Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Good versus the Popular Pharmacist

The popular pharmacist doesn't pay attention to refill dates. He/she just fills whenever the patient asks for a refill, no matter what the medication.

The good pharmacist pays attention to dates and doesn't refill dangerous and/or controlled substances early.

The popular pharmacist hurries and gets the scripts ready in minutes, disregarding any other issue.

The good pharmacist is careful, checking drug profiles, drug interactions, and whether the medication is appropriate and appropriately dosed for the patient. This takes extra time.

The popular pharmacist would fill this script without doing any dosing calculation:


The good pharmacist would check the age and weight of the patient and make sure it is correct for that patient. The good pharmacist would also remind the prescriber not to write "1.0" on prescriptions.

The popular pharmacist says "take this with food" and sends the patient on his/her way.

The good pharmacist takes time to counsel each patient on drug interactions, side effects, and checks patient understanding of the medication and counseling.

The popular pharmacist is more concerned about what management thinks.

The good pharmacist is most concerned about patient safety regardless of what management thinks.

The popular pharmacist would just fill the following script, no questions asked:


The good pharmacist would call the prescriber for clarification and reference to the "off label" indication.

So which kind of pharmacist are you?

Which kind of pharmacist should you be?

If you're a patient, which kind of pharmacist do you want to be your pharmacist?



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The "smart" pharmacist learns which battles to fight and which to avoid.

Anonymous said...

How dare you decent, law-abiding pharmacists not refill my Opana ER early? OBVIOUSLY it is for headaches. And so what if I take midazolam for anxiety and amphetamines for my unfortunate periodic narcolepsy? ha ha I LOVE your posts. Thank you.

Pierre said...

Sorry, I'm a foreign non pharmacist. What would off label mean? In case of need?

Curious mind wants to know, and thank you for your funny and interesting blog!

Anonymous said...

The "label" of a medication is information about it that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Typically about 2 pages long it includes the approved uses for the drug (the indications). However, a prescriber my use the med to treat a condition other than those on the label. This is rare, but certainly acceptable. It is wonderful that the prescriber stated that s/he is prescribing the med for an "off-label" use. The more info for the pharmacist, the better. However, Ambien (generic name, zolpidem) helps patients to fall asleep. The directions would allow the patient to take it every 12 hours for anxiety. How would they be able to stay awake and function with this med in their system all day? Therefore the RPh should contact the prescriber to discuss the prescription.

Eldric IV said...

Drugs in the US are approved by the FDA for certain indications, which are listed on the drug's official labeling (not necessarily on the bottle).

However, physicians are allowed to use a drug for conditions for which the drug was not approved. Because the condition is not one of the indications listed on the drug's label, it is called off label prescribing.

Anonymous said...

"Off label" is using a medication to treat a condition that it wasn't originally intended for. Ambien is labeled for sleep. You wouldn't give it to the patient every 12 hours.

Pierre said...

Thank you for the explanations!
Ok,I understand. We have the same here in France It's called "outside of prescription" Like the baclofene was used for alcohol addiction instead as a myorelaxant.
I will go to bed less stoopid!

barb tracer said...

Haha...isnt it obvious..if they take the Ambien every 12 hrs of course they wont be anxious because they will be sleeping LOL j/k

barb tracer said...

Haha...isnt it obvious..if they take the Ambien every 12 hrs of course they wont be anxious because they will be sleeping LOL j/k

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't you write "1.0" on a prescription?

Crazy RxMan said...

1.0 could easily be confused with 10 which would be 10 times the dose.

Anonymous said...

The good RPh is soon to be unemployed, the popular RPh is a valued employee of XMart Pharmacy.
Get that script count up and dispense them all.

me. said...

long time reader, first time commenter. Firstly, I love your blog. Secondly, I'm a prescriber and am pretty frightened that prescriptions like this exist in the first place... and thanks for catching our mistakes. :)

Anonymous said...

The popular pharmacist works a full career in retail, the good pharmacist has a corporate induced coronary in 5 years or less. ....

Anonymous said...

But with the affordable health care in effect shouldn't that take care of all this. A patient gets what they need and the prescriptions would be streamlined. thought the prescriptions would all be like 4 bucks.