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The word of the day is WORK

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If anyone would come up to me while I’m filling Rx’s and say “Boy, you look like you’re hard at work” I would just give a casual smile and continue along.

However, that line coming from someone who is on welfare is like nails on chalkboard.  On Monday, the busiest day for pharmacies everywhere, having someone on welfare come in and say “Boy you all look like you’re just hard at work! Are my “Soma’s” ready?” makes me just want to leap over the counter and ninja-kick them in the forehead. 

Yes, I am hard at work,  you know, that strange word that is the holy-water against your evil lazy soul.  ‘Work’ is in the same category as ‘abstinence’ in your ghettoictionary.  Actually, I’m surprised you know what this foreign ‘work’ is, moreover,  maybe you should try this foreign concept called ‘work’, you might actually like it.

I’ve been tempted to say to them “you know, by me WORKING it allows you to get your Nexium and your “Vico-DANS 750’s” for free, so I would just leave me be so I can WORK rather than disturb me with stupid questions like when the next shipment of greeting cards or earrings are arriving.”  Yes, people do interrupt me with such important questions such as these.  Fuck going to school for 7 years, just tell them when 90 pills at 3/day dosing is due and when the next shipment of earrings come in.

People who brag about how nice it is outside also have the same nerve-grating effect on me.  Yes, you have told me 4 times already how wonderful it is outside.  However, I, being the responsible one out of us two, need to WORK so you can continue to sit outside enjoying the wonderful weather and NOT WORK.  So, until that time which you actually get off of your lazy ass and WORK to support ME, I shall have to view the wonderful day through the glass that is the front of the store.  Thanks for playing, go fuck yourself.

Don’t get me started about welfare folk who sit and BRAG to me about the wonderful vacation they have lined up.  I’m tempted to say “you realize that vacation implies that you WORK, thereby a vacation is time off of WORK.  Your life, in fact, is one giant vacation because you DO NOT WORK”.  Do you know what happens when I do not WORK, I starve.

You’re right, its jealosy that I’m stuck in a box for 9 hours a day dealing with the sick, entitlement-stricken, rude, ungrateful, pushy, “WAH POOR ME”, asshole public while they can do whatever they want all day every day and have their basic needs taken care of by the nanny-state.  Sure I have nice things that they don’t have, but I also WORKED for these things rather than skate by and take the lazy way out.  I’ve made the choice to WORK when they have made the choice to get-a-doctor-to-sign-SSI-paperwork-to-avoid-WORK.

I want to get all the doctors to just blindly sign off SSI paperwork, round them up, and firmly implant my boot where their scroatums should be.

Comments #

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-23 08:48:52 -0700 #

I just wanted to let you know I am an avid reader of your blog and and agree with you 100% on your post today, You are not alone.
Pharmacy Tech

Comment by Richard on 2008-07-23 08:55:26 -0700 #

yes yes…
just telling my fiance about my welfare patients.
how they go on vacation to their home countries for 2-3 months.
how they can afford flights to Afghanistan or Iran or Albania – flights that I can’t afford even if I wanted to go to Iran – and how they get mad when i limit their medications to a 1 month supply. “But I’ll be gone for 2-3 months!” they cry. yeah, go fuck yourself. and go call your friends on your $300 cell phone and tell them to go fuck themselves as well.
welfare and vacations should NEVER go hand in hand.

Comment by Mari on 2008-07-23 12:02:20 -0700 #

I especially love when mothers need welfare to pay for their children’s prescriptions yet they have plenty of money in their Gucci wallets and handbags to buy cosmetics for themselves.
Pharmacy Intern/Student

Comment by on 2008-07-23 12:44:46 -0700 #

You have been obsessed with scroAtums lately as you mentioned them in the last 2 posts. I’m curious why you purposely misspell it scroatum instead of scrotum.

Comment by Paul on 2008-07-23 15:19:45 -0700 #

As a Pediatrician I’ve actually enjoyed reading your posts.
Until today. Your evident compassion is overwhelming.
Some folks on welfare are cheats, some aren’t. But, of course, you can tell the difference.
I sometimes get the same reaction when I park in a handicapped spot and leave the car. When some a**hole makes a comment about how “handicapped” I look, I just look them in the eye and say: “I’d gladly exchange my PLASTIC leg for your GOOD one…”
See, after 45 years of wearing a prosthesis, I don’t limp much. Until I’ve walked a good block, that is.

Comment by bb on 2008-07-23 19:17:20 -0700 #

Just got back from going back to drugstore to make a delivery we failed to make.When i got to store i realized how stupid i had been in not asking patient when she called the house what the medicine was she needed. you guessed it tylenol #4s. The thing is her live in daughter had just gotten her biweekly supply earlier in week. When i got to house i said “why didnt you just borrow a couple from jackie untiltommorrow”
Her response “well i hated to bother her” yea sure! Jacke would have to have been hogtied to have given up a T#4. Just another day in the life of a small town pharmacist. As my mentor taught me “just serving the public”.

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-07-23 19:19:54 -0700 #

3)a) W-H-A-T???? *HOW* MUCH? YOU THIEF!?

Comment by Lipstick on 2008-07-23 19:38:26 -0700 #

I just love your blog. Ghettoictionary and nanny-state made me LOL.

Comment by Mallory on 2008-07-23 20:27:07 -0700 #

And then there are the other welfare patients who don’t go on vacation, because, like me, they (a) cannot afford it, and (b)find it a struggle to get down to the pharmacy, let alone travel to a foreign country.
If I came into your pharmacy with my perfect make-up, and designer clothes, you might judge me the same way… and not notice that the clothes are two years out of date and cut down from three sizes too big, and that the make up is covering yellow skin and the dark circles under my eyes.
You are seeing a very small section of someone’s life. I know I always try to be cheerful and upbeat, and remember, you only see me on my good days.
It can be frustrating to feel that your taxes are going to support other people in idleness, but many of your patients probrably, like me, paid into the social security system for years while they were earning, and will receive far less in benefits than they have paid in in taxes.

