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Thursday, September 30, 2021

I Heard/Saw/Read It Somewhere

ME: Do your own research they said. 
MICE ELF: Uh-oh. Don't get CP started. 
CP: What?
MICE ELF: ME just said someone said "do your own research". 
CP: Haha. I love when people say they "did their own research". Remember when we were at University and we were taught HOW to think and not WHAT to think?
ME: Of course. WE were all there. 
MICE ELF: We learned lots about our subjects, and others. We learned how to read and evaluate clinical studies, how to research and write papers. 
ME: Yes. The good old days. 
MICE ELF: Yet no one trusts us, or any other, more expert opinions anymore. 
CP: Sad, really. But I did give myself a laugh after I overheard your conversation. 
ME: How's that? 
CP: This is how the conversation went in my head. I wish I weren't on the phone at the time. 

Merely Every Guy Arguing Things Which Aren't True: I'm here to get the J&J booster. 
CP: There is no booster. 
MEGATWAT: There is. I read a study somewhere. 
CP: Did you now? Do you have a copy?
MEGATWAT: I don't know where I saw it. On TV or NPR or somewhere. 
CP: Aha. I see. I see. Can you give me more than the headline to go on?
MEGATWAT: It said J&J had been approved for a booster after 2 months and it will bring me up to 94%. I want it. I had my shot in March. 
CP: This is the problem with attention spans and how we digest news today. It reminds me of those "spotty network" commercials where people only hear every other word. 
MEGATWAT: How's that? That's what I heard!
CP: Yes, it was announced that J&J reported the results of their Phase 3 trials. They reported that a second shot boosted immunity to those levels. However, the news did not say a booster had been approved, nor did it say it was recommended by the CDC or approved by the FDA. You can't even understand what you saw/read/heard on the news but you say you are going to "do your own research". Ha!
Let me give you an example: The study headline reads: "Every time a woman flips a coin it comes up heads". What is your takeaway? 
MEGATWAT: It's a miracle! I must take her to Vegas with me!
CP: But was it a singular woman? Or "woman" as in "not a man", or ALL women who flipped the coin? 
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: How many women were in this study?
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: What if I told you that the "study" involved one woman; that her "flipping of the coin" involved placing the coin on the table face-down then simply turning it over to show heads face up? Would that change your mind? Your "own research" is based on this flawed study. Much like the "alternative treatments" studies of your own research the study size was too small, there was bias in the study, she and the researchers knew which side was down so it wasn't a randomized, double-blind study. Basically, if you don't know how to interpret the data, you are incapable of "doing your own research". 
MEGATWAT: So can I get the shot?
CP: You are equally as flawed as your "own research". Please come back when you "hear" J&J has been approved for a booster. 

ME: You are correct though. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. People who purport to doing their own research are merely googling for research to back their preconceived opinion. 
CP: And I love when people post in the replies the same "studies" with the same headlines that are all based on exceptionally flawed data. 
ME: It's still amazing to me that, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, these studies are still passed around as scientifically sound. 
MICE ELF: Probably the 3 worst cited studies have been: 1. Vaccines cause autism, 2. Oxycontin does not lead to addiction, and 3. the ivermectin study circulating. 
CP: As I said, the people who quote these studies back to us are the ones who can't understand or interpret what they saw/heard/read on the news, let alone determine if their information is coming from a legitimate source. 
ME: But keep in mind, thanks to Coming Very Slowly, our expertise is worth less than your interpretation of a news headline. 
MICE ELF: People can't even understand coupons, sales, how to assemble IKEA furniture but they can tell us all about "their own research". 
CP: Where else is the professional challenged? 
ME: Ted Bundy was his own lawyer? 
MICE ELF: Yeah. And how did that work out for him? 
CP: Leave the thinking to the experts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

You Can't Make Me. . .

. . . and continuing to argue and call me names will not help. 
Uber Tech: Angry lady on Line 2. Wants your name and all kinds of information. 
CP: Why? 
UT: I told her we are not allowed to fill her Rx for ivermectin. 
CP: Again, why does she need my name? Is that a veiled threat that she is going to report me in order to achieve my acquiescence? 
UT: I accidentally told her we had some because we just filled it for one of our regular patients who has been receiving it for his legitimate condition for over a year now. 
CP: Okay. I'll take over from here. 

