Monday, February 3, 2014

BOOK REVIEW and INTERVIEW: Pills, Thrills, and Methadone Spills

Mr Dispenser published his book, Pills, Thrills, and Methadone Spills: The Adventures of a Community Pharmacist in 2013.

From the forward on page 8: 

"This compilation provides an insight into the small thrills we experience every day. The joy of being able to drink a hot beverage; the thrill of being rude to customers without their realizing it."

"This book will be a joy to all who read it. It is a useful guide for new pharmacists about to embark on their careers: these are the things you will be faced with on a daily basis. It is a wonderful read for those of us who have been around for a while -- a time to reflect and reminisce."

And without a doubt these statements are true. Now for you folks in the colonies, i.e., Americans, you must be forewarned that this book is written by a Brit. They speak English, but not American English. Some things you have to translate into American meanings. For example, what we call a "floater" pharmacist in the USA is referred to as a "locum." (French for a "person who temporarily fulfills the duties of another.") Once you get that part down then the laughs continue. Some of the medications Mr Dispenser refers to have different names in the USA too. There is a glossary in the back to help with some of the terms. The differences in terminology should not deter Americans or anyone else from buying this book. If anything, it just goes to show all pharmacists everywhere that we all endure the same adventures even in different backgrounds and cultures. 

My favorite part of the book is entitled, "If Pharmacy was a Game Show" -- except Mr Dispenser left out what might make the best pharmacy game show. It would be something based on a Japanese game show and the dispenser would be forced to cut off a finger for dispensing the wrong medication.

What's also fun about the book is that it is not just musings by Mr Dispenser. You will recognize many pharmacy people from Twitter -- people you're probably already following and/or follow you. That makes it more fun because you know the "minds" behind the @ symbol.

In preparation for this book review, I interviewed Mr Dispenser and asked him a few questions:

What got you interested in writing about pharmacy? Why the book?

I have a pharmacist for five years. I started blogging first after three years. It started serious but soon descended into mirth. My books are a collation of my blogs, other peoples blogs and anecdotes from Facebook and Twitter.

What has been the greatest challenge to writing and publishing a book?

The greatest challenge to writing the book was editing which took up most of my time. Publishing was relatively straight forward as I did it myself on Amazon.

Does the company you work for know you are writing about pharmacy? Are they supportive?

The company I work for are aware of the books. I wouldn't say that they are supportive but they haven't sacked me yet!

What do you see ahead in the world of pharmacy?

I see the next few years to be dark as long as we continue in the global recession. There is an excess of pharmacists in the UK too. Things will get better though.

How did you come up with the title?

I asked people on twitter to give me suggestions of the title. A lovely lady called Helen Root came up with the title 'Pills, Thrills and Spills'. I added the word Methadone for impact.

Pills, Thrills, and Methadone Spills: The Adventures of a Community Pharmacist is available on I must warn you that the author does lie on the cover page of the book. Mr Dispenser says "may" cause laughter. That's a lie. This book WILL cause laughter. There -- you've been warned.

Check this LINK to buy the book. It has a list price of $3.99 on Kindle and $6.99 in paperback for a new copy. Also, 5% of sales are going to the Pharmacist Support Charity. Apparently there is a used copy for sale for $999.11 so if you have plenty of money to blow, go for that one.

And when you're done with the first book, check out Mr Dispenser's second book: Pills, Thrills, and Methadone Spills: Techs, Drugs & Birth Control. Using more contributions of social media, Mr Dispenser continues with the laughs!

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