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Thursday, November 7, 2013


Hello Mr. Krinkle. How are you today?
Pharmacies now require their staff to answer the phones with such a long script, it's amazing we have time to fill any prescriptions.
"Thank you for calling CP Pharmacy where we offer all kinds of vaccines like Zostavax and the Flu Shot and the Tetanus shot, and we have a convenient drive thru and a $4 list and free antibiotics and we give gift cards if you complain at all and sometimes we even fill prescriptions when there is time and my name is Cornholio and I need TP for my bunghole and I am a pharmacist and how may I help you today?" (deep breath)...

I think it's stupid. We as a "profession" advertise the hell out of our services. I almost feel like those lawyers who prostitute themselves all over TV with ads that say "we'll make them pay". They give lawyers a bad name. Same here. If someone doesn't know we offer vaccines and have free antibiotics and $4 lists then I say "good!". Ignorance is bliss and I want them as my patient. It means they have no expectations and I can win them over because they just want a prescription filled by a friendly, caring pharmacist and they chose me for that reason.
The saturation of advertising our "professional" services is horrible. Everyone thinks my pharmacy has a drive thru, offers $4 generics, has free antibiotics, and offers other "perks" when I have none of these. It doesn't matter because everyone else's ads make it appear every pharmacy is The Money Hungry Whore pharmacy. While we all would like to make a profit, we're not all the same slut.
If they would take all the money they focus on advertising, from the little phone scripts (time wasted is money) to the little buttons the staff is forced to wear (pieces of flair), to the skywriting planes and robocalls, they may be able to hire staff that would actually be able to focus on filling prescriptions. Word-of-mouth is still a great way to build a business. Short wait times, friendly staff, and variety of services will be easier to achieve if the pharmacy isn't so focused on advertising/posturing who they wish they were. To the corporations I say, Shut Up and Put Up. Shut up your promotions and gimmicks. Put Up your best staff and focus on filling prescriptions. Show me a company that wants this to be a real profession again.
The next thing you know corporate will send some lackey in to stand behind us with a stopwatch and time every step of our filling process and dock us for typing too slow, or too fast, or not checking voicemail every 49.7 seconds, or...wait. Sorry. They already do that. If only they worried about getting them filled correctly instead of quickly...

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