Bring Light To Dark Places. That, my friends, is what they are afraid of.

Jp Enlarged

There are so many places to hide in the darkness.  Only a short while ago, the bad players in our industry could do evil things and get away with it because nobody could see what was happening.   They could break and bend pharmacy laws and regulations with no consequences.  They could mistreat pharmacists and technicians and it wasn’t noticed.   Then, a young man from the UK who works for Big Stupid in Oregon joined The Pharmacy Alliance and asked PharmacistSteve and Jay Pee for advice.  His DM RPh was working him over.  He took our advice.  He followed our recommendations to the letter and now, after a Starbucks evening meeting with someone from Human Relations, it looks as if the DM RPh has her ass in a sling.   If she is lucky, she will find herself in a store behind the counter, making the metrics right beside you.  Most likely, though,  she will be out looking for a job.  The power of documentation, clear and concise communication, knowing the laws and regulations, complying with those laws and calling the DM out when she insisted that he cut corners.  The Oregon Board sent her a letter for correction and reprimand.  Our friend from the UK, I believe, is untouchable.   My advice, first Join TPA. then, as a member, take advantage of the TPA network, ask the advice of experts.  TPA has legal counsel who is a pharmacist/attorney on the faculty of Northeastern College of Pharmacy.   When  you have issues with Big Evil, follow the simple steps. You know, we have been beating our brains out about this and I don’t think I feel like giving too many freebees.  Really, pharmacists have proven to be cheap and a shade of yellow that is not appealing.  Take my advice.

Last evening, Pharmacist Steve and Jay Pee spent close to a half hour on the telephone.  The question we discussed was: What is wrong with these people?  They hold all of the Aces of Trump and they rarely used them.  Our TPA colleague in Oregon  used his trump cards and he is clearly the winner.  Unless he does something really stupid, they will leave him alone.  The Federal Government will destroy Big Stupid with the first scent of retaliation.

Steve and I discussed dumfoundedness (Is that a real word?) at the thousands of colleagues who are complaining all by themselves.  You can get together here or at Steve’s blog.  There are attorneys involved.  The Federal Government is involved.  The Wall Street Journal wants to be involved.  The WSJ has to have verifiable stories with names, dates and the laws that are being broken or the harm that has been done to patients due to the working conditions.  The Metrics = errors.  Death, man.  I am talking over-worked, over-tired, ill-fed, ill-hydrated, scattered, trying-to-make-metrics-and-the-patient-be-damned Killing People.

How many times do you think that the niece and nephew of Aunt Maggie go to her house when the phone is not answered.  Of course, she is dead.  Flopped into an unnatural posture on the floor.  One arm underneath her, one leg still on the sofa.  Her eyes open in a scream.  Her mouth gaping.  Her hands tightened into fists.  She had wet herself.

“I sure wasn’t expecting this, Marie.  She was doing so well.  Laughing and joking at the holiday dinner table just last Sunday.”

“Well, she was old, Tommy.  She was frail.”

“Eighty years is not old, especially with modern medicine and drugs.”

They don’t even think about the prescription bottle in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  It had been filled at Big Evil at 8:50 PM two days ago, by a young, hypoglycemic female pharmacist.  No technician after 8:30 PM.  No cashier help.  The out-front supervisor did not care shit one that the young pharmacist was on the verge of crying.  The waiting time was 45 minutes.  The metric battle had been lost hours ago.  Still, she rushed, made an error and the patient died within 30 minutes of the first dose.

Nobody will know.  The pharmacist will not know.  Marie and Tommy won’t know.  The pill bottle will be discarded with every other bottle ihn the medicine cabinet.

 

We  need a concerted and coordinated effort.  We are in a war.  A frontal charge would be stupid.  We need to fight as guerrilas, in the night.  The Internet is our flood light into the darkness.

Let’s use thepharmacyalliance@hotmail.com as a central place to collect information.  Steve and I will monitor it regularly.  Please DOCUMENT.  Give us everything.  The details.  Time, place, names and what has happened.  Please be courageous and give us your real name and contact information.  You will remain anonymous until you choose to stand up.

