Facebook and Twitter

and follow my blog on Twitter @pharmacynic to receive notifications on new posts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Things That Make My Brain Hurt

ME: What's today's puzzling, makes-my-brain-hurt conversation?
CP: It's a good one. Makes me question my sanity. 
MICE ELF: You have some left?
ME: Please continue. 

<Scene: Friday, 16:42>
Lady On Some Therapy: I need a refill. 
CP: I see you have a refill available but we do not have the medication in stock. 
LOST: I am lost without it. 
CP: You are lost with it. 
LOST: I'm going to die without it. 
CP: You are going to die with it. 
LOST: I need it.
CP: It's Friday evening and we do not receive orders on Saturdays. I can order it for Monday or I ca. . .
LOST:  Can you transfer it?
CP: . . .or I can phone the pharmacy of your choosing and transfer it to them. 
LOST: Transfer it to Other Pharmacy People so I can get it this weekend. 

MICE ELF: There's nothing wrong with that. 
ME: Yeah. That scenario repeats itself all day every day in every pharmacy. 
CP: Fast forward to Monday morning. 

<Scene: Monday Morning, 10:10>
Dr. Jack Shephard: My patient called and said she needs a refill. 
CP: You mean LOST? 
DJS: Yes. 
CP: She has a refill. We were out of stock. It's a special order item due to cost. As it was Friday night, she opted to transfer it to OPP. 
DJS: She called and said she needed a refill. 
CP: Nope. 

MICE ELF: Again, not weird. 
ME: I'm bored. 
MICE ELF: Get to the denouement already. 

<Scene: Monday morning, 10:42>
LOST: Did my doctor call in my refill?
CP: You don't need a refill. You transferred you medication to OPP on Friday. 
LOST: Yeah. But I didn't want to go out over the weekend. 
CP: Wait. You had us transfer your prescription to OPP because you were going to die if you had to wait until Monday and now you tell me you didn't feel like going out to retrieve it Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday? And they're a 24 hour store!
LOST: That's why I called my doctor. 
CP: Your doctor doesn't enter into this. He is irrelevant to the current situation. 
LOST: Well I want you to refill my medication today because I don't want to go there.
CP: Well I cannot. 
LOST: Why not?
CP: As you were told on Friday, we order this only for you. Since you elected to transfer it to OPP, we had no reason to order it for today so we did not order it for today. 
LOST: Well what am I supposed to do now?
CP: Um. You could, um, oh I don't know, uh, go to OPP where your prescription is currently filled and, like a puppy in a shelter, waiting to find a home?
LOST: Why don't you keep it in stock?
CP: Because it costs a lot. You're the only patient on it. Despite repeated pleas from us to sign up for automatic refills and alerts, you continue to refuse. Perhaps you will change your mind now. Or not. 
LOST: Well transfer it back and order it for tomorrow in case I don't get over there. 
CP: Huh? I am not going to hedge your bets for you. I can't transfer if you ARE going there because they will have to cancel it. 
LOST: Well if I don't get it, you'll need to order it. 
CP: I'll just don my wizard hat and crystals and scry to know if you're going to pick it up and, while I'm at it, divine your intentions to refill future prescriptions. 
LOST: I don't know what that means. 
CP: And I'll sign you up for automatic refills and texts.

ME: Wow. That took a turn. 
MICE ELF: I'm surprised she called you on Monday.
ME: Yeah. Wasn't she supposed to be dead?
CP: Alas, no. One of these days someone is going to actually keep the promises they make to pharmacies.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Booster Shots

With the announcement that pharmacies (and everyone else) will be administering COVID booster shots soon. . . 

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

The Giant Deuce salivating and rubbing their hands (read:genitals) over this news.
Number 1: How do we stretch our staff even further and put patients' lives at risk under the guise of "helping patients live better lives"?
Number 2: Decrease staffing as we enter Pharmacy Winter.
Number 1: Always.
Number 2: Push flu shots at the expense of workflow and safety precautions.
Number 1: Duh.
Number 2: Announce that we will be administering more COVID vaccines and we will be adding staff to help?
Number 1: Huh?
Number 2: Just checking if you're awake. Further decrease staff, add daily conference calls to distract pharmacists and staff about the need to push flu and COVID shots, give them a goal or slogan of "FLU PLUS 2!"
Number 1: Catchy. How about "COVID and Flu and Shingrix, oh my!"? Also, can we work them until they have panic attacks and die behind the counter?
Number 2: That's next on the list.
Number 1: Think anyone will notice?
Number 2: Nope. Pharmacy staff are the worker bees. They die for us to survive.
Number 1: And make bank!
Number 2: No one cares about the profession. Nurses got all the press in 2020. Newspapers tried to bring attention to Pharmacies before we quashed the shit out of those reports.
Number 1: Give them pizza!