Comment by on 2008-07-23 20:59:07 -0700 #

I get a little kick out of it when they interrupt me b/c then I’ll say something to the effect, “It’s going to be a little longer on your rx AND I recount whatever I was counting.” I HATE BEING INTERRUPTED when I’m counting pills. I don’t do this to everyone, just the random JERK who is being a JERK! I mean I don’t interrupt the teller when she’s counting my cash. I don’t interrupt the preacher when he’s preaching. I don’t interrupt the MD when they’re diagnosing me, I don’t interrupt the cop when I’m getting a ticket and I don’t interrupt the waiter that’s taking my order. HOW RUDE!

Comment by Rick on 2008-07-23 22:57:02 -0700 #

Twenty-four years ago was my first encounter with the walking workless. As TAP noted they are going on vaca when they don’t even work. My customer was leaving to go to Europe for 3 months and wanted me to just ” change the directions, doc won’t care ” so they could score a 3 month supply. Pardon me, fuck you. Isn’t it great that somethings never change.

Comment by 2nd Best Intern on 2008-07-24 00:39:14 -0700 #

This is kinda in line with your California Medicaid reimbursement cuts and our lovely medicaid system. New York has just passed new reimbursement rates for medicaid going into effect on July 1, 2009. Reimbursement rates will now be AWP-16.25%. It was AWP-14%.
I really hate our damn nanny state. I don’t know how any pharmacy can make any sort of profit when you don’t make any money from medicaid. What is worse is that in NY if the patient doesn’t “have the copay” of $1 (usually) you cannot refuse service, so you are losing another $1. Legally you have to give the person the prescription. Instead of being smart and changing the formulary to not cover stupid shit like Soma 250’s and Pristiq, NY decides to just cut reimbursement instead.

Comment by nodrugs4u on 2008-07-24 00:42:21 -0700 #

TAP. Actually, you’re wrong. They do work. They work the system. Some of them actually have the same nice things you have, maybe even nicer. During my intern years, I once waited on a blond (yes, she was “hot”) on a Mercedes convertible handing me her MediCal card from her Bur-freaking-berry purse.
I can’t remember the website, but I read somewhere that ~25% of the welfare recipients own their own homes, have 2 cars, have HDTV/Cellphone/Internet, and/or major home appliances. How do these people score these things? Who are the fools in the government that spend our money like this?

Comment by IAPhrmr on 2008-07-24 06:44:41 -0700 #

My Greatest “Holy shit I pay for your welfare moment” has got to be this couple, mid 50s who came in and asked me last week if I am able to ship their meds (about $700 a month worth) to the BAHAMAS!!!!! I respond “HUH?”
Apparently they are selling their trailer, packing up and moving to the Bahamas. They wanted to know if they can keep their Medicaid…uh NO you dont even live on this continent anymore! You will have to sucker some government agency into paying for them for you. They wanted to know how they are supposed to get their meds…they can’t afford that. I actually suggested to them that perhaps when they get to the Bahamas they get a job and pay for their meds, and perhaps get health insurance. I doubt that the Bahamas has the worlds best health care system….

Comment by Don Quixote on 2008-07-24 07:21:04 -0700 #

Yes, I could never agree with you more. Sadly, our country is lacking intelligence in the healthcare system. We’ve let insurance companies take us over. We’ve decided to FUCK the middle class as much as we possibly can while babying the poor and needy as much as possible to ensure they have it better than the middle class. I hope to live to see the day when more stringent formularies are applied to Medicaid patients and prior authorizations ARE NOT APPROVED EVER. Yes, it sometimes sucks when we are stuck inside on a glorious day outside, but remember those morons on welfare that are out basking in the sun are not applying sunscreen and come in the next day needing something for their second degree burns, because they plopped their fat asses in a lawn chair and stayed glued to it all fucking day munching on an ice cream sundae and downing a Big Gulp from the 7-eleven. While they may be lazy in terms of working, they also lazy in every other aspect, and that includes their health and hygiene. That being said, all I can do is smile, shake my head, and laugh my ass off when they waddle out the store with their fat ass belly hanging over their ass crack camel toe shorts, and their bikini top barely covers those ugly ass, stretch marked floppy titties. Mmmmmmm!!

Comment by on 2008-07-24 08:32:52 -0700 #

I especially love to see the ones who come in with an I-phone, a designer purse or outfit and a set of keys to an Escalade and watch in marvel as they pull out their Medicaid card.
It pains me to think I live in a place where my hard earned tax dollars are spent to “help these needy persons.” WTFever

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-24 09:08:10 -0700 #

I’m beginning to think I should never offer pleasantries of any kind to my pharmacist. Sure, I have a 40-hour-a-week job, but they don’t know that, and mine is a four-day week, so I have Friday, a normal business day, off.
If I should come into the pharmacy on a Friday, dressed casually — having already done my scheduled WORK for the week — and make a remark on the great weather we’re having, I really don’t want to cause the guy handling the little packets of chemicals I plan to ingest thinking that I’m a lowlife slacker who deserves to die in a thousand excruciatingly painful ways.

Comment by MDPharmStudent on 2008-07-24 10:03:38 -0700 #

It’s a shame (boardering on criminal) these leeches of welfare screw over those people who have honestly put in their time. I see 20 and 30 somethings quiet able to work that get their litany of scripts at $1 or less each and have to tell the 80+ couple that it’s easily $300+ dollars to keep them alive for one more month.
Golden years my butt.

Comment by Shalom (R.Ph.) on 2008-07-24 11:48:59 -0700 #

Had a New York Medicaid patient once who wanted an early refill on their stuff (I can’t remember what it was at this point, but it wasn’t a narc). Told them it’s too soon. He said, “But I’m going to the Dominican Republic!” I told him straight out, “Well, Medicaid’s attitude is that if you can afford to go to the Dominican Republic, you can afford to pay cash for your medications.”
I’ve had people who were travelling want early refills (again, not controls, because I won’t refill those early even for cash) and get all annoyed when their insurance won’t give them an override. I would just tell them to consider the price of the medications to be an additional cost of the vacation, just like the fuel surcharge on their airline ticket…
(If they’re traveling on business, maybe they could even get it covered by their corporation as a travel expense: they don’t expect you to cover the cost of your motel, why should this be any different. If you’re self employed, take it off your taxes.)