There’s are our girls.  Well-fed, well-rested, dignified and  focused on what is right.  You fat guys at Big Evil, watch out, “your ass is grass”.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. pharmaciststeve  •  Feb 6, 2013 @2:43 pm

    We are hearing from more and more RPH’s that are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” I am just glad for email and VOIP phone otherwise.. I would be spending a fortune in postage and long distance.

    Some days… I spend hours on phone calls and/or responding to emails.. I am glad to do it for our beloved profession.

    One of my calls yesterday was from a RPH – 13 yr veteran of one of JP’s favorite chains.. that got fired because of a pic that one of his techs took in the Rx dept and posted it on the tech’s Facebook page..

    But nothing is going to happen without the “damning evidence” that you see everyday.

    The legal profession is taking notice of what is going on in pharmacy.. JP & I can act as a conduit to get that damning evidence to the growing number of attorney groups that will take it from there.

    I have corresponded with other RPH’s who have had an attorney send a letter to corporate that their client is not going to break the law.. and the BOZOS in the corporate suites… backs off.

    Yep.. it is going to cost you a couple of hundred to get a letter written.. if it helps you keep your job for one more day… you are ahead.

    Many of you already have two write ups for nebulous reasons… you are on “the bubble”.. if they have written you up twice for nebulous reasons… do you not believe that you don’t have a target on your back?

  2. Peon  •  Feb 6, 2013 @9:03 pm

    I fully agree with JP that we are at ‘war’. Until this year, I praised my chain. But, they have started down the ‘metrics’ road. And, they have been having the pharmacy managers do ‘stupid’ crap that is a waste of time. The problems we have, that need addressing, they will not do anything about. We have no voice! Corporate will not listen to us! We have become insignificant! And, as JP and Steve are noting, a lot of pharmacists are being fired for stupid metrics or some other idiot thing. I don’t see how we can sit on the side lines and not do anything. A decade ago I was urging my fellow pharmacists to get together. At that time, we had a golden opportunity to improve pharmacy for pharmacists. That day has come and gone. But, we have another factor that may just push pharmacists to action, and that is the oversupply of pharmacists and the way the chains are tossing out older pharmacists and pharmacists that don’t meet their stupid metrics. It is time for pharmacists to get angry! JP and Steve are great conduits for pharmacists needing help. The way things are going, it looks like there could be a veritable ‘flood’ of pharmacists being tossed out by the chains and needing help. Big Stupid is not heading for trouble..they are already in trouble. The lawsuits are growing and the FEDS are looking at them. But, we need to be looking beyond this. We need to be looking at ways to force change in pharmacy that improves the workplace for pharmacists. There is no one…and I mean no one that is looking out for the pharmacist. We are at ‘war’. Our profession, our jobs, and our livelihood are at stake. It is time for pharmacists to WAKE UP! It is time to stop hiding behind the prescription counter and get into action. The internet offers us a unique opportunity to join together, learn from each other, and help each other. JP and Steve are doing some really great things for us.

  3. Pharmaciststeve  •  Feb 6, 2013 @10:49 pm

    You know .. some time last year.. I said that we were on the cusp of a civil war.. I thought that the staff RPh & techs would got after the PIC… filing complaints with the boards about the problems in the Rx dept..

    Seems like the PDM’s are creating “tech snitches”.. which is creating a civil war between the RPH’s and the techs…

    if there isn’t a all out civil war.. developing.. I don’t know what you would call it..

  4. Mr Pills  •  Feb 7, 2013 @11:48 am

    I work in NJ, and from what I know from my colleagues who are still employed by Big Evil, they are scared to speak up. Human resource violations are rampant. A Front store District Manager was accused of sexual harassment and the HR lady does an investigation by interviewing all front store female managers and then tells this very DM that this is what is being said. When you are SO SO scared of losing your job, they don’t want to create waves. It is unfortuntate but true.

