SyrichRX's blog

I'm just another pharmacy technician who likes to speak his mind. Just a heads up, I complain a lot.

Why does it take so long?



I found this on a forum somewhere.

For over a year and a half now, the first thing anyone visiting my little blog garden has seen under the headline at the top of the page is the promise that the question of "why does my prescription take so damn long to fill" will be answered. Tonight I looked over this blogs archives and realized it was a promise not kept. While many topics have been covered here, and you have been provided with ample evidence of how drugstore workday life does indeed warp the mind, the question of why it took 2 hours for you to get 20 Vicodin has remained unanswered. I can't help but to think there may be someone out there who has been logging on every day for the last 18 months hoping in vain for this mystery to be solved. Should such a person exist, I offer my humble apologies. To everyone else, I offer the following prescription scenario:

You come to the counter. I am on the phone with a drunk dude who wants the phone number to the grocery store next door. After I instruct him on the virtues of 411, you tell me your doctor was to phone in your prescription to me Your doctor hasn't, and you're unwilling to wait until he does Being in a generous mood, I call your doctor's office and am put on hold for 5 minutes, then informed that your prescription was phoned in to my competitor on the other side of town. Phoning the competitor, I am immediately put on hold for 5 minutes before speaking to a clerk, who puts me back on hold to wait for the pharmacist. Your prescription is then transferred to me, and now I have to get the 2 phone calls that have been put on hold while this was being done. Now I return to the counter to ask if we've ever filled prescriptions for you before. For some reason, you think that "for you" means "for your cousin" and you answer my question with a "yes", whereupon I go the computer and see you are not on file.

The phone rings.

You have left to do something very important, such as browse through the monster truck magazines, and do not hear the three PA announcements requesting that you return to the pharmacy. You return eventually, expecting to pick up the finished prescription.....

The phone rings.

.......only to find out that I need to ask your address, phone number, date of birth, if you have any allergies and insurance coverage. You tell me you're allergic to codeine. Since the prescription is for Vicodin I ask you what exactly codeine did to you when you took it. You say it made your stomach hurt and I roll my eyes and write down "no known allergies" You tell me......

The phone rings. have insurance and spend the next 5 minutes looking for your card. You give up and expect me to be able to file your claim anyway. I call my competitor and am immediately put on hold. Upon reaching a human, I ask them what insurance they have on file for you. I get the information and file your claim, which is rejected because you changed jobs 6 months ago. An ******* barges his way to the counter to ask where the bread is.

The phone rings.

I inform you that the insurance the other pharmacy has on file for you isn't working. You produce a card in under 10 seconds that you seemed to be unable to find before. What you were really doing was hoping your old insurance would still work because it had a lower copay. Your new card prominently displays the logo of Nebraska Blue Cross, and although Nebraska Blue Cross does in fact handle millions of prescription claims every day, for the group you belong to, the claim should go to a company called Caremark, whose logo is nowhere on the card.

The phone rings.

A lady comes to the counter wanting to know why the cherry flavored antacid works better than the lemon cream flavored antacid. What probably happened is that she had a milder case of heartburn when she took the cherry flavored brand, as they both use the exact same ingredient in the same strength. She will not be satisfied though until I confirm her belief that the cherry flavored brand is the superior product. I file your claim with Caremark, who rejects it because you had a 30 day supply of Vicodin filled 15 days ago at another pharmacy. You swear to me on your mother's'....

The phone rings. that you did not have a Vicodin prescription filled recently. I call Caremark and am immediately placed on hold. The most beautiful woman on the planet walks buy and notices not a thing. She has never talked to a pharmacist and never will. Upon reaching a human at Caremark, I am informed that the Vicodin prescription was indeed filled at another of my competitors. When I tell you this, you say you got hydrocodone there, not Vicodin. Another little part of me dies.

The phone rings.

It turns out that a few days after your doctor wrote your last prescription, he told you to take it more frequently, meaning that what Caremark thought was a 30-day supply is indeed a 15 day supply with the new instructions. I call your doctor's office to confirm this and am immediately placed on hold. I call Caremark to get an override and am immediately placed on hold. My laser printer has a paper jam. It's time for my tech to go to lunch. Caremark issues the override and your claim goes though. Your insurance saves you 85 cents off the regular price of the prescription.

The phone rings.

At the cash register you sign....

The phone rings.

