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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Three Minutes or Your Order is Free

If that were the case, all businesses except some fast food joints and a handful of wiener carts would have to close. Oh, and my bank would still be open. I never wait for service there. Consumer expectations for service are pissing me off.

When you bring in an insurance card, make sure it says "prescription" somewhere on it. I don't need the one that says MD, Mental Health, Emergency, etc. I need the one that says "prescription." No, your car insurance is not going to let me electronically bill for that prescription from your accident and neither will the card that says "dental" because it just covers your "dental" visit, procedures, etc., not the prescription written as a result of it.

If you have Medicaid and you have a third party payor for "prescriptions" it would be great if you had that card or at the least, the payor name, ID number, and group number. I can work with that.

If you have Medicare Part D I would love to see the "prescription" card for that. There are so many plans currently available it has become impossible to use my extrasensory perception to pick your brain and figure out what paperwork you filled out and what the card says. I am not the Great Kruskan. I am just a lowly paper processor and pill pusher for "the man."

I also will not call the insurance company to ask why a drug is not covered. I can tell you right now it was left off the formulary for budgetary reasons. They can't afford to pay for everything. I am nice enough to call your doctor to find a suitable substitute to treat your ills, eventhough you feel the need to take out your anger and disappointment on me.

I will not call to get ID numbers. Your body, your insurance, your problem. They sent you a nice little paper or plastic card to carry with you. I have approximately 1000 other things to do and patients to take care of in my immediate surroundings, not hold your hand while you pee. You are an adult. I will not babysit you. If you cannot possibly handle that one tiny detail in your life I hope you do not have children to supervise and raise. If you do, I weep for them and hope that they never get into an accident and need you to have the proper insurance cards handy.

If you just came from the emergency room, I promise to fill your prescriptions with all the other folks who came from the emergency room before you. I cannot do this in 3 minutes as they are also sick, tired, grumpy, and waiting. There is no reason to poke at the sleeping infant and make it cry. I will not push your prescription out any faster. You are just a douche bag and a terrible parent for doing that. Ten to fifteen minutes means ten to fifteen minutes. That baby was sleeping just fine til you thought it would get you out faster if it was crying. Child and family services should do it a favor and find it a more responsible and loving home.

All because a medication comes in a box does not mean I can "slap a label on it" and get you out of here fast. There are lots of boxes in the pharmacy. Many of them look similar. I can put a label on any box and send you on your merry way so you don't have to wait ten minutes but it could be wrong and kill you. It's the lady or the tiger. I am forcing you to pick the lady because I am not risking your life or my livelihood on the tiger. Tigers look cute and cuddly and I like to see them humanely kept at the zoo but their claws will rip through human flesh like a machete through hot butter. It's not pretty, ask Sigfried....

The optimal way to get a prescription for a maintenance medication (the stuff you take every day, week, month, etc.) is drop off at the drive-thru on your way to work and pick it up either on your way home or the next morning on your way back to work. This gives us time to resolve any issues such as "drug not covered", clarification of handwriting, verifying high dosages or interactions with your physician, etc.

There are some things that do not resolve as easily as that. Out of stocks do happen occassionally. This is especially true for injectables, meds that are not routinely prescribed, and meds that need special authorization from insurance or regulatory requirements before they can be ordered (because they are terribly expensive, highly regulated, and go out of date pretty quickly... You wouldn't keep something like that in your refrigerator unless you were going to use it and neither should we.).

The main reason we give you a time for completion of your prescription is safety. You should thank us for that. Being a deathdealer is only suitable for gaming or prison executioners not pharmacists. We don't want to kill you. We may not like some of you but we really really really don't want to kill you. So the next time you are "inconvenienced" and yell at me, just remember I made you wait because I C.A.R.E!


The Ole' Apothecary said...

