Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Year, New Insurance!

     Doesn't everyone just love the new year? With every new year, patients have new insurance. They never have their new car, and we always have to reprocess their prescriptions wasting precious time. Always bring in your new card or go online and write or print the Rx BIN, Rx PCN, Rx Group, and Rx ID#. This would save us about 5-10 minutes for each patient. If I have to call your insurance, it usually takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Most of the time, we don't have time to do this. This takes away from counseling on medications, filling prescriptions, and helping patients find the correct OTC product for their colds/flu.
      Most patients do not know their copays and deductibles. It changes every year and usually increases. I am limited on the information that I have from your old or new insurance company. You can usually find your formulary and prices of your medications online from your insurance company. Also, you could call them, and they would tell you the exact price of the medication your doctor has prescribed.
     Just before the new year, a lot of the over 65 patients come into the pharmacy asking what the best Medicare Part D program is for them. Please do some research on this yourself. You can always call 1-800-Medicare or if you know how to use a computer medicare.gov. This would save your pharmacist a lot of time and probably ensure that you receive the correct medication, dose, instructions, strength, and quantity. The pharmacy corporations continue to cut our hours. We have less and less help. Thank you for understanding.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Pharmacy Advice for All of Pharmacy!

This is some of the best pharmacy advice I have ever seen! I had to repost it. The original post is from The Redheaded Pharmacist.

Today I think it is time to give a little advice to pharmacy students and graduates. I’m no expert on what it means to be a pharmacist but I’ve worked in the field long enough to learn a few valuable lessons. I hope these words will help someone.

1. Take your time. Contrary to popular belief, community pharmacy is not about filling prescriptions as fast as humanly possible. No one will ever come after your license for taking the time necessary to fill each prescription correctly. Don’t worry about how other pharmacists pace themselves, they may or may not be doing as thorough of a job as you should be with each prescription order.

2. Talk to patients. Talking to patients is the good part of my job. I admit that I have my fair share of patients who make me so angry I could scream. But at the end of the day patient counseling is one of the most rewarding parts of being a pharmacist. Don’t be afraid to go talk to patients even if it isn’t in your nature to be an outgoing person.

3. Learn from more experienced pharmacists. Pharmacy school instructors, preceptors, and colleagues have a lot of knowledge to share. Learn from pharmacists who have been around the block. Mistakes and experience are the best teachers, but mentors aren’t a bad choice for gaining knowledge about the profession of pharmacy either.

4. Get Involved and Stay Informed. The days of passively pursuing your own career while ignoring the bigger picture are long gone (if they ever existed). Keep a pulse on the developments that impact the profession of pharmacy any way you can. Being informed will better prepare you for the next wave of change. Joining organizations, going to board of pharmacy meetings, or writing letters to politicians are all ways to become more involved.

5. Learn from your mistakes. Despite the expectations of perfection, pharmacists are human. We make mistakes just like everyone else. I’ve made more than my fair share of prescription mistakes and judgement errors. Although I freely recognize that I’m not perfect, I desperately attempt to learn from my mistakes in the hopes that I won’t be repeat them in the future.

6. Have fun. I’m not immune to the negatives of my job or the frustrations that come with being a pharmacist. But I also try to have fun at work. With the right people and the right attitude and outlook, you can enjoy the job of pharmacist. Some days I am better at keeping my frustrations at bay. Other days those frustrations can get the best of me. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of negativity surrounding pharmacy. My goal is to remember the positives so those moments can get me through the negatives.

7. Ask questions. Don’t ever make assumptions. With people’s lives at stake, assumptions could literally kill. If a dose looks wrong, call the prescriber. If a patient is confused about how to take a medication, explain it to them even if you’ve done so already in the past. There is a circle of care involving the patient and all the healthcare providers that treat that individual. We should all be on the same page.

8. Follow your own path. It’s your career, find what you enjoy and pursue those opportunities. Don’t be afraid to try something completely out of your comfort zone either. You never know where you will find that dream job or golden opportunity.

