“That’s what CVS said too,” the young woman looked at me. “What am I going to do?” She was biting her lip.
At first glance the prescriptions looked normal. Pantoprazole 20 mg and Trimethoprim 100 mg. Both indicated Disp 60. What she wanted was the price. I stopped at the Protonix 20mg. Why bother pricing the trimethoprim? I didn’t think she could afford the first Rx.
“Listen,” I said, “If you can’t afford that, you can buy omeprazole over the counter and the store brand is on sale this week. You can call the doctor on Monday and discuss the medications he wants and how they fit in your budget.”
Ever helpful, JP. When am I going to wise up? It takes time and some effort to actually try to assist a person who is asking for help. And, I really do try. Especially when the matter is price. These are tough times and people often just don’t have the money.
A boy, about 14 years old, was sent by his aunt for a packet of 8 tablets of Zantac 150mg. I showed the kid the store brand and explained that she could get 24 tablets for only $2.00 more than the Zantac.
For this young man, it was a no-brainer. He bought the private label version of Zantac. Right about the time that alligators were up to my ass, I get a phone call from the aunt. She tried to work me over, but I was too busy to listen. She pissed me off. No trust. No sense. I told her to send the boy back and we’d make an exchange. A half dozen other similar incidents about price last evening and the customers thanked me.
Back to the pantoprazole. Alien download “You can’t change it. My baby has to have that. Nothing else. It is what they gave him in the hospital.”
Egads! The prescriptions were for a 2 month old. Had I gone beyond price, I would have looked at the Sig and would have known. The dose was tiny. The doctor, however, did not indicate that she wanted liquids. She didn’t say 20mg or 100mg per what ml. I explained that we could not compound these two prescriptions, but I could send them off to a compounding store in Houston. That is what CVS told her, but apparently I was not dismissive as the CVS RPh had been. I told her the doctor could have written discharge prescriptions to be filled at the hospital before her baby was released.
I had to put up with the doctor next. “Why can’t you mix those prescriptions? You are a pharmacist, aren’t you?”
Now that irritates me. Should I ask, “You’re a doctor, aren’t you?”
“Because we do not have pantoprazole powder or trimethoprim powder in stock.”
I do not like “WHY” questions. They indicate that the questioner does not trust me. In this case, it was the young doctor using a trial lawyer’s trick. Put me on the defensive.
I did not bite. “Doctor, why couldn’t you have given this young mother a thirty days supply at discharge? You had to know that retail pharmacies do not do specialized compounds such as these.”
“I asked you a question.”
What? Did she think that I was on the witness stand?
I said, “about that discharge supply, doctor.” Is this where I should have said it, “You’re a doctor, aren’t you?”
“What about it?” She was huffing and puffing.
I said it gently, “It is too late now isn’t it? You can’t go back. This baby may have to go without.”
She ended the conversation abruptly. Her ass was grass and she knew it.