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Thursday, August 6, 2015

It Matters Not

Cat, dog, beaver, monkey, rat, snake. It does not matter to me. I have filled prescriptions for these and many more animals. People love their pets. They are quite passionate about their non-human friends. This tends to make some of them a little more out of touch than one might expect, say, a normal parent to be. Bear with me.

I had this conversation multiple times my last weekend so it's not an isolated occurrence, as most of you will be able to attest. (...and I had another last night.)

Fiercely Enraged Learning It's Now Expensive: I am here to pick up the prescription for My Precious. 
CP: Peachy. That'll be $46.99
FELINE: (Incredulously) WHAT? IT'S FOR A CAT!
CP: And?
FELINE: It's for a cat!
CP: You keep saying that as if you think you are a JEDI. I am a retail pharmacist. Mind tricks don't work on me.
FELINE: (More indignantly now) But it's for a CAT!
CP: I don't care. 
FELINE: What do you mean? 
CP: Should it cost less because it's for a cat? You are at a human pharmacy picking up a human medication that will be used on a cat. Its use does not dictate its price. If that were the case, different indications for different medications would warrant a pricing flow chart. 
FELINE: So I have to pay the same? 
CP: If you were taking this medication and, like your unemployed cat had no insurance, I would charge you the same price to take it as well. The medication does not know who or what is taking it. I don't get charged less to purchase chicken wire because I'm using it to make little prisons for my mini-voodoo doll collection of pharmacy CEOs instead of making chicken coops.


  1. A customer today argued that tramadol prescribed by an ER MD doesn't count as a refill even though it had the same directions (though a smaller qty) as tramadol prescribed by her PCP. Therefore, we "should refill tramadol on the same day as last month". Otherwise, we're going to "throw off the monthly appointment schedule" with her PCP. What do you think about that claim?

    1. That's as good as "I take Percocet 5mg for my left knee and Norco for my back and Oxycontin for my ankles and Percocet 10mg for my right hip so you have to fill them all now".
      Simply put, I'd call the PCP to inquire, politely, as to why this patient needed an ER visit for Tramadol and ask what she'd like us to do.