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-24 13:05:53 -0700 #

As a student, I find it amusing how we’re constantly told that many welfare patients are disadvantaged and most of them are actively trying to find work. However, I cannot tell you how many patients dressed in designer clothes that I’ve seen buying their 8 kids (from 7 different fathers who are also being taken care of by the state…in prison) a nutritious breakfast of Spicy Hot Cheetos and orange soda with an EBT card who nevertheless feel the need to tell me how lucky I am to be a white kid with a job.
“Yes mam,” I say through clenched teeth, “I’m glad I’m one of the lucky ones.” While I do consider myself one of the privileged ones blessed with a mind capable of rational thought because my mother avoided the Colt 45 & crank during the pregnancy, I’ve worked hard just most other pharmacy students. I’m usually more than happy to listen to one’s problems, but it’s your choice if you choose to buy your kids a PS3 instead of pay for their albuterol, not mine.
I just reached the 6-figure mark in owed student loans this year, but I’m glad we live in a society where these people can pay a total of $1.80 for 4 Rx’s and go home to watch Maury and all those delightful daytime personalities that none of us working folks know about when I pay $180 for my Rx’s each month and don’t even own a television. I’m definitely overprivileged.
PharmD Candidate May ’09
P.S. If you’re going to complain about a $0.50 Medicaid copay, make sure I don’t catch you buying a carton of Newports on the way out of the store. Thanks.

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-24 14:44:03 -0700 #

Welfare is great thing for people who TRULY need it, but most of the welfare patients I have seen in the past 18 years didn’t look like they needed it much… Reminds me of when I worked a night shift in a hospital. We would fill scripts for the ER as well as supply meds and IVs for the inpatients. One welfare guy came in about 3 am, and, I guess in an attempt at small talk, or maybe an attempt to make us feel sorry for him, talked about how broke he was. Stuff like, “sometimes, I think about robbing a bank just to have enough money for groceries”. My tech looked him straight in the eye and said “Why don’t you do what the rest of us do and get a JOB?” I was laughing so hard I had to go around the corner so the guy couldn’t see me. Then he lifts up his shirt and shows my tech a scar on his back and tells her that he can’t work. She had no sympathy – “I have one just like it on my leg and I have a job” If any of the bosses had been around, I’m sure they would have fired her. I on the other hand, gave her a high five…

Comment by wisterya on 2008-07-24 17:28:53 -0700 #

Tell me how the welfare mongers can afford to fly to Ny and then expect to use their Medi-Cal cards for their medication? At least Ny Medicaid is smart enough to allow the medicaid recipients free morning after pills in an attempt to limit the population of future babymommas. I <3 NY!!!

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-07-25 05:06:26 -0700 #

And all those leeches make things so much harder for people who really do find themselves in dire circumstances.
Let’s not get started on all the people who get SSI for such bogus things as drug addiction, morbid obesity, or ADHD in a 1-year-old.

Comment by Christine on 2008-07-25 11:08:01 -0700 #

I used to be a cashier at a pharmacy, and I saw people like this all the time; the “welfare rabbits”, as I like to call them, who bitch about everything, about how broke they are. Yet they all still seemed to have plenty of cash for cigarettes, junk food, and lottery tickets.
But here is what I really resent: the fact that we have to fight tooth and nail with our insurance company to get them to pay for ANYTHING. It’s private insurance through my husband’s employer, that he has to pay for, as opposed to the welfare rabbits who just get that MassHealth card handed to them. WTF is wrong with this picture? Why do these people seem to get just about all of their health care paid for, when working people like us get dicked over and over again by the system?
Love the blog, TAP…keep ranting!

Comment by Steph on 2008-07-26 00:56:36 -0700 #

So, Pediatric Paul, did it ever occur to you that the people who confront the handicapped parking cheaters are looking out for people like you? I hope you thank them after you humiliate them. Pardon them for being irritated that a seemingly able-bodied man was piggishly taking up a parking space meant for someone with a disability. I say good for them, because in this day and age, the good people are expected to bite their tongues and let assholes take advantage of everyone else.
All you have to do is explain that you’re actually qualified and then thank them for sticking up for YOUR rights and YOUR privileges when so few people these days will do so.
Or is it that you get off a teeny bit embarrassing people who are trying to help people like you?
As for those of you non-able-bodied people who need welfare, similarly, OBVIOUSLY TAP ISN’T TALKING ABOUT YOU! Or is it that you’re in need of more sympathy today?
Jeez, folks.

Comment by WAGslave on 2008-07-26 04:16:34 -0700 #

There was a couple in my drive thru, in a Lincoln Navigator, both in fur coats, both with gold rings on every finger, and they had the nerve to cop an attitiude because of the wait time. It was the typical complaint: tell them 20 minutes, they come back in 10, and bitch b/c they’ve been waiting 40! Lying fuckers! So they refused to move and parked their Navigator in my drive thru until they got their meds. I had my tech run out and get the license plate while I filled their meds. Soon as they left, I phoned the Washington Department of Health hotline. I was so angry, I had to rat these fuckers out!! But, after waiting over an hour, my store was falling apart while I was on hold, I never got tto speak to anyone… I had to give up. I guess they can afford to throw away money on these turds, but can’t afford to hire anyone to pick up the phone!!!