.......the acknowledgment that you received a copy of my HIPAA policy and that I offered the required OBRA counseling for new prescriptions. You remark that you're glad that your last pharmacist told you you shouldn't take over the counter Tylenol along with the Vicodin, and that the acetaminophen you're taking instead seems to be working pretty well. I break the news to you that Tylenol is simply a brand name for acetaminophen and you don't believe me. You fumble around for 2 minutes looking for your checkbook and spend another 2 minutes making out a check for four dollars and sixty seven cents. You ask why the tablets look different than those you got at the other pharmacy. I explain that they are from a different manufacturer. Tomorrow you'll be back to tell me they don't work as well.

Now imagine this wasn't you at all, but the person who dropped off their prescription three people ahead of you, and you'll start to have an idea why.....your prescription takes so damn long to fill.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)


Gabej777's picturePharmacy TechnicianGabej777Joined: Aug, 2009
Location: Glendale, CA
Posts: 6

Best Story!!!

vhubbard's picturePharmacy StudentvhubbardJoined: Jan, 2010
Location: detroit, MI
Posts: 4

you would think after 8 years plus to be a dr, they would learn how to

LBrph's picturePharmacistLBrphJoined: Aug, 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 12

That's fantastic ! You have really got me chuckling, and it is so, so, so true !

Richard Miola's picturePharmacistRichard MiolaJoined: Jul, 2009
Location: East Northport, NY
Posts: 12

Sounds like the Monday I had....
You forgot one thing, calling the doctor because the Rx was illegible, being told the doctor is away till Wednesday, meantime the patient wants their medication, I tell the patient it cannot be done, can't read the Rx, I'd rather give NO medication than the WRONG medication.
Then came Tuesday.....

rxpkrd1's picturePharmacistrxpkrd1Joined: Feb, 2010
Location: Brighton, MI
Posts: 1

So funny.....because it's true.

apajova89's picturePharmacy Technicianapajova89Joined: Feb, 2010
Location: Addison, IL
Posts: 1

Unfortunately that is often the case in retail pharmacies across the US.

dealwithit's picturePharmacistdealwithitJoined: Feb, 2010
Location: brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1

Really funny but its also really sad because that is what happening nation wide. pple are complaining that scripts are taking too long meanwhile the have no understanding of what it takes to fill their prescription. the worst part is the reimbursement aspect. in the story it mentioned that a check was written out for a co-pay amount of 4 dollars and come change. so answer this question: was the 4 dollar and change worth the headache of this situation? now I'm not saying that we should turn away pts with these type of issues cuz its unethical but when can the insurance companies be held responsible for their actions. actions like promising health-care coverage and bombarding elderly with 25 page formularies to decipher. does mrs. jones (a fictional example of course) really understand that her advair had just been removed from formulary and she has to change the medication she has been on for 12 years cuz her doctor at the hospital clinic has no time to call for a pa which is harder to obtain than the presidents direct phone number. lol maybe I'm just venting but action is required...but really funny story tnx for the post

pharmaciststeve's picturePharmacistpharmaciststeveJoined: Jul, 2009
Location: New Albany, IN
Posts: 222

now I'm not saying that we should turn away pts with these type of issues cuz its unethical but when can the insurance companies be held responsible for their actions

I am sorry but I don't see a ethical issue here. The insurance company you are dealing with.. is the insurance of the patient.. Contractually.. it is between the insurance company and the patient... the patient has some responsibility in the transaction.

As long as we do everything possible to take care of the short comings of the patient and THEIR insurance company... we have no right/reason to BITCH.

IMO the more we accommodate these lazy patients the more we raise their expectations of the level of service they can expect from us.

How do you handle a patient that comes up with a Rx to be filled and their debit card or charge card is declined at the register? Do you call their bank to see why it didn't pass? Or they want to charge their Rx and don't have their debit or credit card with them? Do you call their bank to get the information or the last business they used it at to get the numbers ? Do you consider it unethical to not give the patient their medication or their Rx back because they can't pay for it?

Why do you consider treating a patient with - or without - their insurance "credit card" different?

How much would your service improve if you declined to "play nanny" with maybe 5% of your patient base?

If nothing else .. get a portable phone .. dial the CS phone number and hand it to the patient... let them deal with THEIR INSURANCE!

denpharmgirl's picturePharmacistdenpharmgirlJoined: Jul, 2009
Location: Lakewood, CO
Posts: 1

You stole this from the DrugMonkey, AKA David Stanley.

SyrichRX's picturePharmacy TechnicianSyrichRXJoined: Feb, 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 20

No, I did not steal it. If I stole it, I would credit it as my own. The first line clearly says "I found this on a forum somewhere". If it's from a blog, then it's from a blog. Take the stick out of your ass and just to learn to laugh. A proper comment would have been "Hahaha, I love DrugMonkey!" That way, I would have known where I got it and would probably have thanked you rather than considered you an idiot like I have.


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