I know I have said this before (see Pharmacist vs. Doctor) but it bears repeating after this week's phone call.
I retrieved my voicemail to hear the following message from a doctor's representative:
"This is Dr. Zoffis calling. We received a call from patient Lazy Ass. He told us he was out of refills. Dr. Zoffis requires that all requests be faxed from your pharmacy so we can give them to him when he has time and then send them back to you. Please make note of our fax number in your system so you can fax us on all refill requests. The patient needs a refill on his HCTZ so fax it so we can get his refill back to you."
Wow. What a bitch. Is it just me or could this long-winded soliloquy not have been shortened to:
"Please refill Lazy Ass' HCTZ 3 times. Thanks"???
Assuming we had actually faxed you correctly in the first place, I am certain we would have had either (or both) of the following outcomes:
1. My doctor demands you fax him and he says you didn't yet and now I've been out of meds for over a week!
2. My doctor said he faxed your refill request back on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and twice on Thursday but you didn't fill it. You lost it and now I've been out of meds for over a week.
Seriously? Let me see if I understand this. In the really old days, your doctor would write a prescription and you'd hand-deliver it to me. In the olden days, a speedy-tongued girl would directly deliver a verbal order. If she forgot to call or you forgot to give it to me, not my fault. If you took it to the wrong pharmacy or she called it there, not my fault. Now the onus is on us for every possible thing that could go wrong? If they don't get the refill request? My fault. If they forget to send it? Send it to the wrong pharmacy? My fault and my fault? If the e-script service verifies it was delivered but I can't find it? My fault?
I am sorry, but my obligation ends when I hit "SEND" on the refill request. I cannot fill prescriptions I do not have and I only get paid for prescriptions I fill. Therefore it is in my best interest to fill your prescription and not waste time tracking down a lost-in-transit, phantom script.
Obviously, there is a breakdown somewhere. Why though, is the blame falling squarely on the pharmacist? The patients accept zero personal responsibility for their own healthcare. They expect us to fill the refill before it's due, call them when it's filled, remind later in the week it's still here, call the doctor when the refills expire, then refill it when it's due; lather rinse repeat. The only service we are not providing is actually going to the doctor for them. Wait for it. I'm sure some corporate pharmacy suit is crunching those numbers and figuring out the logistics of where to incorporate that between flu shots, MTM, and actual filling of prescriptions.
Everyone expects us to do everything for them. I think I'll try the "my fax machine can only receive" trick and see what the offices' responses are. Why, too, do doctors argue and scoff when you ask them to resend a script or to authorize a verbal order? Really? Just read it to me, like you used to do. Oh well, it's not like they're telling patients my pharmacy has a certain drug in generic or that they're free or $4, right? They'd never do that.