Comment by Danielle on 2008-07-26 11:32:49 -0700 #

I agree w/ above commenter Mallory, you only see a small portion of someone’s life. I hope not to be as bitter, angry, and judgemental as some of you in the profession. Most of you I’m sure started out w/ some kind of foundation so you don’t know what its like to start from scratch or truly go through hard times where you may need public assistance. You can’t judge people by what you see on the outside. I may not have much, but I make sure to look neat and clean and maybe not like your typical “ghetto welfare recipient w/ 7 kids and 8 baby daddies.” All I can do is laugh at you guys cause you don’t know the half… I guess book smart doesn’t give you common sense or cure ignorance…

Comment by izzyRed on 2008-07-26 16:08:29 -0700 #

I’ve asked before, but could someone [aka: a Pharmacist hopefully] please tell me the honest truth as to why Soma is such a “bad” medication? And no, I am not joking.
I ask obviously because Soma appears in 80% of the blog posts here, and yes, I do take it. I’m asking very wholeheartedly [if that counts here], as I have never been able to find an answer other than things like “It can be abused…..”
I also realize that this isn’t WebMD or a Q&A session, but was just hoping for a real explanation from a pharmacist, which I *know* there isn’t a shortage of here. If the stuff is really that bad, I’d really like to know and stop taking it and hopefully find something else that works as well as it does…..because I’m not out to kill myself; but other than general “Soma sucks”, etc. type comments, there never is much more posted.
If anyone has the time or cares to post, I’d like to ask again in hopes of hearing some help with this medicine, and if it is a danger to myself and/or if there’s something better out there [I’ve tried a ton of other similar medicines, none work very well, if at all].
Sure I’ll get flamed for this, but I’m gonna still ask anyways. Thanks if anyone can help, if not, well I guess thanks for the laughs TAP 🙂

Comment by Olga on 2008-07-26 23:01:56 -0700 #

First time reader (spending the better part of the evening hanging out in your archives).
I cannot tell you how dear-on you are about so many things re megapharms, vicodaid, and just about everything else that makes for so much travesty and makes like (as I can now quite clearly) hayell for the phrendly pharmacist.
Your take on medicaid narcotics etc really hit home for me. I have steady employment with an almost reasonable wage – now. I also have gone ot the same paharmacist owned independent pharmacy for the last ten years. I see the one dollar scraps All. The. Time. And what really kilsl me is that while for 9 of the last ten years i have had medical insurance through my workplaces, I went through a couple of downsizings that took away my medical coverage almost immediately and I take a number of scrips for varous matters. So, I went to the local antisocial services to see if maybe I wuld gat a little help with the meds situation until I got another job.
Ha! Firt thing they asked me was if I had children! And when I said no, I ws told I made too much on unemployment (which just about covered rent, utilities, car payment, and top ramen.) If I’d dropped a basket of snot nosed crotch fruit I could have gotten assistance for ever and ever. But I chose to be a responsible tax paying citizen and when I needed just a little help through a rough patch I was essentially told to fuck off.
Thank heavens for my pharmacy who would sell me just as much as I could afford at a time and a physician who let me come in for “goody bags” of whatever of mine she had in the sample room.
Rather ironic that when I tried to sell plasma to afford meds…and because SSRIs are bound to plasma (and getting the plasma sucked out would obviate fluoxetine’s quite positive effects) I couldn’t even do that!
So I have precious little tolerance of the dollar scrip mommies who are traliing a cadre of snotnosed brattage and clogging up the whole 15 feet of counter space….or the dollar scrip guy who I run into 10 minutes later at the grocery store purchasing three 40s. But oops….I am being politically incorrect.

Comment by THINKABOUTIT on 2008-07-27 16:24:31 -0700 #


Comment by Danielle on 2008-07-27 19:55:28 -0700 #

I do agree w/ some of the points Olga said because I was told I couldn’t get aid at first because I didn’t have kids. I was in a car accident and hospitalized for a while and my crappy school insurance didn’t cover much. But lo and behold I was able to get some public assistance when I took custody of my niece and nephew.

Comment by lynne stafford on 2008-07-28 17:23:38 -0700 #

i see you are focusing on that which is outwardly visible… i wonder, as your government takes away more and more of your rights, wages, natural heritage, and privacy, how much you piss and moan then? do you decry the multibillion corporations that have off shore banking accts that defraud this country of billions in taxes? is corporate welfare acceptable in your eyes, where co.s get tax breaks and million dollar incentives to go and start up, but vanish in a few months, effectively robbing both federal and badly needed municipal funds? do you care that the banking fiascoes have been due to the misdeeds of multimillion salaried ceos who have the ethics and business practices of a marauding mongol? do you weep and gnash your teeth at the felons who steal jobs from this country and take them to places where 50 cents and hour now puts their ’employees’ in a high paying job? do you trust your president and his darth vader assistant who has soiled the image of an america post ww2 to a country led by a bumkin who sanctions torture and turns a blind eye to all but business cronies and assorted syncophants? do you care that corporations put lobbyists in place to bribe and manipulate govern policy? do you care that your children are being sent to die, not for a cause, but for a commodity? PLEASE take time after your stressful horrid day at the office to breathe some fresh air and watch the news and take your head out of your whiney, classist, elitist, privileged ass and learn of the world and what is truly going on— the babe in the mercedes aint got SHIT on your government baby— they are the real thieves, but i guess if its out sight, its out of your tiny closed minds, right?

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-28 23:13:06 -0700 #

I have been in the biz as a tech then a pharmacist for almost 20 years, and I have seen it all when it comes to cheating the welfare system and SS. I recognize that there are people who have a legitimate need for the medicaid system and SS benfits, but quite a few have admitted to me they have never worked a day in the US since coming to this country or don’t even look for a job because they don’t have time! I even had one whose son admitted his medicaid-recipient father lived in Pakistan! Our state system really doesn’t care if you are able to work or not, it is a buffet line of freebies paid for by hardworking people who get screwed every week or so on their paycheck, every year on their taxes, pay premium prices for healthcare that is so-so at best, and foot the bill for lazy, spoiled moochers who EXPECT to get everything for free and show absolutely no gratitude for the great life they have! So Im sorry, if you swing on in to my pharmacy with expensive accessories and luxury cars, don’t expect me to give you the benefit of the doubt or sympathy for your “poverty” when you are getting top quality pharmacy services for free from an education I will still be paying for for awhile or when you demand brand name drugs at no charge when my own parents who have worked their entire lives are paying high copays and are perfectly happy to get generics.
Plenty of people who started with nothing worked damn hard to stay off of welfare, so people who say they have no opportunity to better their life and get off welfare is just a BS excuse to be a parasite. Aside from those who are truly down on their luck, most people on welfare don’t want to improve their “poverty” situation, because they are getting paid to breed and sit on their ass and buy expensive crap they could do without. We can thank the state for training people to be useless leeches and ensuring we pharmacists get AWP – all profit + not a damn thing reimbursement rates as if having to put up with some of the arrogant, demanding, what’s it to you? attitudes some of them have wasn’t bad enough!