Oh. Yeah. Boosters. Good idea.
They work for all types of vaccines that mutate or whose effects wane over time.
Good idea, this. 
But if we know it's coming, why aren't we staffing NOW!
I say the day they announce as the first date shots are available, we all walk out. 
No shots. 
No shifts. 
No shit. 
Someone has to pay attention to us then.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


CP: What if everyone adopted metrics? 
ME: You mean there are people NOT on metrics? 
MICE ELF: How do they function? 
ME: Yeah. How do they even know what to do next?
CP: Metrics make me nostalgic for the days of 5S. 
ME: Like when we had to label our staplers and spatulas and where we filed our prescriptions. 
MICE ELF: It was better than phorcing pharmacy to adopt Six Sigma. 
CP: They weren't inherently bad, but pharmacy workflow has too many variables and not enough help to allow it to work. 
ME: Glad we have those metrics though. 
CP: As I began, what if everyone adopted metrics and phorced their employees to attain them to the detriment of their other work? 
MICE ELF: Examples, s'il vous plait? 
CP: Dear OB/GYN Kenobis, you have not met your quota for baby deliveries this month. Don't drop the ball.
Dear Hospice, not enough people are dying to work with you this week. Start killing it. 
ME: Well, with hospice metrics, they'd call it something like "graduating to the mortician" or something more catchy and less somber.
MICE ELF: Can you imagine the action plans for OBs to make more deliveries? 
CP: I have a long-term plan, but it's going to take about 9 months, a lot of sperm bank withdrawals, and some open-minded volunteers. 
ME: And about those morticians, are there quotas for funerals in a week? Or cremations? Or alternative burials? 
MICE ELF: Probably alternative burials; like pushing HPV shots during a certain month. I know you had your heart set on this beautiful casket and plot with a tree but, can we interest you in tree burial? Where we hang him in the tree? It's our special this month. Next month is Sky Burial month. Half off if you book one for yourself too!
CP: I thought I was the oddball of the three of us. 
ME: You are. We try to keep up. 
CP: Speaking of the stupidity of pushing shots during random months and speed over accuracy, we sound like the police. 
MICE ELF: Holidays, tickets, and speed traps, oh my!
ME: Talk about filling quotas. 
CP: Metrics aren't inherently bad, it's simply that pharmacy uses them to measure the wrong things at the wrong times and worse, don't use the data to make informed business decisions. 
ME: They use them to punish us. 
MICE ELF: Like Mistress May?
ME: There's another business without metrics. 
MICE ELF: Not enough punishment delivered?
CP: I have such sights to show you. 
ME: You know you mixed your genres there at the end, right? 
CP: They'll get it.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pharmacy Label Phlair

CP: Our labels need updated. 
ME: Why? 
CP: They're not exciting enough. 
MICE ELF: They're supposed to convey important instructions to the patient so she knows how to correctly take her medication. 
CP: But they could be improved. They're boring. 
ME: Boring is good. Succinct. To the point. No misunderstanding. 
CP: That ship sailed a long time ago when e-scripts joined the scene. If there is one truth about e-scripts and directions, it's that they're even more difficult to understand now. 
MICE ELF: What do you have in mind? 
CP: Same message, more elegance; or eloquence. 
ME: What prompted this? 
CP: Remember yesterday's post? Under My Tongue?
ME and MICE ELF: We do.
ME: Yeah. What prompted that?
CP: One of my techs was fixing her sig code in the computer and wrote "under the tongue, dissolve one tablet" and thought that was a much more fluid way to write the directions. Then I took it to the next level and asked us, what if we applied that to ALL directions and labels?
ME: Oh dear. And you came up with?
CP: Diagramming sentences. We just move the parts around. 
1. Under the tongue shalt thou dissolve a single tablet. 
2. Via the Vagina shall ye insert one applicator of thine cream.
3. By mouth, thy shall swallow two capsules (place a pair in there)
4. Regarding the rectum, remove from foil one rocket and ram it home. 
5. Between the lips place the inhaler and proceed to breathe deep, puff. . . puff . . . hold. . . hold. . . hold. . . exhale through nose, pass. 
MICE ELF: Wait. What was that last one? 
CP: Huh? Nothing. Thinking ahead. We have pharmacy phriends in other states too, don't forget. 
ME: This was lame, even phor you. 
CP: It's been a slow week. But I made ME laugh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Under My Tongue

Under my tongue
Dissolve a tab for your ills
Under my tongue
Dissolve the films or even pills
Sublingual those
Convenience of the dose you chose
Ease of use, dissolving's fun
It's under my tongue
And ain't this the best way? 