    Additionally, there is a complete lack of professionalism and confidentiality with respect to complaints. I know of pharmacists that complain to the Big Evil’s ethics line and the entire management team is told about these complaints AND who called in.

    How can they fight back, and how can you make them WANT to fight back?

  5. Whistleblower  •  Feb 7, 2013 @3:31 pm

    @mr pills…. You are so right about the ethics line… When a RPH(one that drinks the kool aid) laid hands on a tech, the ethics line was called… Many witnesses, however the RPH that made the complaint was taken out of the store and moved to another. Pa DOS professional conduct also received the complaint and did nothing. I know this for a fact… When these agencies were at my home with AG office rep. they stated they were aware…. The RPH’s excuse was a drug interaction with Jasmine tea and sudafed. Another RPH a few days ago had a union person discuss her ethics complaint.

  6. Pharmaciststeve  •  Feb 7, 2013 @4:47 pm

    According to some short research Jasmine Tea has a base of Green,White,Black Teas.. all of which contain substantial amounts of Ephedra…

    So.. A RPH doesn’t know any better than to consume two different stimulants at the same time..

    sounds to me that he was grasping at straws for an excuse.. or all his “drug smarts” are computer based and there is nothing between his ears…

  7. WrongAid  •  Feb 7, 2013 @7:24 pm

    You guys who want to fight this fight are missing the only target that matters……the schools pumping out these RPhs. You can plead with the boards, the corporations, the public, the legislature. None of it can or ever will help. The simple fact is that the only thing that ever did keep the chains in line was a shortage of pharmacists. If that does not return, it will never get better. Find some way to shutter these schools. The chains have nearly unlimited defense and lobbying money. These little for-profit shits don’t.

  8. the truth  •  Feb 7, 2013 @7:42 pm

    Having had experience at CVS, I can tell you (same with the ethics line at Rite Aid), never ever leave your name or your voice on the line. Better to do an email but not to HR. You (ALWAYS) will be screwed and punished. Even if you are 100 percent correct and following the law, you will be punished. Never, never call these jokers. I have had run ins with them and ended up burned. And I didn’t even call them. They serve no purpose but to eliminate complainers. Have a legitimate issue, write it down, send an anonymous complaint to the AG office. Get your friends to call in complaints about the offending party. At RAD, each complaint costs the store thousands of dollars against their P&L. One person that complained about a rph has caused tens of thousands dollars in complaints in their new store. And the pharmacist didn’t even complain about them, the customers did. I am now keeping my mouth and eyes shut at work. But I document and will be sending everything out soon. That’s what keeps me going. Want justice at CVS, contact the media contact on their webpage. Make sure you have the proof to back it up. Swift results. Use a throw away email and don’t email from your phone or computer (ISP traceable). The techs in my district are outrageous and watch the rphs like vultures watch their prey dying. It’s sickening. Even the ass kissing rph in the store spies and tries to get the other rphs fired. That snitch rph is the laziest and stupidest rph in the store, if not runner up in the district.

  9. Pharmaciststeve  •  Feb 7, 2013 @8:13 pm

    http://www.usnpl.com/

    This is a website that has all the newspaper/TV listing by state.. suppose to include Facebook, faxes, and other contact information.

  10. Wise in nj  •  Feb 10, 2013 @9:58 pm

    I told a tech”stop putting the wrong date,they’lljust take it back”
    But I wagged my finger at her.
    She was “Embaressed”,so she called the DM.
    Within 20 minutes the DM& my replacement wast there.
    I was fired on the spot .
    I told you this 5 years ago.

  11. Wise in nj  •  Feb 10, 2013 @11:45 pm

    BTW,she is now the AdMin for the new upper echelon.(at Big Evil)
    The “other echelon” has been canned,as they canned us.
    It is a VERY sad state of affairs.

