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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pisses me off....
when you try and save somebody a lot of money and they insist on wasting it. Case in point: A young woman comes in the the pharmacy wanting to fill her prescription for an antibiotic. How much is it? she asks. So we punch the little keys and tell her. $55.98 for the brand and $22.46 for the generic. I usually don't even tell the brand price as nobody buys them--heck, hardly anyone pays cash anymore so the insurance company gets to pick whether it is brand or generic and they rarely pick generic except when some special contract price has been negotiated--but this time I say both prices. She says she wants the brand. Huh? I say to myself. Do I even have the brand in stock? I check and we for some unknown reason actually stock it.

Well, what do you do? Just give her the stuff, I guess. If a customer wants to waste her money, then who am I to disagree. Except more than that is going on here. There is a trust issue exposed. I am trying to save her money, so I say that the generic is really the identical drug. (I like to use the word identical as it more strongly conveys the sense of being indistinguishable, of being equal to, than just saying something like "it's the same thing" which most people seem to think means "almost the same thing.")

So what underlies the conversation is this: You, the customer, do not trust my judgement, or you do not trust my character, so you are willing to spend over twice the amount of money. You, in other words, trust the drug company over me.

That's what irks me. That's what pisses me off.

So I dispense the brand and she pays. The drug company has won the battle this time, but did Don Quixote give up his fight for the Fair Dulcinea? No. And neither will I. Onward, over the next hill, the next mountain, onward to the plain of Truth and Fairness go I, and others; we shall win the war for the truth and vanquish the foes of Government and, Ack! the Drug Companies!

1 comment:

Charles Patterson said...

If generics and name brand prescription drugs are "identical," why do doctors overwhelming only use name brand drugs for their family?