CP: Pharmacist of Dreams. How may I help you today?
Continuing Unabashed Nagging That Is Sorta Harassment: My doctor called in my prescription to another pharmacy and they said they can't get it. 
CP: Did they now?
CUNTISH: And your lady there told me you have it so I want it. 
CP: Did you tell her you are using it for COVID? 
CUNTISH: I did. 
CP: Then I am not allowed to dispense it. 
CP: It is not for a legitimate purpose. 
CUNTISH: You HAVE to fill it. It's a real prescription from a real doctor. 
CP: I'm not questioning its legitimacy, although I am questioning the morals of your provider. 
CUNTISH: You cannot refuse to fill it. 
CP: Indeed I can. 
CUNTISH: What's your name?
CP: I go by many names. None of them are going to fill your prescription. 
CUNTISH: You cannot refuse me!
CP: I can. And I am. The law is clear here. (I quoted her the actual number * of my BOP Rule hoping this would end her harangue. It did not.)
CUNTISH: My doctor says I have to have it!
CP: Then you will have to find another, less scrupulous pharmacy, to berate into filling it. 
CUNTISH: You're the 4th pharmacy I have called and they all said they don't have it. 
CP: I doubt that. I believe they are telling people they don't have it so they don't have to argue with patients and get verbally abused and threatened. Which is what I will be doing hereafter. 
CUNTISH: What's your name? 
CP: Listen, if you want something, threatening me is not the way to get it. I politely explained why I refuse to fill your prescription; just like the other 3 pharmacies. You have all the information you need. 
Now go away. 
CUNTISH: What's Your Name!?
CP: <click>
* It states: "A prescription, to be valid, must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual prescriber acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice. . corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist. . . an order purporting to be a prescriptionissued not in the usual course of bona fide treatment of a patient is not a prescription. . . A pharmacist is not required to dispense a prescription of doubtful, questionable, or suspicious origin."

Friday, September 24, 2021


CP: If a patient comes in and complains about wearing a mask, saying it violates his freedoms, can I rebut with how he is violating my freedom to not have to listen to his bullshit? My pharmacy is not a pulpit. 
CPP: Didn't you make this case about offices calling to speak with you? 
CP: <laughs> I did. When the techs page me with "Pharmacist. Line 1. Dr. Zoffis wants to speak with you." I didn't get a choice. It takes two to make this conversation work. Maybe I don't want to participate in this one. Maybe I'll just sit it out. They're violating my freedoms by expecting me to talk to them. Even worse are when the patients say they "need to speak to the pharmacist". I don't think they do. I don't think I want to join. 
CPP: So you're saying your rights are being trampled? 
CP: Yes. If anti-mask, anti-vaxx feel they are being bullied by being forced to do something they argue is against their rights, what about my rights? I have the right to not have to listen to you. The only problem is, I can't mute you, hang up on you, change the channel, or delete you. 
CPP: Right? Our entire relationship is one of a transactional nature. No talking is required. 
CP: It's great that you're being forced to receive the vaccine by your employer. I don't care how much you hate it. I'm just here to give them. I don't care about your conspiracy theories. I'm not implanting chips, the patient won't die in a few months, and I don't care that you can still smell pungent aromas through the mask. Give me your arm, shut up and sit there. Or better yet, keep your mouth shut and pay me your copay. It gets old. 
CPP: Makes you have a new appreciation for barbers and bartenders and massage therapists. 
CP: They can't escape during their services either. But they can affect the service they provide. 
CPP: Oops. I thought you said "shave it all". 
CP: Hope you enjoy this drink. 
CPP: I have a job to do. But I don't have to listen to you.
CP: You have the freedom to shut up. I suggest you use it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Nothing Changes. . . Everything Changes

ME: What's with the look?
MICE ELF: Yeah. You look a little pissed.
CP: I have not been drinking. 
MICE ELF: Angry. 
CP: Yes. That. 
ME: What happened?
CP: In the long list of "phrases your pharmacy hates to hear", this one is getting a lot of play lately: "In all the years I been dealing with this place, I ain't never had a problem with my insurance". 
ME: I hate that. 
MICE ELF: That's great. I appreciate you had a lengthy undefeated streak. Manchester United have a good one going right now too. Unfortunately, theirs, like yours today, will come to an end. But you had a good run. 
CP: To which he replied: "I guess I have to change pharmacies since you people can't get your shit together". 
ME: Another classic. 
MICE ELF: To which you replied?
CP: We are unworthy of your patronage. Please forgive us for ruining your streak. As a reward, we are promoting you to Ex-Patient-Of-The-Month! You prize is a free transfer to any pharmacy you like. Should you elect NOT to choose a pharmacy, a pharmacy will be chosen for you at random. Good Luck! And may the odds be ever in your favour. 
ME: Wow. Nice. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Get Out Of The Line

