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Old 05-25-2013, 08:57 PM   #46
disfan07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura66 View Post
I wanted to add - my neighbor is a pharmacist - and a damn good and caring one. You would not believe the stories.
Doctors prescribing wrong drugs and fatal dosages that he catches! Doctors prescribing drugs they know nothing about - you name it!
You would also not believe the abuse he gets from customers. Mad at him because he can't fill rx's the insurance company won't cover. A lot of patients have no idea what they are being prescribed and why so he does have to ask questions and explain things! Poor guy can't win!
Exactly. One bad apple ruins the bunch. Luckily my doctors have all been pretty good about prescriptions. But I am on 15 medications. One of which is contraindicated with pretty much every medication in existent. But my doctors have talked which the clinical pharmacists in the hospital and becaus ethe dosage is so low there is no issue with it.

But we did have one problem where my hospitalist prescribed the wrong dose of something when I was released. Luckily I am very very familiar with my medications and knew as soon as I saw it that it was incorrect and it was changed. But that would have been flagged for sure!

I can completely understand why pharmacists might seem so defensive to some people. The abuse I have seen them get is terrible. They do not deserved to be yelled at about anything. If something's wrong, ask for someone in charge because most likely it is a physician error, an insurance company error or a computer error....not something that the pharmacist did directly.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by mrsklamc View Post
It IS his job to help your doctor to find a more appropriate medication if the ones you are taking aren't working for you, which seems to be the case.

It seems like you think he should check your meds, make sure there are no interactions, and blindly hand them to you. He has more of a professional responsibility than that, whether you like it or not.

As a pharmacist, very educated about drugs, he should know that no one knows how an anti-depressant is working within less than a week.

I think a lot of people are getting upset because a pharmacist is being attacked (that was not my intention in this thread. His tone may be subjective, talking over me when I am trying to answer his questions, pretty cut and dried). I love the other two pharmacists at this location. One of them has gone out of her way for me and I have told her that. They talk to me about my meds when I get them, which seems to be the ideal time to do it if there is a possible issue.

What this comes down to is privacy, what he is allowed and welcome to know about my health, diagnosis, and what I share with my doctor. Maybe you are fine with a pharmacist knowing as much about your health care as your doctor. I AM NOT. It is not necessary for him to know why I change a med that a psychiatrist has prescribed to me after consulting with my therapist. That is none of his business. If he thinks it is, he should call my doctor. I'd like to hear how that goes.

I will be changing pharmacies. This is apparently this chain's policy. It is not the policy of other chains. I am moving on. This chain is free to do what they like and I am free to take my business elsewhere.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #48
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You know, I've read this thread, and went back and read the OP a second time, and I admit that I really don't understand what your problem is.

You are quite clearly, and admittedly, in a state of extreme sensitivity about the type of medications you take. You said the pharmacist "interrogated me about my medication change and how that was working out for me". Frankly, that sounds like a caring professional checking up to make sure, that your new medicine was, in your own words "working out". I would be pleased that my pharmacist cared enough about my well being to make the phone call.

Second, you said you were not as "dipolomatic" as you could have been. Sounds to me like this guy was just trying to do his job and give good customer service, and you were rude to him. Just like your non-diplomatic reaction to him was brought on by stress from another situation you are dealing with, maybe he reacted more strongly than he should have to you from other stresses as well. Maybe stresses like making sure clients aren't having adverse reactions to medications and getting reamed for it.

I don't walk in your shoes and I have no idea whether the stigmas you feel are attached to your medications are real or perceived. I do believe that you may have misread his intent. Best solution is to have a calm conversation with him about the reasons why he has made those calls. The answer might surprise you.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Laura66 View Post
I'm not ready to crucify the doctor just yet! I can't believe people think he should be fired - anyone should be fired - over one persons word that they were abusive and rude!

The OP admits to being sensitive right now.

Doctors prescribe a lot of meds. And they sometimes prescribe them after being wined and dined by drug company reps or getting free samples, etc.

Pharmacists know what drugs interact with other drugs, what insurance companies will and won't cover, dosage, side effects - the list goes on on on. Sure there are pharmacists who abuse and sell drugs - lots of doctors do the same. People also shop for doctors who will readily prescribe painkillers and antidepressants.

Was your pharmacist rude? Maybe. I wasn't there. To me it sounds like he's on the ball and takes his job seriously and is looking out for his customers welfare. If you are on that many meds and changing doses often of course that would send out red flags. He could be looking for abuse, side effects, proper dosage etc. Hard to tell without hearing his side of the story!
I don't think I said he was abusive, just rude. I don't think he needs to be fired for it, unless of course, he is like that to everyone and then I imagine a fair place of business would give a verbal warning, etc. He was just unprofessional in the execution of his duties.

