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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Olde Tyme Pharmacy

I'm at work right now, laptop plugged into guest access since my company blocks my blog (ha!), thinking about how much pharmacy has changed even since I started in this profession. I became a pharmacist in 2009, but my second job was in a pharmacy, so I've been doing this for 12 years (And that is why I know more about your insurance than your human resources manager. I am the THIRD PARTY QUEEN).
So much has changed in pharmacy since I started. Back then, only young white males abused Vicodin and Lortab (now every single demographic does). Manufacturer coupons for prescriptions were rare (now every brand name fights to offer a better deal .... mostly by playing on your hypochondria). You almost never had to contact a doctor for prior authorization (now I do it many many times a day, effectively giving insurers the right to make your health care choices!).
Back in the day drug reps used to bring pens,  pizza, and pill trays (now they are prohibited. I miss my pens. I joined pharmacy for the free pens).
A few weeks ago out state gave us the go-ahead to consider scanned rx images as the legal record. What the heck?! It used to be all about the "hard copy", the actual prescription that the doctor wrote. It was golden. Now it's trash.
I am nostalgic for the hard copy!
I've decided that I practice olde tyme pharmacy - I still know your name. I probably know your date of birth. I definitely know your health conditions and your insurance.
I'll break the law for you. A little. I mean, I wish you'd pay attention and quit running out of refills on Friday night, but I'm not going to let you have a heart attack just because I couldn't give you a few metoprolol.
I get it if you need a vacation supply. I get it if you want me to pretend to put fairy dust in your kid's antibiotic. I get it if you can't afford your Crestor and need me to call and get it changed. I get it if you quite taking your psych meds because they made you sleepy (I'll still tattle on you, though. I know who your case worker is, too).
I kind of like to count by fives, and I am happy to throw in 2 or 3 free pills to use up an old manufacturer we don't carry anymore.
I'm getting so carried away by nostalgia that I just bundled up my hard copies in groups of 100, just like the old days.
Then someone came in and tried to pull the wool over my eyes about an early refill on a controlled substance, and a doctor copped an attitude with me (PUH-lease, you are so new to this darling, do not try to correct me about Louisiana Medicaid!) and I decided that olde tyme, new time, whatever time pharmacy could just all go to heck.

And how was your day?


  1. I am a social worker in a children's hospital. There's an unafiliated pharmacy in the main hospital there and the head pharmacist is sort of my hero. She always finds a way to make it happen, regardless of how random the med is, how jerkey the insurance company is being or if the kid has insurance at all. So yay for you, and yay for her.

  2. It's the controlled substance stuff that simply drives me up a matter what its bound to involve more drama than its worth...

  3. I had a craptastic few days at work as well, but for different reasons. I feel you. I can't imagine being a pharmacist & dealing with people who are sick and/or have sick kids/family members. That sounds like a recipe for interacting with grouches all day long. Hope your day today is amazing & drama-free. :-)

  4. Its amazing how fast pharmacy is changing, I definitely see it and I'm not even a pharmacist...yet :) I just love the doctors/nurses who think the pharmacies have no idea what we're doing. Hope your day is going much better.