Independent Pharmacy: if there is a problem, make sure you are talking to THE BOSS/OWNER

A intractable chronic pain reached out to me … concerning a new pharmacist at a pharmacy she had been patronizing for years, and this pharmacist decided that the medication that this pt had been taking for years – by the book – had some potential interactions that the pharmacist “had concerns about”.  Was hassling the pt about filling them. The next day the pt talk to the pharmacist at the pharmacy who had filled her Rxs before and that pharmacist declined to fill her Rxs.  Maybe the first pharmacist was more of a “bully” and the second pharmacist was more of a “wimp”.
If this had been the first time that the pt was coming to have these medications filled, I could understand the pharmacist’s concern and may there would have been a need to have a conversation with the prescriber over the pharmacist’s concerns of POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS… but because the pt had been taking these meds for several years. The concerns of POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS should have been quickly viewed as a non-concern.

I was surprised of this sort of attitude from a independent pharmacy, I had own my own pharmacy for 20 yrs and pretty familiar with the typical mindset of a independent pharmacy owner.  This independent pharmacy was one of  a “multi-store” independent and the owner of the stores did not work in this store. The pt was ready to discontinue the use of one or more of her medications.  I suggest to the pt that she reach out to the OWNER of this store, that he/she may not be aware of  how this new employee was dealing with the store’s pts’ medication needs.

The pt took my recommendation, and reached out to the owner… but had to leave a message… HOWEVER.. the owner did contacted the pt by the end of the that same day.  Apologized PROFUSELY for how she was treated…. and the pharmacy DELIVERED her medications the very next day at NO CHARGE.

This is excellent example why I suggest that pts that are having trouble/issues with chain pharmacies filling their Rxs, that they find a local independent pharmacy and I regularly share this link to find a independent pharmacy by zip code

The typical chain pharmacist and the Rx dept is GROSSLY UNDERSTAFFED and GROSSLY OVERWORKED.  I have seen some chain pharmacist making statements on some private/closed pharmacist FB pages that they are upwards of TEN DAYS BEHIND IN FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS.   Here is a PUBLIC FACE BOOK PAGE that one particular pharmacist has started creating a rebellion of chain pharmacists … I believe that the “final straw” genesis of that revolt was triggered by what I shared on this blog post

Why are independent pharmacies better staffed ?  Most independents are normally not sitting on “high price real estate”…  they don’t have to financially support layers of upper management and a large corporate headquarter bldg, their stores are much smaller and few-if any – have 24 hr operations and they depend more on word of mouth advertisement than large multi media advertising campaigns.  They commit all those financial resources to better staffing and better pt services.




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