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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Professional Differences

Why are the same laws not applied universally?
If you wish to understand the issue, look no further than any law affecting healthcare in America. States pass new rules/laws all the time. Some affect both prescribers and pharmacists and we must both obey and implement them.
Prior to graduation, I had to take a law class.
Prior to receiving my license, I had to take a law test (and pass it!).
I'm fairly certain prescribers had to do this as well.
In the years since I graduated, laws have changed and new ones have been passed.
This means that your practice has to be fluid in order accommodate these changes.
You cannot simply rely on what you learned in school. You have to evolve; to adjust.

Herein lies the difference between the prescribing and dispensing professions.

Pharmacists: this law takes effect 7/1/18. You MUST be compliant on this date or you shall be publicly flogged, pilloried, or stoned. There are no exceptions for failure to comply. If prescribers do not comply, it is incumbent upon the pharmacist to phone the prescriber to bring him up to speed, retrieve the missing information, and get lectured by the lady answering the phone (LAP).
LAP: What do you need?
CP: As of July 1st, your prescribers must obey these laws.
LAP: Laws? We don't need no stinkin' laws!
CP: You do.
LAP: We didn't know about this.
CP: You work in a urology group, right?
LAP: Yes.
CP: Urine trouble!
LAP: Lame. I've heard that one before.
CP: I know. Just like I've heard what you're about to tell me next.
LAP: 1. We've never had this problem with any other pharmacy.
2. You're the only pharmacist who calls us on this.
3. We never had to do this before.
4. Our prescribers don't do that.
CP: 1. Yes. I know.
2. Yes. I'm the only pharmacist who cares about her license.
3. That's because the law took effect July 1st. There were communiques.
4. They will.

Prescribers: you get an email from the state; you get a letter from the state; you get more of each, approximately 1 per week for 6 months leading up to Doomsday. You get to plead ignorance for months. There's something called a "grace period". For some reason, you are allowed to remain noncompliant and ignorant of the law change for months. You receive more, somewhat-sternly written letters with a picture of the Board of Medicine shaking its finger at you and a little "tsk tsk" added for effect over the next 6 months. Yet you still plead ignorant.

This reminds me of my favourite prescriber joke: 
Q: Why are doctors always on bottom? 
A: Because they can only fuck up!

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