Back in the 1980s, my local McDonald's tried that very marketing ploy, and it failed quickly. They put a stylized clock on the wall, a clock specifically designed for the promotional measurement of time--a clock with only two minutes on it. If your order wasn't ready in those two minutes, it was free. The promotion lasted just a few days. I knew it would fail the moment I saw it.

Human nature has not changed in 30 years, FFP. I heard the same demands and had to play the same card games in the late 1970s. And, it was worse, because people could bring in temporary Medicaid IDs, many of which did not convey up-to-the-minute coverage status (there was no online adjudication then). Still, I'd take those days over these. There are many more conundrums you guys must face every day that I never did.

Sara said...

Damn right..
You notice that Norvasc and Lipitor pratically look the same.. the same red and white bottles. I don't know how many times I've had to put them back in the right spot.

Anonymous said...

It's so true people don't care about the life. It's us who work in a pharmacy that care. We try to get them out of there as quick as possible and all they can do its Bi*ch at us that is isnt quick enough. Why isn't my prescription ready? I dropped it off 2 days ago. Well we had to get in touch with your doctor you have had that pill bottle for probably 30 days saying no refills so I have to get a new prescriptions.
I total agree with you that people need to get some patient in there lifes!

DanTech said...

Good rant! May I add one?

Call in your refills for your maintenance medications 3 days before you run out. If you take 1 pill a day that means call for refill when you see 3 pills left.

This allows time for us to call the doctor for additional refills, order the drug, or deal with the insurance if need be.

Jaded Rx Intern said...

We actually had a customer make a similar demand to our store manager- if we didn't have his medication done within 30 minutes of him leaving the office, his prescription was free. I heard this and had to go back outside and make sure our logo didn't change into a domino or something. The fucking nerve...

vicodinfairy said...

My favorite:

"The doctor said it would be ready when I got here."

Faxes are NOT instantaneous. Even if they were, the people who are actually HERE take precedence. I'm betting you waited 20 minutes at the doctor's office and never muttered a peep. That and his office is 2 blocks from here. The Rx would've been done faster if you'd just hand carried it.

FDPharmD said...

Oh ya, I love the "doc said it would be ready"

I had a woman yelling at me, doc said it would be ready here when we got to the store. I then asked her if her doctor came in? Did her doc fill it? Did doc even call to see if that was true. OH YA, YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE!

Another thing that gets me is that people that had prescriptions faxed over 3 days ago but have never had a damn thing filled at my pharmacy is mad when it is not ready. They do not understand that I have zero info, I have a name and a DOB I cannot just fill it on a whim that you have insurance etc or that you will pay the price of it. If I fill the prescription for some random drug that we do not get often and then you say "I don't want it" i.e. the person with 10mg Abilify that swore that she wanted it and then gets in and says "well it makes me sick, I dont want it" then I am stuck with it in the hopes I get some other crazy ass in , in the next 6 months...fat chance there is 300 out of my bottom line!

Finally the local recovery room calls at least once a day calling in a prescription for a discharge, and it is a CII. You cannot call those in. They reply that they want it to be ready for the person they will bring the hard copy. Well several times no one has ever showed up for them, and then it is notes and paperwork to put it back to stock. The nurses get mad when I won't take them. I let them know since the patient is post op I will put them at the top of the list, but I will not do it ahead of time.

I hate stupid people......

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

The only time we do CII over the phone is hospice emergencies. I did have one called in that the patient died before the courier even came to pick it up. I can never work in hospice. It is too terribly sad.

RxKerBer said...

I knew one pharmacist who answered the impatient customer's "20 minutes? Why will it take 20 minutes? All you have to do is put some pills in a bottle!!" by walking over to the nearest shelf, plucking off the nearest bottle, and handing it to the idiot. The customer then said "But these aren't the right pills!!!" The pharmacist said, "If you want the right ones, it will be 20 minutes!"
And, no, he wouldn't have let the customer really keep the wrong tablets.

Mc RPh said...

"I don't have my insurance card... but it's just Blue Cross". Uhh, screw you. I sure don't miss retail.

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