  12. the truth  •  Feb 11, 2013 @9:30 am

    Wise in NJ, sorry about that. I had the same problem, different results but not by much. I believe it all depends on how much of an a**hole your DM is. My old ones would have never done what this one did to me or my coworkers.This DM feels the sick need to punish rphs, not techs. Techs today, with few exceptions, are just evil and jealous. I have worked with many who are jealous of our salary (they get told what they might get paid at pharmacy tech school). So if you want this money, stop smoking weed, having kids you can’t afford, being an unmedicated freak show, and goto school, sacrifice time and money, study your best and pass school and board exams and then get a job like I did. As for the complainers who go crying to the DM, you can give me their names and where they work and I will happily provide an onslaught of complaints directed toward them at no charge.

  13. bcmigal  •  Feb 11, 2013 @1:25 pm

    So what is it with these techs? While I do agree that some (not all) are underpaid, I am still amazed at the power they wield.Several months ago, I was “counseled” by the DM because the techs complained that I made a “big deal” out of mistakes. Well, boo hoo hoo. It would be a big deal if someone died. Oh, I was not supposed to say that either!

  14. the truth  •  Feb 12, 2013 @7:05 pm

    bcmigal, It’s so easy to replace a pharmacist with a lower paid pharmacist. It’s difficult to replace a tech that knows the computer system. Unfortunate but true. Too much unskilled low paid labor out there. Try to not say too much to techs, fix mistakes yourself. This may sound cruel but believe me, until we get a union or some reform, we are the targets. Don’t make yourself stand out by pointing things out. I made the mistake of assuming coworkers could take a command. My command was twisted into a complaint. What was my command? Please help the customer, there is a line. This was said in a professional manner. Now, I work quietly until I can find a new job or a new career. Never have I seen a professional career where professionals are treated so poorly. I used to work at McDonalds and other minimum wage retail jobs as a youth, I never got treated this poorly.

  15. bcmigal  •  Feb 16, 2013 @4:22 pm

    Truth….I forgot how disposable pharmacists are these days. The concentration on meeting the metrics has gone beyond appalling. I have been told I take too much time with the patients (outside of counseling). These is how I found out that a patient got Stevens-Johnson syndrome from sulfa (nothing in her chart about this). I listened to a patient complain about “dizzy spells” and shortness of breath and told him to call his doc asap. Turns out he had a clot. Gee, I could have been whipping out those prescriptions in 3 minutes instead. This worship of the metrics reached its zenith this week when I was told I should have denied that we had a medication in stock because it would take too much time to transfer. It was an antibiotic for a disabled child. Am I missing something here? Or have we sacrificed all caring for our fellow human beings in exchange for our KPMs?

  16. the truth  •  Feb 16, 2013 @7:14 pm

    We are threatened with write ups from our DM all the time for stupid shit (and he will write you up for stupid shit). It has nothing to do with filling rxs accurately etc. I have been looking for another job that won’t make me feel dirty and miserable at the end of the day.

  17. Pharmacist Bob  •  Feb 16, 2013 @11:12 pm

    You have all see newspaper editorial caricatures resonating the current state of affairs? Try to envision this caricature. Imagine a large greyhound dog (labeled Pharmacists) chasing the rabbit in a race, something that will never be caught. Now, add a 300 pound CEO from CVS named Larry Merlo riding this large greyhound, and you can make Merlo’s head very big as they do in such caricatures and have fun with it, add some spurs and a whip, do you get the picture?

  18. the truth  •  Feb 18, 2013 @11:57 am

    Pharmacist Bob, they are all guilty, not just Merlo. It’s one stupid metric after another. Walmart is in a panic b/c their profits are not what they used to be. You can only lose so much on 4 dollar rxs (I had one customer say it over and over yesterday to me, I am going to Walmart, it’s 4 dollars over there). Yes, and it’s a several hour wait too. I predict the 4 dollar rx will come to an end soon. So will the supermarket free generics. I was talking to a total stranger today and she’s like, I never go into the chain stores, the service is lacking. Yes, it is. Cut the hours, while the heads get the bonuses. That’s the same line of thinking behind, give the lazies a free ride, free housing and free meds and tax the middle class to death. Oh and let the illegals be legal. Europe did the same thing a decade ago and look what happened to Spain, Greece and most of Europe. bankruptcy.

