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Friday, October 26, 2018

A Note To Grumpy Old Farts Pay Attention - Shingrix

It is now the end of October.
Shingrix has been practically unavailable for 6 months now.
The manufacturer can not make enough to keep up with demand. (Despite original statements they had an 18 month surplus, they burned through all stores in 4 months. Oops.)
I can't get it.
My company can't get it.
He can't get it.
His company can't get it.
She can't get it either.
Neither can her company.

So FFS, please stop blaming the pharmacists for the current situation.
Yes, we actually do know how to order products for our patients.
No, apparently you can't understand what every pharmacist has been telling you for months.
It's not US, it's THEM.

It's a shingles vaccine.
I wish you were as dedicated to getting your flu shot and Tdap as you were for Shingrix.
Remember when we had to twist your arm to sell you on Zostavax? Yeah. What changed?

You know how your family loves your wife's signature dish? Everyone asks her to make it for holidays and events? So let's pretend she's in a coma and can't cook.
You still attend all the events sans dish (and wife).
Everyone keeps asking where her dish is. (They don't care about her, they're hungry. They look forward to this dish every Boxing Day and bris and it's not here.)
Could you have made it? No. Why? She has the recipe in her head and you never bothered to help in the kitchen and learn the dish.
Now everyone gets mad at you.
It's not your fault she's in a coma.
It's not your fault you can't cook her signature dish.
Until she recovers, everyone will have to survive without.

Same goes for you and your Shingrix shot. You'll survive without.
When GSK manages to manufacture enough to meet demand, you'll get it.
Until then, STOP. PISSING. AND. MOANING like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum.
It's not the pharmacy's fault.
Call GSK.


The next time The Powers That Be solicit ideas for building business (it'll be the first time!), I've prepared my proposal.
A Midway Carnival.

When patients complain that their wait times are too long, what happens? (Correct, bosses cut hours.)
But how do we get the patients to wait patiently and spend more money?
We set up a bunch of booths inside the pharmacy, using pharmacy items, and challenge them to games.

1. The Balloon Dart Throw: Syringes. Step right up and give the kids a few hypodermics and let the good times roll. Employ all the kids asking for syringes for "grandma" and tell them they get to keep the used ones and it's a win-win.

2. The Ring Toss: Patrons will toss vial lids into oversized stock bottles (thinking 1000 ct bottles of Metformin 1000mg or Atorvastatin 80mg).

3. Lite Brite: For the little kids (in all of us) we can set up a giant light wall. The kids will place 60 dram vials in the circular holes over each light and make a pattern. Different colored vials will keep them entertained for seconds on end!

4. Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Doctor: Using pen needles, patients can take out their phrustrations of a long wait on who was really to blame, the doctor's office. Great stress reliever for pharmacy staff as well. (Caricature picture of the prescriber changes hourly/daily.)

5. Knife Throw: Remember those Katana Spatulas I keep making? Spin the wheel and throw the Katana Spatula at the target. Prizes every time!

Think about all the phun everyone will have while waiting for their prescriptions...and all the money they'll spend trying to win the dumb prizes.

Prizes include:
a. Pass to the front of the line on your next visit.
b. 10 minute wait on your next visit.
c. One free argument over your copay.
d. One 3-day supply because you ran out and are going to die.
e. Gift Cards Galore!
f. Pez Dispensers for Prescriptions (one size fits most)

Of course the games will be rigged and no one will win the coveted prizes but, hey, look, your prescriptions are ready!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Well, You Asked

CP: Welcome to the first of the month during National Pharmacy celebration time, how may I make a post out of this?
Dude Arguing Full Time: What took you so long to answer the phone?
CP: Good question. Please hold while I check.
<waits 3 minutes, 14 seconds>
CP: I asked my tech and she didn't know why it took so long.
DAFT: That's not good enough!
CP: Hold on, let me check with the pharmacist.
<waits 5 minutes, 42 seconds>
CP: Still there?
DAFT: Yes! What's taking so long?
CP: Still trying to get an answer to your first question. BRB
<<waits 7 minutes, 11 seconds>
CP: Thanks for holding. I think I discovered the problem.
DAFT: And?
CP: See, we're really busy, it being the first of the month and all. It's also the first month of the last quarter of the year which means more people getting 90 days to last through 2018; it's peak flu shot month and all the Q-Tips are coming to get theirs since October is to flu shots as Thursday is to Bingo; I only have 1 technician because corporate believes opening a pharmacy on the first Monday of the month requires only 2 warm bodies; I was on the other line while administering a flu shot from 10 paces with my Phlu-Dart 3001 (better range than the PhluDart 2999); my tech was juggling the register, drop-off, and some magic beans while also placing the phone on hold via telekenesis; and the dog ran away with the spoon. So what do you need?
DAFT: I got a text.
CP: Thanks for calling to tell me. Do you call your friends asking if they got the email you sent?
DAFT: No. It said I am due for a refill.
CP: Okay. And?
DAFT: I need it refilled.
CP: You know you could just reply with a smiley face and it will automatically refill it for you, right?
DAFT: Really?
CP: Yes.
DAFT: Can't you fill it for me?
CP: Sure. Please hold. . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

An Ode To Bowel Prep a la Santeria

I don't want no diarrhea
I don't want to poop at all
Twenty-four feet of intestines and I, emptied them all
If I could freeze this crap fest, and my bowels that just won't quit
Well I'd pop a cork in my gut and I'd go no more.