Comment by LauraH on 2008-07-29 00:50:36 -0700 #

Boy. Ouch. Stereotype much? And the responses of some? Double Ouch. No, I’m not on welfare. I’m a recently widowed young mother of two paying 2100 for COBRA bennies who doesn’t have the time, energy or heart to be vicious to my fellow man. I also love all these “stories” about all of these welfare women in the fur coats and cars… I live just north of Detroit. Sure there are people on welfare who could probably work, but when minimum wage won’t cover the cost of two days in day care it’s a tough situation for many, many. Shame on you. And, I guess I won’t make the mistake of being nice to my pharmacist again… wouldn’t want to bother her. Perhaps I’ll just become a grumpy shit. Grow a heart. And those of you who slam on others who question this kind of mentality? It makes me sad that my children will grow up in a world where people find it okay to be increasingly rude to each other because they have the shield of a computer screen to do so. Would you have the guts to say that to Mallory’s face, Steph. You’re a really nice woman in real life, I am sure.

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-29 09:02:12 -0700 #

For those of you giving TAP a load of shit about his attitude, you’re reading waaaaay too much into it! He’s not bashing ALL welfare recipients, just those who outwardly appear to be milking the system! All pharmacists I know have become quite cynical about the whole Medicaid system. And it’s not just because so many seem to be living in luxury off of our taxes, but also because so many seem to be always having this surgery or that. Those of us who have private insurance, on the other hand, have to jump through hoops to get what we need (rather than it just being handed over) – I, myself, have been dealing with a torn rotator cuff for 4+ months, and was told I have to wait yet another month to decide on surgery. I’d bet a month’s pay that if I had state insurance (Medicaid or L&I) my shoulder would already be repaired…
TAP and others here who have made negative comments about Medicaid recipients aren’t making this shit up to be mean or judgemental – we see it every day. Not from every medicaid patient, but from quite a few…

Comment by on 2008-07-29 20:10:15 -0700 #

Mallory and Danielle,
TAP is NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!! He’s talking about the people that work the system and obviously it’s NOT YOU!!!! So are they other pharmacists on here and I guess that must be “book smarts” that I figured that one out(all on my own mind you). You have to have ooodles of common sense to “take care” of the public. That book smarts is wasted in the retail business, just so you know…And I am a retail counter jockey.

Comment by rxholly on 2008-07-29 20:18:54 -0700 #

couldn’t have said it better myself angry rph! Six years spent in the ghetto and I feel your frustration – people don’t get it until you see this day in and day out for years – every day you curse about how disgusting and lazy these people are and the scripts for free baby Vikes, OC’s, and big Vikes keep rolling in! And yes, when the lousy wastes of society are constantly referring to narcotics by slang terms – it makes you wonder! Good lord!

Comment by KDUBZ on 2008-07-30 01:23:23 -0700 #

Just a question, as someone who finds it a struggle to get to the pharmacy….how much is your internet running you per month? And please finish this sentence for me…”Instead of wasting time on I could be doing __ to earn a living/contribute to society. Now you may have a legitimate need for welfare, but on this site we usually refer to those people who are abusing the system and flaunt their escalades/iphones/vacations.
THINKABOUTIT….are you that dumbass MD with four degrees who is world famous and we have discussions about at dinner? Time to go and get a fifth degree in english/creative writing buddy….and ask one of your devout followers in the medical profession to show you how to turn off caps lock on the key board so you look like less of a d-bag.
stereotypes exist for a reason, because too often they are true….if you took the time to listen to half the stories any pharmacist could tell you I think you might have a different perspective on welfare.

Comment by Google Account on 2008-07-30 06:06:12 -0700 #

I currently work in a “Community Hospital” in the Outpatient Pharmacy. Tonight while getting information to fill a prescription for a patient. I was verifying patient allergies, because its included in the script and it is surprising how many people tell me they don’t have any . . . but when I say, “But this says your allergic to Amoxil, Sulfa, and Morphine . . . ,” the response is, “Oh . . . well yes, but I’m not allergic to the drugs I’m getting today so just fill them,” I love catching them in a lie. Anyways, I ask the mother of the patient what food and/or drug allergies are if any for her son and she answers WORK. I ask for insurance information, and you guessed it Medicaid. I should have known! Of course, plus I’m sure you don’t have your card on you there are only about 6+ Medicaid programs. But that’s okay, I’ll look it all up and waste 20 minutes of my time trying to figure it out. I’m sure the person behind you doesn’t mind waiting the extra time because you’re too lazy to be a little responsible for your actions. Do you need me to come wipe your ass too? Then to come back to the window to pay your $1 copay with $100 bill, WTF? I have to scrounge around the bottom of my purse for 50 cents so I can have my daily caffeine fix.
Also I’d like to say that I’ve been a Pharmacy Tech for near 12 years, 9 retail and 3 Hospital. And I know as well as any healthcare professional that there ARE people who truly need state and federal assistance. That is what the programs are for. Nobody is saying that you are needlessly sucking away money undeserved or needlessly. It’s those who refuse to work or work only part time with 4+ kids and lie though there teeth about their financial status etc. who suck away money in the system meant to help those who truly need it. When you work retail most of your patients are repeat patients (heck, we see frequent flyers here in the ER too). You get to know them, you know who the phonies are, and you get to have an excellent BS meter. We do know most of the time who needs the programs and who doesn’t.