  19. pharmaciststeve  •  Feb 18, 2013 @12:51 pm

    @Truth .. A few years ago I temped at a mid-west BIG BOX chain.. who gave away antibiotics… you look at the profile of these people getting free drugs and that is all you saw.. nothing else. Likewise, they refused to match the price of anyone.. not just the $4 meds. To me.. their philosophy made no sense what so ever.

  20. the truth  •  Feb 18, 2013 @1:38 pm

    Idiots at the helm. That is what’s wrong with this country. Idiots in control. The company heads would rather drive the business into the ground instead of listening to their workers provide some common sense advice. Stop whoring out your pharmacists and workers. We are not slave labor. This is 2013. If you cannot come up with a good idea, just stop. Stop it with the email sign ups and the texting sign ups. Stop the autofills, no one wants them. The transfer coupons are back, time for the usual suspects to transfer their amoxicillin or the kids fluoride tabs. Stop the threats of write ups. You want to write up someone, do it for a very valid reason. Can’t communicate well enough in English…goodbye. Has anyone heard of any good ideas coming from corporate? Neither have I.

  21. Whistleblower  •  Feb 21, 2013 @4:15 am

    @the truth….idiots at the helm is a understatement…New program at CVS..I HEART MY CUSTOMER…this includes daily colleague observations… This will give new meaning to TECH
    SNITCHES….retain colleague observations in the Heartmonitor Binder… Oh, there will be a store kick-off meeting…. You just gotta love these Feb. store manager PIC meetings. If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s coming to a store near you soon. Something else to count against you as evaluations are just around the corner.

  22. broncofan7  •  Feb 21, 2013 @1:13 pm

    I recently rolled out a $6 for #30 and $15 for #90 generics program for many of the maintenance medications that Walmart has on their list (not all but most and mine also includes zocor and norvasc) and it’s been fairly succesful in getting Joe Public to take another look at my store resulting in an increase in cash paying patients–and quite honestly most of the meds on my list are being MAC’d out at $4 and some change anyhow —– The perception from Joe Public is that Walmart is cheaper on their medications b/c of that $4 list and that is the #1 driver for their business model–now what really irks me is Walmart’s ability to sell INSULIN for LESS THAN my aquisition prices…but the $4 Rx’s don’t hurt a Pharmacy’s bottom line as much as you may think b/c that price isn’t very far off from what those with INS are getting those medications for…

  23. anonymous  •  Feb 22, 2013 @11:00 am

    when you look at the awp for some of those drugs, like wegmans giving out free lipitor, those are true loss leaders. they hope to reel you in with sales on drugs (to me 4 dollar etc promotion are basically neverending sales and advertising of the sale of drugs which was supposed to be illegal). our sales ty versus ly report for the district is always down b/c more people buy less meds. Wait, I have a great idea. Let’s advertise oxycontin on the 4 dollar price list. Think of the foot traffic! (Limit one offer per customer per lifetime)

  24. bcmigal  •  Feb 22, 2013 @12:37 pm

    Whistleblower…..everytime I think I have heard or seen it all, someone comes up with a creative new way to destroy pharmacist’s morale. I was a PIC for 20 years and we were like a “band of brothers”. No complaining to folks outside the dept, no bickering, and no tattle taling. Now the techs complain about one another (even those at other stores!). Of course, pharmacists are more than fair game. While techs are allowed to check Facebook and Twitter and text their buddies on company time, we are barely allotted enough time to gobble down a sandwich. Is there something wrong with this picture?

  25. the truth  •  Mar 4, 2013 @3:49 pm

    For those in PA, is it worth it to file complaints to the BOP and the AG office? Do you get results or broken promises? Rampant violations in the district. Pretty soon, it will be the crazy techs running the show. 3 of my coworkers are leaving because it’s too much for them.

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