CP: I always greet patients as they enter the store or approach the pharmacy. 
ME: Me too. 
MICE ELF: It's a good way to let them know they have been seen. 
CP: It also cuts down on complaints about them standing around without us acknowledging their presence. 
ME: Do you want a pat on the back or something?
MICE ELF: Yeah. That's what you're supposed to do. You can't take credit for things you're supposed to do.
CP: My issue is with those patients who do not acknowledge they have been acknowledged. 
ME: Like when you say "Hi. We will be right with you" and they do not respond?
MICE ELF: Or when you say "Welcome! Are you dropping off or picking up?" and they proceed to just stare blankly as if they just woke up in their body and have no idea who or where they are?
CP: Right. It's not your first time here. Or being in public. There is an order to social interactions; a procedure to follow, if you will. I say "hi" then you say "hi".
ME: Pleasantries exchanged! 
MICE ELF: Now we can conduct business. 
CP: Is it worse to ignore the first step? or just jump ahead to "stating your business" unbidden? 
ME: Like when people walk in, you say "Guten Morgen" and they say "Jones. Pick up. 7/7/77." and they haven't even fully entered the building yet?
MICE ELF: Right? Like let's just blow past first base and jump to dry fingering. 
ME: Something is very wrong with you.
MICE ELF: Well that's how it feels. I didn't even have the chance to look up or put on my fake smile and we're already blasting away. 
ME: It still amazes me how people can be clueless.
CP: Like the people who look confused as to where to stand. There are signs: "Drop off", "Pick Up", "Consultation", "Vaccine", but "Stand Here With Dumb Look On Face" is not among them.
ME: Precisely. 
MICE ELF: Remember John Pinette? 
MICE ELF: He had a comedy bit called "lines drive me crazy" about his experiences waiting behind people to order food at fast food restaurants. 
CP: I always think of this when I'm in line. Or when people are in my line. 
ME: Walk up. Get acknowledged (so you know I'm paying attention). Announce your intention(s). Wait for my response. Follow orders. Move along. 
MICE ELF: Move along. 


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Please Contact YOUR Patient

CPP: What is the most annoying change to happen to us (seemingly overnight) over the last decade or so? 
CP: I am most annoyed by doctors' offices that have outgoing messages on their phone trees that state: "If you are calling for a refill request, please contact your pharmacy and have them send us a request electronically". 
CPP: Yeah. Especially not helpful if you are calling to request a NEW prescription that the patient has never filled at your pharmacy before; they recently transferred from another pharmacy or state or provider and you need to get them a fill. You can't refill it if you haven't filled it. 
CP: I've decided to phlip the script on these offices. 
CPP: How's that?
CP: After each attempt at a refill, I will leave a voicemail message or note on the e-request that states: "Should you or your staff choose not to approve this medication request, it is incumbent upon you to call your patient and explain to them why you denied the fill/refill. We told the patient we would submit the request but that we did not have to power to approve or send the approval to the pharmacy. Patients have been instructed to follow up with you on all denials/non-responses after 48-72 hours.
CPP: You should also have a message on our phone tree specifically for the patients. 
CP: It just so happens I do: 
"It is up to the doctor to explain why they denied your request(s). If you do not hear from the pharmacy stating your refill has been approved, please contact your office until you get an answer. We can ask for a refill, but we can't make them review it, approve it, or send it back. We are busy giving shots and testing for COVID and not filling prescriptions or answering phones. Call your doctor until you get a response."
CPP: Nice. 
CP: Well, two can play at the game. Now if we could just use call forwarding to send them directly to Dr. Zoffis. Hmmmm. 
CPP: Can we include "we will no longer accept handwritten or phoned in prescriptions"? 
CP: I'll allow it. 
CPP: This reminds me of the time we talked about scheduling patients' office visits. Sort of.
CP: When we got tired of offices including those little notes on e-scripts and phone calls? 
CPP: Right. That, and when offices told us we should just have it ready when they get here. 
CP: Oh yeah! We just started telling patients they had appointments or they could just waltz into the office and they'd be seen immediately. 
CPP: Change the expectations. 
CP: Change the world!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Conflict of Messaging

CP: What are among the first things you do whenever you change your name, change your address, or change any personal information? 
CPP: I let everyone know. Family, businesses, banks, etc. 
CP: Right. Good. Makes sense. 
CPP: Are you moving? 
CP: No. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't me. 
CPP: What wasn't you? 
CP: There once was a lady with prescriptions
In desperate need of decryption
We called with no luck
She said what the phuck
And thus ended her conniption. 
CPP: Cute. You just made that up for this post? 
CP: #LamePharmacyJokes phor the win!
CPP: What's the point of telling people you've changed your bio?
CP: Seriously. This lady with prescriptions. We had a note in her profile from two years ago. "Patient transferred out to Long Dick's Drugs. ANY prescriptions sent to us will have occurred in error and should never be filled, but forwarded to LDD." 
CPP: Okay. Phairly straightforward. 
CP: Until we received prescriptions which needed decrypted. We called the doctor. He said she uses the other pharmacy so we filed them. 
CPP: Again. So phar so good. 
CP: Until the patient calls the next day asking why we didn't fill her prescriptions. 
CPP: And you explained the note. 
CP: At which time I explained the note. She said she decided to come back to us for convenience and we are again, her new pharmacy. 
CPP: But not before she got mad at you for not filling prescriptions she told you not to fill? 
CP: I'm pretty sure if I were to start doing business with a company, I'd tell them before I start having things sent to them on my behalf.
CPP: Like that scene in Notting Hill where Honey tells the friends she met someone, looks at Spike and mouths "it's you"?
CP: Exactly. You can't get mad at me for doing what you asked me to do even though you now changed your mind and didn't tell me to no longer do that thing and to do something else without telling me to now do the something else instead. 
CPP: Not a lady. Definitely a woman.