Comment by izzyRed on 2008-07-30 09:53:57 -0700 #

Wow, so nearly 4 days have gone by and nobody has yelled at me for asking a question about taking Norco + Soma (legitimately)?
…..I honestly expected at least a few insults; I guess just being ignored completely is better than that LOL 🙂
Since I’m desperate for an honest answer, and know that this board is filled with bona-fide Pharmacists, I feel obligated to ask again (if nobody responds, I’ll shut up, I promise).
The 2 sentence version of my question is:
Why does TAP talk so much (majority of posts that I’ve seen) about how bad hydrocodone and soma are – usually mentioned together? I realize hydrocodone (vicodin or whatever version you want to call it) is a narcotic and obviously abused by idiots; but what is the negative aspect of Soma….and more importantly I guess – why do many of you mention them so much “together” as being what appears to be on the level of crack (hopefully you get my point)?
…..To reiterate, I’m asking this because I do take these 2 medications for chronic pain (yes, *CHRONIC PAIN* that isn’t going away; no cure for my lucky problem) – and it has been literally the *only* thing that has helped. I’ve gone through many of the long-acting ones like Oxycontin, Fentanyl patches, Kadian, and so on, and they have not worked very well at all — plus they have many bad side effects.
Also to say again, I know this isn’t a help forum, nor is it a question/answer board. But I do feel it is relevant to this blog due to the fact that this very specific combination is talked about (negatively) so often; and I would truly appreciate any advice or feedback as to *why* it is so bad, and if the general consensus of pharmacists is that this “combo” does *not* work or is harmful…..because now every time I pickup my prescriptions, I feel like an evil eye is staring down at me.
Izzy 🙂

Comment by A Pharmacy Customer on 2008-07-30 13:04:55 -0700 #

I understand, I guess, about the frustrations and aggravation involved in the pharmacy business. But I have news for you – there are MANY jobs in which there are many frustrating contact with customers, patients, clients, students, subjects or whoever else and this is the ONLY forum where I have heard those frustrations with people used to directly justify delayed, diminished or less than complete and competent care.
Just because someone pisses you off is ABSOLUTELY NO justification to in any way delay the delivery or diminish the competence of that care that you, a licensed and trained professional, give to that person. I really understand the frustrations with some people. I am a professor and when some idiot goes and complains to the Dean that they got a D or an F because that is what they earned it ticks me off too. However, that does not allow me to give that person a worse grade next time.
It seems that a lot of the pharmacists and others on this board see malpractice as a justified and acceptable form of retribution against someone that makes you, you know, DO YOUR JOB! And that is terrifying.
The fact that someone would delay, or in any other way diminish or dilute, the complete quality of the care they give to EVERY patient is profoundly disturbing. Your own words are the biggest insult to pharmacy and pharmacists that I have ever seen on this board or anywhere else. I hope that I never come to any of your apothecary. I would be terrified that you are going to abuse your power as healer to get me back for having an opinion.
That is, simply, wrong and dangerous in the extreme. In short, it is malpractice that you would even create unnecessary delay to “teach a lesson”. Perhaps YOU are the ones who need to learn the lesson, that you are in a position of trust that too many of you, at least on this blog, seem more than willing, and in fact anxious, to violate.

Comment by Sabrina Fair on 2008-07-30 17:22:11 -0700 #

Response to Laura H’s commentary –>
“Sure there are people on welfare who could probably work, but when minimum wage won’t cover the cost of two days in day care it’s a tough situation for many, many. Shame on you.”
I know this sounds like asking too much of our fellow man, but in general, if one cannot afford to maintain oneself that welfare assistance is required for sustenance, then why not give some forethought and not reproduce oneself any further. One child, okay, said person forgot how to prevent pregnancy or maybe intentionally planned the event, but there is no excuse to keep having more offspring, based on this responsible logic. BTW, I exclude people with disability from this discussion.

Comment by on 2008-07-30 21:11:46 -0700 #

How about my friend house cleaner wants to be paid in cash so she doesn’t have to claim it and can get medicaid for her crotch spawn! She easily clears 40,000 easily as a house cleaner…

Comment by on 2008-07-30 21:16:55 -0700 #

My favorite is they interupt you to ask where the bathroom is. That is my number one asked question of the day.

Comment by KDUBZ on 2008-08-02 06:37:05 -0700 #

To the professor,
While I must agree that giving any patient less than their AWP-20%+2.50 worth of care (little pharmacy joke!) is unethical, I would not apply the term malpractice. Personally when a customer is rude they shouldn’t expect me to go above and beyond for them. Whereas a friendly customer will get me to do more than what is required by my job and profession when the need arises. That being said I do agree that intentionally inconveniencing patients simply because they are on public aid is unethical, but not necessarily malpractice.
I will say that you need to take the bitterness with a grain of salt, this forum is simply a source of venting..and I beleive most of the people who frequent the site actually do a great job providing care. I think that we need some serious public aid reform given all the scammers, but I still take care of the patients because for now our society believes in providing people with welfare and as such I have to follow society’s rules. I would challenge you to step out of the ivory tower of idealism that is the field of academia and try working in a pharmacy for a day (I’ll even let it be any day but monday! I’m being nice there!) I think it will be an eye opener.
Here is a question for you.. what about physicians that insist public aid patients see them to get refills. They do this so they can bill public aid for office visits…this person is making more trips simply so the MD can get more money from the state! Unethical, yes. Malpractice, unfortunately not.

Comment by KDUBZ on 2008-08-02 06:41:42 -0700 #

I told you its too soon to refill your norco and soma. I normally don’t do this but I am going to have to ask you to transfer to another pharmacy blog. Theangriestpharmacist is currently giving $25 dollar gift cards for any new or transferred posts.

Comment by Pharmacy Customer on 2008-08-03 20:37:57 -0700 #

“what about physicians that insist public aid patients see them to get refills. They do this so they can bill public aid for office visits…this person is making more trips simply so the MD can get more money from the state! Unethical, yes. Malpractice, unfortunately not.”
Fair point well taken. Doctors who abuse the system are unethical. And while it may not be malpractice, there are some doctors in federal prison for doing that excessively – the government calls it Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

Comment by izzyRed on 2008-08-05 12:49:39 -0700 #

Your insanely insightful and overly useful replies are much appreciated, but aren’t required anymore. Obviously you are an extremely intelligent, wise, and tremendously witty (yawn) individual…thanks for your input.
No more of your simpleminded comments are warranted, as I was asking for the response of a more…shall I say, “Technically Proficient” (aka: professional Pharmacist). Your irrelevant blabber proves beyond a doubt that you do not fit such a position. Thank you!