I think the best time to check to make sure a patient isn't abusing the med is before you release it to them, you know?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #50
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I don't mind being corrected at all if I'm wrong!
I don't think this has anything to do with your privacy being invaded. He's a medical professional inquiring about your health and medications so he can properly and safely prescribe your prescriptions!
When doctors or nurses ask questions about your health and meds are they invading your privacy? No! They are getting a history so they can diagnose and treat you correctly. Pharmacist is doing the same thing.
I bet your bippy if you or anyone else died or became ill because he missed something there would be outrage that he didn't do his job properly!
My guess - and this is only my opinion - based on you agitation and outrage - is that you got very defensive straightway and that he had to be firm and persistsant with you.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by FayeW View Post
You know, I've read this thread, and went back and read the OP a second time, and I admit that I really don't understand what your problem is.

You are quite clearly, and admittedly, in a state of extreme sensitivity about the type of medications you take. You said the pharmacist "interrogated me about my medication change and how that was working out for me". Frankly, that sounds like a caring professional checking up to make sure, that your new medicine was, in your own words "working out". I would be pleased that my pharmacist cared enough about my well being to make the phone call.

Second, you said you were not as "dipolomatic" as you could have been. Sounds to me like this guy was just trying to do his job and give good customer service, and you were rude to him. Just like your non-diplomatic reaction to him was brought on by stress from another situation you are dealing with, maybe he reacted more strongly than he should have to you from other stresses as well. Maybe stresses like making sure clients aren't having adverse reactions to medications and getting reamed for it.

I don't walk in your shoes and I have no idea whether the stigmas you feel are attached to your medications are real or perceived. I do believe that you may have misread his intent. Best solution is to have a calm conversation with him about the reasons why he has made those calls. The answer might surprise you.

He did explain why he made those calls but it was not true, what he said. He said they always call to see how patients are doing on long-term medications. But they don't. I have been going there for 15 years and have been on 2 different birth control pills in that time. I switched to the other abruptly last year. My husband has been on one stomach medicine for years and then switched to another a few months ago, from a different doctor even. No calls. He has only called me, twice, about the anti-d. So I think I would have reacted better if he had been truthful with me about the reason for the call. Maybe he can't be truthful. But if I know for a fact someone is being dishonest, don't expect me to eat it up. I am sensitive right now, I admit it. I don't like being talked over, that was rude. I should have just hung up on him or asked for a supervisor when he did that.

The point is, I don't have to stay at this pharmacy. I can find another one. And people who like getting random calls like this on some meds and not others, will not mind. Obviously many would like this kind of service and feel taken care of. I do feel bad for him that his company makes him make these kinds of calls. From googling, I see that doctors are mad about it as well as patients. It sucks to be in that spot.

Thank you for reading & commenting.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:41 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Laura66 View Post
I don't mind being corrected at all if I'm wrong!
I don't think this has anything to do with your privacy being invaded. He's a medical professional inquiring about your health and medications so he can properly and safely prescribe your prescriptions!
When doctors or nurses ask questions about your health and meds are they invading your privacy? No! They are getting a history so they can diagnose and treat you correctly. Pharmacist is doing the same thing.
I bet your bippy if you or anyone else died or became ill because he missed something there would be outrage that he didn't do his job properly!
My guess - and this is only my opinion - based on you agitation and outrage - is that you got very defensive straightway and that he had to be firm and persistsant with you.
Laura, he has all the history he is entitled to have from me in my records. I had taken this medicine before. My doctor then prescribed it again now. He does not apply this rule to all medicines. He let me take the medicine home for a week after filling the prescription (he only gets to fill it, not prescribe it. My doctor prescribes it). Yes there would be outrage if he filled a scrip and let me take it home for a week before discovering they should not have let me have it. The time to make those kinds of calls is before you fill the scrip, I would hope. Your analogy to doctors and nurses is not applicable here. I do not need him to diagnose me. I need him to fill the prescription the doctor wrote me and if there is a problem, call the doctor. I can tell you are getting upset by all your exclamation points and because your friend is a pharmacist and has to take crap off drug seekers, etc. I sympathize with him. But all pharmacies do not do this, and I will find one that doesn't. You feel differently, and so you will be happy at this chain.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:43 PM   #53
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Oh I'm actually not upset at all. Just listing reasons - like some other posters - as to why your pharmacist is doing what he's doing.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:45 PM   #54
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If the Pharmacist has issues with the medication that was prescribed he should call the doctor and ask not the patient. I am of the opinion that it is none of the pharmacist buisness, if the patient was flagged because of this medication that should have been taken up with her when she picked up the medication, not a week later via a phone call. If it had been me I would have told the pharmacist goodby and hung up the phone without answering the question.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:54 PM   #55
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Just wanted to point out that I didn't mean the pharmacist should be fired by their employer. He should be fired by the OP from being her provider which I think she is doing.