I don't really want to go, no baby, mmmm. . .
And literally all day I'm not fine
Loperamide I need, Oh. . .

My hole will have to withstand this attack, won't leave my heinie all alone.
Intestines gonna die large and small.
I feel the urge, feel the burn, feel the urge and I know I can't stand up.
Whoa, no, huh uh.
Well I swear and cry.

What I really wanna know, please tell me.
Am I really gonna die I know I will, Lytely I'll not Go.
My hole will have to . . .

Oh. . .
But I really want to die, just sayin'
That I really wanna die and it's now time, I won't make it, oh no it's coming out.

The Nulytely will destroy as you run to the bathroom, barricade inside
Death is coming for your insides
And if you can choke it down the end result will be so clear.
Believe me when I say that you need something for that ripped ass.

And I really wanna cry, like crazy
Oh, the inhumanity is mine to face, alone, and I'll take it.
My pride will have to wait, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Doctor Out-Of-Touch

CP: Hello and welcome to CP's Drug Emporium. How may I help you today?
Herr Doctor: I'm a doctor!
CP: Oh shit. Well, as my proctologist always says, relax and it won't hurt as bad.
HD: Huh?
CP: What brings you in today?
HD: I have a dental appointment and need 2 capsules of amoxicillin.
CP: Weird. It's usually 4 capsules but hey, you're a doctor. Are you going to write yourself a prescription?
HD: Huh? No. Why?
CP: Because that's how you get prescription medications; via prescription.
HD: I just need 2 capsules! Why won't you just give them me? I have a bottle of 100 of them at the office I get from McKesson. I have to be at my appointment now and I had to wait 3 months for this appointment!
CP: Wow, doc, you suck at planning. Also, you need to get out more. The world has changed since you graduated. Apparently you skipped the "How the Real World Works" and "Pharmacy, An Introductory Guide" classes and still graduated.
HD: Excuse me?
CP: You're either going to have to write a prescription, then wait while I make a profile for you then fill the prescription, or. . .
CP: Or you're going to have to make that drive to your office then. It looks as if I may be out of Amoxicillin too so your odds aren't good.
HD: This is ridiculous.
CP: Stupid laws. Hate 'em. By the way, where is your office located?
HD: Why?
CP: I'm going to need a physical in the future and figure that, when the urge hit me, I'd just drop by, walk into your office, pass the check in desk, and enter one of your rooms without an appointment. That's how all this works, right?

Some Assistance Required

A Facebook Experiment and Unrealistic Goals (wink, wink corporate America)

I need your help for a project. Next week will mark the anniversary of this page on Facebook. I am attempting a project in order to make a profound, yet definitely-to-be-ignored point. (I'll explain next week.)

For those who don't know, not all of my phollowers see all, or even any, of my posts every week. The only way to engage them all is for you to like and share and post as often as possible.

I currently have 129k phollowers on Facebook.
My goal is to increase that number by ~40% over the next week. This means I would like to have at least 180k phollowers at the end of the project.

What am I asking you do to help?
Here is what I need from everyone:
1. Share this post.
2. Share this with a friend who does not follow me and ask her/him to like my page.
3. Find two favourite posts from the past (because phuture posts aren't yet written) and share them both.
4. Tag your friends in every post you share and ask (beg, wheedle, cajole) them to like and follow The Cynical Pharmacist.
5. Write a recommendation for The Cynical Pharmacist.
6.. Do this every day for the next 10 days.

If my theory is correct, magic will happen and Pink Pharting Unicorns will sprinkle dust all over the world of pharmacy and it will be a happier place.

Remember, the important thing is to share 3 posts every day (the current one plus two older ones) and to beat your friends into submission with requests until they like me.



ME: Okay, CP. What was with the plea last week to gain more followers? 
Myself: Yeah. Was it a crisis? A cry for help? An ego boost? 
CP: Nope. Those are all quite healthy. It was to prove a point. 
ME: What point?
CP: Mind Blowing Thought: If no one is meeting the goals you set, perhaps the goals are unrealistic. 
Let's examine my request. I asked everyone to share my post daily. 
I asked them to share prior posts they enjoyed. 
I asked them to tag friends and beg them to become followers. 
I asked them to write recommendations. 
I asked them to do it daily. 

What Happened?
My goal was too high?
Not everyone followed the directions? (Were they not clear? 

“If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. But, if orders are clear and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their oficers.” Sun Tzu.)

People just didn't want to follow me?
Do they not like me?
Do they already like someone else?

Flu shot goals are unrealistic.
Tech scheduling goals are unrealistic.
The expectation that I could increase my followers by an arbitrary number of 40%, or 52,000 (when I average growing by ~300 per week) is insanely outrageous.
People with either love me or loathe me all on their own.
People will either get flu shots or they won't.