Comment by chilihead on 2008-08-15 10:52:38 -0700 #

Neither my husband nor I are lazy but we are unemployed. Believe me, we are trying to find work but it has been hard in central Florida. I am scared that we are on the road to welfare ourselves. My husband has stories about their priorities… six families living in a roach trap apartment while they buy gold jewelry and there is a brand new mercedes parked outside… Stuff like that.
I have seen some similar things that drive me crazy as well. I overheard one former coworker, in a tone of voice that sounded upset and demoralized, say a few years ago, “I have friends that own homes and they are on welfare.” This coworker was the sole breadwinner for her house, which she was renting. In any case, talk about predatory lending practices! How the sam hill does this happen?
Another story: I recognize WIC checks when I see them. All well and good (I was on them for about six months some time ago), but one day at the checkout, I saw a woman with her WIC checks. She is wearing nice gold jewelry (such as big ass hoop earrings) and brand new jeans. I have not bought a new pair of jeans for myself in five years, and even then I got a cheapie brand at Walmart. Not as bad as some of these other stories, but it bothered me just the same.
Anyways, she was also making a separate purchase consisting of two cakes from the bakery, a large box of donuts (one of those 48 to a box or whatever), and two large cases of soda! I recall the days I felt embarassed if I bought even ONE wee 20 oz soda separately along with days I used my WIC checks. (But as the sole caretaker of a baby and a husband who had been diagnosed with colon cancer six weeks after my baby was born, I needed the quick energy jolt, but I digress.)
I am sorry that people do that to you. It does look bad but people do not always know. My husband and former coworkers have criticized me for giving the benefit of the doubt to people too often as it makes me vulnerable to people using me, but it is stories like yours that make me say, “We do not know the whole story.” Yes, I see a lot of fat people standing in line at the food bank. But is there more to the story I do not know, such as cheapest food being the sugary or fatty crap or something?
Of course, I contradict myself after that WIC story, but one size/story does not fit all.
I was in a somewhat similar situation in the past. I was worried I’d be given a hard time for parking in an “expectant mothers only” spot when I was pregnant, because it was still early in the second trimester and did not show that much. I just parked in a regular spot but that one would have been easier. Looking back it really is strange, how intimidated I was at the thought of it.

Comment by kneekol on 2008-08-18 20:08:50 -0700 #

Soma isn’t truly a “bad” medication, but it is a muscle relaxant that has the more abuse potential versus Flexeril and Skelaxin. While Soma isn’t technially a scheduled narcotic many pharmacies such as the pharmacy I personally work for treat it as one. I hope you find this hopeful.

Comment by izzyRed on 2008-08-20 17:55:49 -0700 #

thank you for an honest answer!! I most sincerely appreciate it. And yes, I do understand your point.
I guess I just hate the fact that the drug addicts of the world have turned certain medications with real medical value into something that makes me feel so ashamed each and every time I go into the pharmacy to pick it up, it really honestly sucks.
I have been taking this medicine for many years and can’t even remember exactly what it ‘did’ when I started it, but if it really was that ‘great’ it certainly didn’t make a lasting impression. However I do remember taking Flexeril and how horribly tired it made me, not to mention that it didn’t relieve any of my pain — obviously it works for some though or it wouldn’t be around I guess. I stuck through nearly 2 weeks of excruciating pain when taking it, I do definitely also remember that. And at that time I hadn’t tried Soma before, or even heard of it, so there wasn’t any hidden placebo-ish thing going on to try and ‘look good’ for my doctor just to get Soma in particular. I’ve never abused drugs in my life — heck I don’t even drink alcohol or smoke 🙂
I went through many other muscle relaxers as well and some other things that I don’t even know what they were LOL. Then he prescribed the Soma and it worked better than any of the others that I had tried over months of time before. It did make me tired at first, just like the others and I do remember thinking how it was going to help just as much, or little I should say, as the past ones. But unlike the Flexeril, the tiredness side effect went away within a week or 2.
So no more life stories (as some have said earlier), I just wanted to share my own reaction to it. And wanted to say thank you for actually answering me. I’m sure it sounds pathetic to others on here, but when you are in pain or feel horrible every waking second, yet can’t sleep at all either, when you find a medication that actually helps relieve even the smallest bit of that pain or discomfort —– I would equate it to winning the lotto (for those of you that hopefully never have to deal with these types of issues, maybe that puts it in perspective a bit). But when I found this site, and some other places which talk about Soma and abuse, it really scared me & while you (the pharmacists and doctors here) know about it, I don’t. And TAP always writes about Norco (or vicodin or whatever) and Soma every time he needs to fill a placeholder for the stereotypical street addict; it made me very uneasy & unsure with what my doctor was prescribing & if I was doing something ‘wrong’. Again that probably sounds so naive and stupid to the medical pros here, but this is my life and I’m not trying to kill myself —– that is why I asked my question on here……
Looking back I guess I should’ve been prepared for the humiliating pigeonholing that people wrote to me. I know this is an ANGRY blog but jeez, can’t a girl get a little leeway just once? I don’t understand how if the responses I got from people about this are actual real pharmacists or doctors, how they could honestly beat me up so brutally for trying to just understand something that affects me every second of every day. Ironically, there are lots of other posts on this blog saying how dumb and uninformed most of us ‘customers’ are; yet you rip me apart for asking what I thought was a fairly simple & straightforward question. OK so that’s my ranting for today 🙂
kneekol — thank you dearly for your help. I appreciate it very much. For the rest of you, I’m sorry for intruding into this sacred blog. I thought TAP was funny, but with an audience like this, it’s just a bit saddening.