Under my tongue
Can't resist when you can't swallow today
Under my tongue
There is just no easier way 

Goes down easy, yes it does
No need to drink just swallow now goes down easy 
My meds are phun
It's under my tongue 
I, I, say that's the way

Under my tongue
A delicious taste of a pill 
Under my tongue
It's the sweetest, yeah, dose it's a thrill

Goes down easy
The way it melts in your mouth it so 
Goes down easy, my dose is phun
It's under my tongue
I'll take the easy way
Goes down easy, oh yeah
No way I swallow the tabs no more
Down easy, that way is dumb
It's under my tongue
Yeah, just let it melt

Under my tongue
Won't choke on solid dosage phorms
Under my tongue, and I 
I can see why this dose was born

Goes down easy, yeah, that's she said 
The way it melts like it's s'posed to do 
Down easy, this dose is phun
It's under my tongue.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


CP: Why don't people believe us?
ME: They need two sources. They're just doing their own research. 
MICE ELF: No. They never believe anything we tell them. Just look at any number of our posts. 
CP: <screams> Ah!. 
MICE ELF: What? I just agreed with yo. . . 
CP: <screams> Ah! There's that word again. 
ME: What word? 
CP: I can't say it. Suffice to say it is one of the words CP cannot hear. 
MICE ELF: It's just. . . 
CP: <shrieks> That's the word!
ME: What? Just? 
CP: Yes. 
ME: Why is it so painful? 
CP: Because people invoke that word as some sort of skeleton key; a word that will unlock all mysteries and solve all of their problems. 
ME: How do you mean? 

CP: Dear patient. We are unable to fill this. <explains why: prior auth, no refills, expired, backorder, myriad other reasons without solutions>
Just Invoking Patient: Can't you just. . . ? <whatever they say here is irrelevant>
CP: No. No we cannot "just" anything. Believe me. If we could "just" do something, we would. I'd rather "just" solve the problem than continue to listen to you argue with me. 
JIP: It's just. . . 
CP: No it isn't "just" anything. The discussion is over. 

MICE ELF: Why would people rather believe it is our job to make their and our lives more difficult by intentionally withholding a simple solution? 
ME: Or that we professionals, who deal with these issues all day, every day like it's our actual job, would somehow not have thought of their brilliant, novel fix?
CP: I want to follow these people around; maybe around town, maybe to their jobs, maybe home. Any time they run into trouble I'm like to offer them helpful tips that start with "Why don't you just. . ." or "Can't you just. . ." and see how helpful they think it is. 
ME: Like the other day when I was at a local restaurant and their internet was down. They warned the patrons they would have to pay by cash or check. The party accepted the terms and proceeded to enjoy their meal for the next two hours. At the end, the leader of the pack handed the hostess his credit card. When she again informed him their internet was down and reminded him he agreed to pay cash, he said "just run my card". She told him it doesn't work like that, the internet is down to which he replied "can't you just turn it off and turn it back on". I loved her so much when she smacked her forehead and said "why didn't I think of that hours ago?" 
CP: And that's just why we eat there. 
MICE ELF: <psst> You just said the word again.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

What's In A Name?

CP: <laughs uproariously>
ME and MICE ELF: <stare at each other>
ME: Ok. I'll bite. 
CP: <laughs harder>
MICE ELF: What got into you?
CP: Did you ever hear something every day and then, for some insanely stupid reason, you hear it again in such a way that it forever alters your impression of it? 
ME: Like pronouncing finasteride as Fine-Ass-To-Ride?
MICE ELF: So what happened today?
CP: I have a list of names I use frequently, Dr. Zoffis, Ass and Douche Baggins, etc. 
ME: Right. And?
CP: I have some I haven't used. Like the private investigator, Dick. 
MICE ELF: Ok. Dick who?
CP: Lofenac. Dick Lofenac. Pronounced LO'-fin-Ack. 
MICE ELF: Phunny. But not enough to warrant your insane cackle earlier. 
CP: Right. No. I was picturing writing a movie and thought Tessa Perles was a good name. 
ME: It is. Sounds like a pharmacy stripper name. 
CP: Precisely. But, it was then that I realised it would make a better porn star name if we made a pharmacy porn with her partner. 
MICE ELF: Her partner?
CP: Amber Vials. 
ME: Amber Vials? 
CP: YES! Doesn't Amber Vials sound like a great stripper or porn star name? Imagine the plot lines you could write about how things come in Amber Vials. Especially Tessa Perles. 
MICE ELF: You're phucking mental. 
ME: I have to admit, it is phunny. 
MICE ELF: Must be Phriday at the pharmacy. 
CP: And now you'll never not picture Amber Vials the actress as you restock the supplies. We need more Amber Vials!