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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I never knew America was on the barter system. Years ago in a Greek Agora it was common practice to barter and haggle for products sold on the street. In many countries this is still the way it is. I wish America worked like this for everything. Apparently pharmacy customers have long held this belief and I was oblivious to the role I was supposed to play.
I feel like shouting "inconceivable!" vis a vis Vizzini...but I digress.

Next time I am at a department store, I am going to haggle over the printed price on the tag.
CP: $300? For a sweater?
Department Lady: But it's Cashmere!
CP: I don't care if Led Zeppelin signed the sweater, it's not worth $300. Does it have mini heaters in it? It's just a bunch of fibers all sewn together. I'll give you $20 and not a penny more.

How about at the movie theatre?
Ticket Seller: That'll be $15 for your 3-D Gravity ticket.
CP: I can get this at Redbox for like $2.00 in a couple weeks. How about you settle for $5.00?
TS: How about I stuff your nostrils with those Sno Caps?

Gas Station Attendant: That's $3.29 a gallon.
CP: <waving hand across the counter> That's not the price I was looking for.
GSA: That's not the price I was looking for.
CP: <waving hand> I want to charge you $1.79 a gallon.
GSA: I want to charge you $1.79 a gallon.
CP: ...and grab a free Mountain Dew...

I know people who have complained about their cable bills and received a discount/promotion/bonus for signing another contract, but that's the way the cable companies want it and they're not shy about telling you that. Argue and they'll give you free HBO. They like it when you argue. Eschewing masochism, pharmacy should not be a place for negotiations. In fact, the negotiations already took place, and they were short. Your copays were established long ago; so long ago in fact, that they're printed on your card or your EOB. That's the price you have to pay. No, we don't put Nuvarings on sale. (This is excepting those places that do free antibiotics during the pharmacy winter and $1.99 or $4.00 generics. Those are geared towards CASH-paying customers. We already established they only make up less than 20% of our patient base.)

I feel like this whenever people wish to 'aggle...

I have always believed that the price was the price. Whether it's a can of soup or a blender, a soccer ball or a steak at restaurant, I always pay the price listed. Can't you just picture some of our favourite pharmacy patrons in a 4-star restaurant arguing over the price of the filet? We have prices on price tags for a reason: so you know what to pay and we know what to charge you. It's a business, not a garage sale. For the eleventieth time pharmacists do not set your prices. Quit arguing with me. Pay up.

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