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Showing posts from September, 2009
When did a pharmacy become a part of the fast-food nation? You walk into a pharmacy with your prescription in hand, present it to the technician or pharmacist, and start to walk away, confident that in a few minutes you will have your medicine and begin your life anew.
When did that happen? I started in this business in 1983. At that time I remember this same expectation of quick, efficient dispensing, though I also remember that a busy pharmacy back then did about 100 prescriptions a day. We were still typing labels, though a few envelope-stretching chains and independents did have computers. So if we did ten Rx's an hour that was a busy. That works out to be one Rx every 6 minutes. Nowadays we do one Rx every minute or two. (That doesn't mean you get your prescription in two minutes; it's more likely to be an hour as the volume has sky-rocketed.)
But back in the Jurassic period of pharmacy, independents used to fill prescriptions in a back room, beyond the view of customer…
Since everyone else and their pet dog gets to sound off on what is the best plan to overhaul the United States healthcare system, I thought I'd put forth a few of my own.
(Note: anyone who has been following this blog knows my reasons for advocating a single-payer system, so the following remarks are meant to be as an alternate to that most desired of solutions.)
Lacking any real reform, which indeed seems now to be the resultant predicament we find ourselves in, we could save millions just by having one uniform billing form, and one uniform insurance card. I have seen insurance cards without any ID number, group number, processor number, or even a logo to let us know whom to bill. Honest.
Give pharmacists the power of therapeutic substitution. If your insurance wants you on Prilosec OTC instead of Aciphex I could switch you to that drug without having to fax or call the office and wait the three days to hear back from them. They're only going to say switch it anyway.
Advocate t…
or not to err, that is the question.
Lately I've noticed interesting reactions from patients when something unusual is noticed with their prescription. Let's say someone receives a prescription for a quantity that they did not expect. Joe Schmoe gets some Zantac 150mg, and takes it twice a day. He looks at the bottle before he leaves and sees that it is for sixty tablets. He points out, none too courteously, I might add, that we've made a mistake. He had asked for a ninety day supply. We should have given him a quantity of #180.
Note: We've made a mistake. Us. The pharmacy team. The druggist. The stoopnagle with the white jacket who can't count. You know the guy, the one who can't read the prescriptions with the silly handwriting on them.
Except that guy didn't make that mistake. Didn't make too many others either. This is the guy whose job it is to catch mistakes. That's right. The job of a pharmacist is to catch the mistakes of others. It is not—prin…
As reported in The New York Times today, Sunday Sept. 13th, 2009, Nikki White died not from her lupus but from a horrific health care system that refused to care for her.
Every half hour another person dies from lack of care in this country (National Academy of Sciences).
And there is no outrage.
As Nicholas Kristof writes, every two months as many people die in this country as died in the World Trade Center attack, which resulted in this country spending hundreds of billions of dollars to prevent such an attack from happening again. But we balk at universal health care.
No outrage. Christians sit on their hands. Republicans call the President a liar. Fox News spreads misinformation. And no one cares.
If you care that Nikki White died needlessly, then you need to do something. Fax a congressman, the president. Something. Anything. Why be part of the problem when you could be part of the solution?