eyesight from increased pressure on the brain, siezures, stroke,dizziness, ulcers, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of skin or eyes, back pain, joint pain, muscle and ligament pain, hypersensitivity to sunlight and tanning lights, severe skin irritation from waxing or laser hair removal, and the greatest evil of all:

Mutant Babies!!!!!!!

((Mutant babies may or may not live. Mutant babies are not trademarked by this or any other pregnancy category X drugs. After you answer the questions on the survey verifying that you are using two methods of birth control and promise not to get pregnant or breastfeed while on this medication or for six months after taking this medication, the manufacturer is no longer liable for any mutant babies. That means you can't sue, sucker!))

Wow, I'm sold! (bitter oozing sarcasm) Mayhaps I will try something a little less likely to be called Craputane (mutatretinoin sodium).....Oh yeah, and you can't have alcohol or a trip to Cancun with this crap college girls. That means no margaritas on the beach and taking off your top for Girls Gone Wild...wooooooooo...

That is it. I will use Proactive. If it worked for Diddy it can work for me. Mutant baby not included. Thank God!