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Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Ruination of Pharmacy

People have become accustomed to getting what they want. Manufacturers bombard the public with drug ads and Pharmacies compete with each other by selling free antibiotics and promoting $4 medications. This conversation exemplifies all that is wrong with retail pharmacy today. 

CP: Thank you for calling "Whores R Us" Pharmacy. How may I help you? 
Mother of the Year: I was calling about a prescription antibiotic for my son. 
CP: We received one yesterday. It is ready. 
MOTY: Is it free? 
CP: No. We do not have a free list. Nor do we have a $4 list. 
MOTY: The doctor was supposed to call this morning to change it to something on the free list. 
CP: Who's free list? As we do not have such a list, he cannot call in a prescription from it. 
MOTY: I just want what's free. 
CP: Fine. Pretending for a moment that we have a free list, the only thing on it is Amoxicillin. 
MOTY: But he's deathly allergic to Amoxicillin. Can you call the doctor and tell them what else you have on the list and get them to prescribe that? 
CP: I could. But I won't. 
MOTY: Why not? 
CP: Professionally, it's a bad idea. 
MOTY: How about tablets that are free so I can crush them?
CP: Again. No. 
MOTY: Don't you care about your patients? 
CP: I do. That is why I am not calling. Let me explain. The infection your son has will not respond to treatment with any company's free antibiotics, except Amoxicillin. Since he is deathly allergic to this, it would not be in his interest to take that. By giving an antibiotic that won't help him he risks many things. He may begin to feel better but the infection will not go away (it kills the really weak bacteria but the strong survive). He will remain miserable for the next week to 10 days at which time you will have to take him back to the doctor to get the original antibiotic he should have been prescribed today. As a parent, would you not want your child to feel better sooner rather than later and know that you as the responsible adult did what you were supposed to do for him? Or would you rather he suffer needlessly for the couple weeks because you were too cheap to buy him the right medication at the time he needed it? Just because it's free doesn't mean it's appropriate. 
MOTY: I'm going to call the office and have them call you. 
CP: Go for it. 

<later that day>
MOTY: Picking up my son's antibiotic. 
CP: We have it. Let me mix it. 
MOTY: Did they change it? 
CP: No. They agreed with me. They'd rather prescribe something that is going to work. If you want something for free that is not going to work, we agreed to suggest just doing nothing. 
MOTY: Oh. Ok. 

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