Being a pharmacist is a demanding but rewarding job. In the end, you have to trust your abilities and hope that you can help every patient as much as possible. Anyone that asks more than that from you is simply demanding too much.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Pharmacy Changes Are Coming

Are you ready? Pharmacy changes are about to take place. We, pharmacists, are going to be able to counsel everyone! All these 30 second phone wait, 15 minute guarantees, auto refills, select decline to counsel, and other metrics will fall by the wayside. Filling as many scripts as possible with as little help as possible will gradually fade away. We have to counsel and take our time to fill prescriptions correctly. The profession of doctor of pharmacy is about to change.

We are going to do what we were taught in our colleges and schools of pharmacy. Counsel patients about their medications to increase compliance and have great clinical outcomes. We will even be able to tell patients not to drink milk with their antibiotics. Sometimes I feel like I do not even have time for that. Who is ready for restroom breaks? I cannot tell you how many times I have held my bowel movements and urine until there was a pause. If I go to the restroom, patients will complain because their prescription will take longer to fill. Thus, when they do the survey, they will say their Rx was not filled within their time limit.

Some pharmacies close for lunch. All pharmacies should close for lunch! I heard that patients complain that they had to wait 30 minutes to get their prescription filled because the pharmacy was closed. The patients said the pharmacy should never close for lunch for emergencies. I know they waited at the doctors office for an hour. I guess drive thru's make it seem like it should be fast food. I want my prescription now, just slap a label on it. What if the prescription is Coumadin? You will die if you take too much or take it with aspirin! People just do not care. By the way, I cannot wait to counsel. Pharmacy is about to change!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Expensive Erectile Dysfunction Medications: Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis

I cannot believe it took the human species, or a man, so long to find a chemical that would cause an erection. Sex is the basis to life. We need it to reproduce. When we found that sex could feel good, we needed to have it all the time. People just lived in frustration if their husband or lover could not "perform" anymore. Finally, in 2003, a new chemical that was going to be used for blood pressure that caused a significant side effect, an erection. The chemical was introduced to the market as sildenafil, or as we know it, Viagra! Viagra was marketed for erectile dysfunction. It took about 20 minutes to an hour to start working, and some patients would see a blue hue to know it was time to go at it. I think getting an erection would tell you it was time to go. The medication could last 4 hours. Quickly, we had three expensive erectile dysfunction medications, Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, available. They range in price from $25 to 35 dollars per pill! Sometimes the copay is outrageous or not even covered by prescription insurance!



Pharmaceutical companies started to adjust certain parts of the chemical to make the side effect longer lasting, and then, Cialis was born. Cialis could start working in 15 to 20 minutes and last up to 36 hours! I sell mostly Viagra and Cialis. Viagra is supposed to be going generic very soon. There goes another multibillion dollar medication for Pfizer. Lipitor was their previous money maker that went generic in November 2011.

There are some new medications like Staxyn and Stendra. Staxyn is an orally disintegrating tablet of the popular drug Levitra. Stendra lasts up to 6 hours and starts to work in about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can You Believe There Is a Flu Shot Song!

There is a flu shot song out now called hit me with a flu shot. It is a Pat Benatar parody to her hit song Hit Me With Your Best Shot. This song was floating around the emails at a pharmacy. Has it really come down to this about vaccinations? I cannot believe there is a song about it. Here are the lyrics to the song:
What you're a real tough virus with a long history
Of changing into forms that are hard to treat
That's okay there's nothing to it
Roll up my sleeve and let the vaccine do it
Hit me with the flu shot
Why don't you hit me with the flu shot
Hit me with the flu shot, fire away
You come on all a'sudden
You don't fight fair
But that's okay because I'm aware
Knock me down, it's all in vain
'Cause I've had the shot for the new flu strain

Hit me with the flu shot
Why don't you hit me with the flu shot
Hit me with the flu shot, fire away
Well you're a real tough virus with a long history
Infecting healthy lungs like the ones in me
Before I get exposed with a cough in my face
I'm going to make sure I put you in your place

Hit me with the flu shot
Why don't you hit me with the flu shot
Hit me with the flu shot, fire away
Hit me with the flu shot
Why don't you hit me with the flu shot
Hit me with the flu shot, fire away



This flu shot song is kind of catchy. I think it is because I like the real song, already. Have you heard of any flu shot songs are crazy pharmacy songs? I think I'm going to make a song about OxyContin!

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