FWIW my doctors office tells me to call the pharmacy with questions on meds. But my therapist, a psychologist, has an incredible knowledge of meds. He's constantly telling me the latest on side effects, studies, generic pluses and minuses, which advertised meds are worthless, etc. His knowledge is actually scary.... or am I that dumb??

Plus ,OP I'm sorry I realized yours called about the anti-D but I got all caught up in the anti-A discussion. I don't see a reason he would question your progress on a drug you've used before with good results. Sorry you are leaving the woman who had been so helpful in the past, but you have to do what you have to do!
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #56
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I am a 40ish woman, I have been filling prescriptions for 25ish years. I have filled prescriptions for myself, my kids, my spouse and both of my parents. Never have a received a phone call, nor has anyone in my family, received a phone call from a pharmacist inquiring as to the effectiveness of a medication.

It is not within the pharmacists scope of practice to evaluate the efficacy of a medication, nor is it within the pharmacists scope of practice to evaluate or inquire about a patient's progress with a psychological problem.

The call was inappropriate and I, too would have seen it as intrusive. I would report the pharmacist to corporate and I would change pharmacies.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:16 PM   #57
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Once again, the role of the pharmacist in health care is changing.

Quote:
Standards for the Community Pharmacy:
The Changing Role of the Pharmacist

The role of the community pharmacist is changing from direct
dispensing to a more clinical focus as a vital link in the chain of patient
care. This evolution and the impact it has on community pharmacy practice
was the focus of an Aug. 22, 2012 webinar featuring Terry McInnis, MD,
president of Blue Thorn, Inc. The webinar, “Medication Experts in Our
Midst: Comprehensive Medication Management and
the Community Pharmacy,” coincided with a call for
comment on URAC’s new Community Pharmacy
Accreditation standards.

Coordinated care systems such as accountable care
organizations (ACOs) and the medical home provide an
unprecedented opportunity for pharmacists to advance
their roles as medication experts, patient educators and
critical members of the care team. As patients navigate a
complex health care system with multiple physicians and
care settings, the pharmacist serves as a valued provider
of clinical pharmaceutical care by linking medications
and their use directly to the overall care goals.
“Today, because of advances in technology and the
advent of a range of new medications, many conditions
that were once treated in hospitals are managed on
an outpatient basis,” said Janice Anderson, R.Ph.,
URAC’s director of pharmacy programs. “The proper
use of prescription medications can contribute to
improved care outcomes, lower overall health care
costs and safer care delivery.” The webinar discussed
changes in the health care delivery system that affect
community pharmacies, and outlined the critical steps in
comprehensive medication management and how these
relate directly to the discovery and resolution of drug
therapy issues.

The webinar accompanied URAC’s call for public
comment on proposed Community Pharmacy
Accreditation standards. The accreditation will offer
independent recognition and support for community
pharmacies and their role in the medical neighborhood,
validating excellence in single and multi-site,
independent and chain pharmacies.

The URAC Community Pharmacy Accreditation
standards have been developed and recommended for
release by an advisory group comprised of participants
from industry sectors including chain and independent
pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, health plans,
consumers, business coalitions, pharmacy associations
and other health professionals.
The advisory group is chaired by Gene Reeder, RPh,
PhD, a distinguished leader in pharmacy academia and
research as well as in several pharmacy organizations,
including AMCP.

“For community pharmacies, URAC accreditation
will bring value by providing external validation of their
efforts to improve quality patient care and management
and demonstrate the outcomes of these quality
initiatives,” said Dr. Reeder. “Documenting the services
provided in community pharmacy practice settings and
the impact they have on patient care is critical in today’s
healthcare market, and can lead to opportunities for
broader recognition and reimbursement for improved
quality and outcomes.”