Comment by CPhTinschool2 on 2008-10-19 21:03:03 -0700 #

So I feel what most of you are saying, I’ve worked retail for nearly 8 years but I think we all need to step back and realize we are all adults and wouldn’t like it if someone judged us for any reason. If we don’t like the decisions someone else makes, unless we are friends, we need to keep it to ourselves. We vote to change the system not take it out on the people who are being helped by it. Yes a lot of people have different priorities than us. I personally am a single mom of three, my ex alcoholic husband left me and the kids, am working fulltime in a pharmacy, and am in nursing school. I also have a neuropathy due to dysautonomia, which there is a test for it isn’t subjective like fibromyalgia my sensory nerves are dying, so I understand pain. I wouldn’t be able to contribute to society if I didn’t take pain meds because I wouldn’t be able to walk. I’m not on the govt dole but I have been in the past when my ex first left us so I could get on my feet. I think it is sad that I have to defend the decisions of my doctor and myself for proper treatment so I can function in society because a few assholes ruin it for the many. Do enough people abuse the system for drug habits or so they can be lazy? Yes obviously or we wouldn’t notice, but to condemn the many by the actions of the few just seems misplaced. I think it is sad that you let someone else steal your joy. The real greed and theft happens on the corporate level where millions of our tax dollars are exploited for a few rich guys. Is the system perfect? No. But is it right to deny those who do appreciate it? Is it right to demonize anyone who may be prescribed narcotics because some people misuse them and make us waste our time investigating them? Is it right to assume anyone with chronic pain is a liar and addict because there are some who use that diagnosis as a end to justify their means? A lot of phyisicians think the most biased in the medical community are Pharmacists. I wonder where they got that idea? We wouldn’t say that everyone one who lived in a trailor had a meth lab would we? (Even though lots of people who have meth labs do live in trailors) Is it frustrating when someone tries to get over on you? Hell yeah because we have seen/heard it all before. Doesn’t mean things don’t happen and that every situation is black and white. You wouldn’t want me to come to your house and say you are too angry to have kids and call them wasted sperm or other ugly names. It really sounds like bigotry even if it isn’t meant to it really does. Venting is fine but when you start attacking everyone who may be old, on Medicaid, or in pain chronically because a few people really pissed you off you really are no better than they are. Again, don’t let anyone else steal your joy because really hate in your heart consumes you and hurts you, not them. If being sympathetic is too hard for you maybe healthcare was the wrong idea? I’m not saying let anyone do what they want and take advantage of you by any means, but put blame where it lies on the INDIVIDUALS that do the wrong thing not a group of people that person happens to be a part of. You wouldn’t like it if you were German American and you were constantly blamed for the holocaust or condemned as a Nazi sympathizer would you? I don’t see much difference. It is a coincidence they just happen to be bad people who also have Medicaid, welfare or are just plain old. They aren’t bad people because they are on Medicaid, welfare, or are over 65; or maybe to some of you that is exactly what is wrong with them. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” You get so mad that pharmacy has gotten to the point with PBMs that it is all about profits but you are judging people by how much money they have or don’t have. Maybe the PBMs feel the same way about you, maybe you shouldn’t be mad if you accept any form of government payments or get tax breaks for your business because after all someone out there will always disagree with you. I know too many Pharmacists and techs who don’t want the government telling them what to do, but when they disagree with something that someone they don’t even know is doing with their life, they have all kinds of complaints and much to say but I don’t hear any suggestions for solutions just bitching and moaning. Don’t be taken advantage of but don’t let yourself end up with a heart attack because you let it bother you so much besides your doctor might then have to prescribe xanax and then you’d really be going to hell.

Comment by Julie on 2008-11-30 19:26:41 -0800 #

Hi, long time reader and first time commenter… I must agree with everything that pretty much everyone has said. I have been on both sides of the fence. About 2 years ago, I was working as a rx tech making good money, between my husband and I we made about $70k a year, but after my 2nd son was born I developed chronic back problems which kept me from working. So we were down to one income, then my husband lost his job because of cutbacks in his company, we then had to go on welfare. I hate the people that give people like my husband and I a bad name. I completely advocate people being on welfare because it is needed that is what it is there for. But it urks me in the biggest way when someone who is on welfare just sits around taking their most of the time illegal prescription narcs instead of looking for a job. Trust me when my husband and I were on welfare we could barely afford to take a nice sunday drive somewhere nevermind taking a damn vacation. Please know that all people on welfare aren’t bad.

Comment by Heather on 2008-12-04 18:19:47 -0800 #

One bad apple syndrome here. What absolutely AMAZES me about the system, is WHO they cater to.
I was in high school when my step father had a massive heart attack and subsequent heart transplant. Having to walk into the SS office and see these people climbing out of their Cadillac Escalades, sports cars, and even a Mercedes just crawled all over me. After a solid year of fighting tooth and nail, my SF was finally “awarded” benefits. His Medicaid(care) whichever it is, still costs him a lot of money due to the severity of his problems. His medicine alone still costs him hundreds of dollars. There is no $4 Wal-Mart plan for Prograf*sp?* Or any of his other drugs. And these people have a $1 co-pay, take vacations, and drive luxury vehicles? And on top of that, he still works.
I am completely feeling you here TAP. And as another servant of the public, I absolutely agree with the “What a lovely day”. We are in a glass box looking out for the majority of all beautiful days, thanks for reminding us what we can’t be a part of.
But not all unemployed, welfare or medicaid recipients are like that, the ones who are need to be shot. You have such bad anxiety that you can’t work but you’re perfectly fine using my tax dollars in a bar? Nice try.

Comment by POed Tech on 2009-07-11 18:10:23 -0700 #

I work at a big chain store near the state line. What gets me is the people who actually hand me medicaid card from 2 different states. I work my butt off as a part time tech (still in school) and since im only part time I am not eligible for benifits. I actually tryed to apply for government assistance and was told no because I made too much. I cant catch a break but yet people living in bigger houses, driving nicer cars and having a bank balance larger than I will see in a long time come in with medicaid. Then it really pisses me off when they fuss and bitch because they have a $1 copay. One lady pulled out her wallet and I saw at least 4 $100 bills and several smaller ones and she starts screaming at me because she shouldn’t have to pay bacause she is on medicaid. Take those medicaid cards, turn ’em sideways and shove them up your ass people. I may lose my job because I have been telling people that we dont accept it from the state that the pharmacy is not physically located in. My few frickin tax dollars going to support a bunch of lazy ass mother fuckers, I be dog-goned if i’m going to give away shit to others.