URAC developed this new program as an expansion
of its Pharmacy Quality Management accreditation suite,
based on a need voiced from many within the pharmacy
community for a voluntary, quality-focused accreditation
program. URAC’s standards are designed to offer
assurance to the health care community that a pharmacy
organization is equipped and prepared to work with
other providers in an evolving health care landscape.
The accreditation will help both consumers and largescale
purchasers identify community pharmacies that
engage in comprehensive patient counseling and
education, patient medication management, wellness
services, and quality initiatives that improve care and
reduce overall health care costs.

More information on the URAC Community
Pharmacy Accreditation program can be found at
www.urac.org/pqm/community.asp.

http://www.urac-amcp.org/URAC_AMCP_Fall_2012.pdf
OP, you may encounter a similar issue if you go to another pharmacy because the role of the pharmacist is changing industry-wide. Just something to think about. If you don't want to discuss things with your pharmacist when he or she calls, just say so. It is your right. But don't get mad at a pharmacist for doing what he or she is supposed to do.

My sympathies to pharmacists. Sounds like they're going to be the new punching bag of the health care delivery system.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:28 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymousdiser
Laura, he has all the history he is entitled to have from me in my records. I had taken this medicine before. My doctor then prescribed it again now. He does not apply this rule to all medicines. He let me take the medicine home for a week after filling the prescription (he only gets to fill it, not prescribe it. My doctor prescribes it). Yes there would be outrage if he filled a scrip and let me take it home for a week before discovering they should not have let me have it.
Several posters - including those whose only connection with a pharmacist is the standard business relationship - have stated correctly that pharmacists' post-college education is entirely about drugs, interactions, etc. Physicians, not so much.

There was nothing "wrong", per se, with the new prescription so no reason not to let you take it home. You take it home, you (ideally) take it, and after a short time the pharmacist follows the chain's policy to check up on - apparently - certain long-term prescriptions. Given how uncomfortable some depression sufferers are with that diagnosis - see your own decision to create a new user name for this thread - it's possible the pharmacist chose not to specify they follow up only with certain drugs.

Most likely the computer kicked out a notice to call you (and other applicable customers) and he did. But there's NO way to tell in the store how you'll react, and your other meds interact, beforeyou start taking a drug.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:31 AM   #59
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We all know that some anti-depressants have undesirable side effects, a quick "google" brought me these: jitteriness, anxiety, insomnia; or can have the opposite effect (somnolence). Other common side effects: headache, dry mouth, constipation, sweating, dizziness, sexual dysfunction. We also know that some medications can sometimes have even more serious side effects.

Certainly the mandate of the pharmacists is not to check up on all long term medications. However, with some medications the "cure may be worse than the disease" so making sure that someone who already suffers from depression and anxiety is not also now jittery, constipated and suffering from insomnia or worse as a result of a medication changes sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

Your body changes over time. I have sensitivities to some food items that I never had a problem with 20 years ago. Being on the same medication previously does not mean your body will react to it the same way this time. Some anti-depressants have pretty significant withdrawal symptoms, including paranoia, hostility, and suicidal thoughts so it is possible that he was also checking up with you to make sure discontinuing your previous medication was also "working out".

I continue to believe that the pharmacist was not being invasive at all, and was in fact just checking up on your well being before any potential side effects or withdrawal symptoms got out of hand.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:55 AM   #60
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Quote:
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Thanks, Ariel. I really am not rational right now. If it had been one of the other people there that I have a 'relationship' with, it might not have set me off. Or if he hadn't been so rude.

To explain why I may sound a little crazy on this thread, I have been in a caretaking situation for a long time. I am exhausted and it's hard because this situation is not going to end in a positive manner (trying to be vague so I am not ID'd on here). I would be willing to do this forever despite the exhaustion but I can't, I can't help this situation no matter what I do and so I am very sad.I am also deeply worried about the health of another family member.

So I am very emotional right now, and not proud that I need help to begin with as I used to always be the 'strong one'. His phone call made me feel embarassed and ashamed. I guess that's on me.

Thanks to everyone for listening, even those who disagree.
I'm sorry for what you are going through. I think it's awful.

Regardless of the pharmacists intent, he bears (at least) some responsibility for how you feel. You are right to be suspicious. Some things don't add up.
I would switch too.

At my pharmacy I have to sign a waiver as to whether I want to receive or deny counseling on any med for myself or our children. It's been that way forever and it's still that way now. That has not changed. It is a privacy issue. It made you uncomfortable because it is personal to you and you don't want to discuss it. You weren't given the opportunity to tell him so. You get a call, you think something is wrong and the next thing you know you are discussing something private.

So yes. I would switch. When you do switch, check out the new pharmacy's privacy policy. I think it will make you feel better to switch. You won't be worried about another call from this pharmacist.
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