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Why help those who refuse to help themselves?

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There is a common saying that goes “You cannot help someone who will not help themselves”.  Pharmacists deal with patients like these day in and day out.  Patients who get prescriptions from their doctor only to have them sit unused on the shelves to be brought to you for refills months after months.  These are the patients who give you a bottle to refill that has 28 out of 30 tablets left in it (but the vicodin bottle is stone empty).  These are the patients who you see the drug dosages increase and increase then switched to something thats expensive (and not covered) only to sit there and expire on them.  We do the prior auths, we go through the filling procedure to RTS them a month later, we send refill requests to the doctors to have them waste money paying office staff to respond to them.  Its a big waste of time and money for everyone involved EXCEPT the patient.

What does a pharmacist do at this point?  Does he try to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with someone who obviously has no regard for their health?  After all, healthcare is “free” to them, they can just take an ambulance ride to a cushy ER at some paid-for-by-tax-dollar establishment.  Or does he/she see the writing on the wall and just fill the Rx knowing full well it won’t be taken.  We all know that the moment you refuse to fill that Rx they are going to die and you’re livelihood is in jeopardy in some civil suit.

What does an MD do at this point?  Does he/she shit-can the patient only to have him/her die of some complication and get his life ruined by a suit brought upon by the family?  Does he/she write for more medication just to cover his/her ass knowing full well it won’t be taken?  Does he/she waste his/her time filtering the piss out of the ocean when there are other patients out there who need the help?

What does a healthcare professional do when the patient really doesn’t give two shits about his/her own health?  Tough question, no real cut-and-dry answer.  If the patient dies, someone is getting sued; be it me, the doctor, the hospital, someone.  Even if the patient’s family loses the suit, you still have to deal with the mental/financial bullshit that goes along getting sued.  After all, its everyone’s fault but the patient.

A big contributor to this problem is that the patient really isn’t forced to care about his/her health.  Like I said before, the medication is free, hospital visits are free, and the proverbial “You can’t get blood out of a rock” comes true when the bill arrives for services rendered for their irresponsibility.  These patients have nothing but what the state gives them, and have nothing to lose.  So what if I’m 500 lbs and my HbA1c is around what my IQ is, I know that if the shit hits the fan I can go to the ER and get treated for “free”.  Theres no burden/penality on the patients to take care of themselves, and (much like everything in life) the responsible people end up paying the price.  People in other countries would cut their testicles off for just a smidgen of wasted care that is taken for granted here.

I hate to say it, but I think know the healthcare system is going to implode on itself in the next 15 years (if that).  There are way too many irresponsible people sapping the resources that the responsible people produce.  Nobody cares about their health anymore, and the people that do are the ones paying out the ass for services that cost a truckload to compensate for the loss accrued by the irresponsible.

You may think that I’m blowing smoke out up your ass, but take a look around next time you are in a public place at the amount of morbidly obese people are mouth-breathing around.  Look at their kids and the crap they stuff into their face at an alarming rate.  Its not ignorance thats fueling this, its the simple fact that when push comes to shove they will get treatment without payment.  We are afraid to say “You did this to yourself, you deal with it” because of some bullshit excuse like “its not their fault”.  You may think that sounds uncaring and callous, but take a second out of your candyland outlook and look around you at the people who are pissing their health down the toilet on your dime just because they can.

Healthcare is a business, All of us; doctors, pharmacists, nurses, PAs, NPs, and the staff that help us all have bills to pay and families to provide for.  Charity won’t put food on the table, and the sooner you realize this the better off you are.  If you want charity and “helping those in need” then work for free and see how far that gets you.

I hope you link this jaded-yet-true article on your website/forums/whatever, because I’d really like to know how this problem can be fixed/should be fixed or what we can do short of just making as much money as we can before the entire system explodes and we’re all out of work.

Comments #

Comment by PartTimeTech on 2010-07-22 19:35:39 -0700 #

It always amazes me to see those kind of people. I can’t count the number of people I’ve had come in and refill a prescription they should be taking regularly, but it’s two months overdue and the refills have expired, then turn around and blame *us* like it’s our fault.

I honestly don’t think there really is a solution to the problem without those of us in the medical/pharmaceutical company going out on a limb for every single patient who doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about their health; and we know this is entirely impossible, since a) liability, b) volume/work load/finding time to sit down *with* these people and c) it has to come from all angles, doctors and pharmacists alike. It’d have to literally be beaten into their head, and even then, it’s not guaranteed to work. And then there’s the whole fact that this IS a business, and a lot of people pay more attention to getting their money rather than really working for it.

When it comes down to it, all we can do is what we can. Try to get the patient to care, and if not? Then what else is there? If people who *know* that the patient needs to take care of themselves can’t get through to them, who can?

Comment by kizell on 2010-07-22 19:50:54 -0700 #

Making something free or really cheap at the expense of someone else is always a bad idea. Income-based housing projects is the perfect example. All these places are dumps b/c of the way they are treated. Make something free and people will abuse it………….make it expensive, and people will appreciate it. My golf clubs and bag cost me about $2000 altogether. I treat them like a child. I know where they are at all times and I clean them after every round. Same goes with my car and so many others.

Comment by Tony on 2010-07-22 19:57:22 -0700 #

Whataya complaining about? This is called “job security” for us. Their bad choices are keeping us employed. I used to be pissed at all the loads on welfare sucking off the “system” until I realized that I actually was one of the people benefiting from their actions. I know it’s our tax dollars they use, but at least WE get some of it back. Kinda like redistrubiting other people’s wealth to us using the broken health care system. Works for me!

Comment by wheresthehead on 2010-07-22 20:19:08 -0700 #

I like what kizell said. The few things I have I treat really well, they were worth the $$ and worth me appreciating them.

Bottom line-people suck, and the ones who don’t-are few and far between.

Comment by TechOnLOA on 2010-07-22 20:48:52 -0700 #

I’ve seen Medicaid patients come to get their scripts while wearing suits that cost more than I make in a month and more bling than I want to think about. And then they complain because they have to pay $.50 for a $100 medicine. Really? Tell it to someone that cares. And I have chronic pain and I do get my pain meds on time and use as prescribed, but I also get the beta blockers that are supposed to prevent my migraines and I’m trying a new SNRI to help with the fibromyalgia. I go to physical therapy to help recover from the back surgery and hopefully prevent any more discs from bulging. And I do it all on insurance through my job. At this point, I probably am to the point to get disability because I can’t be on my feet for more than a couple hours, but if I do get disability, I will try to find a job where I can work those 2 hours a day, because I like being a tech. I like to help those that do help themselves.

Comment by Dr. Grumpy on 2010-07-23 05:00:20 -0700 #

I just document the hell out of it that the patient is non-compliant, that I’ve warned them about death, yadda yadda yadda.

At some point there isn’t much else I can do.

Comment by frodi on 2010-07-23 07:05:48 -0700 #

My father in law use to moan as a tax payer about the waste of medicines that were un-used. I told him “Shut up, it feeds your grand children.” He doesn’t moan about it now.

Comment by CRACKY MCCRACKHEAD on 2010-07-23 08:57:24 -0700 #


Comment by J-bone on 2010-07-23 09:44:13 -0700 #

Amen, brother. I decided 3 years ago that I was just going to ride this money train ’til it fell off the rails. (only been out of school / in retail for 7 years) I’m saving as much as I can each year until the s**t hits the fan. Then I’ll go do something I can actually enjoy. I’ll make far less money, I’m sure, but it will be worth it for the sake of my sanity.

I feel sorry for all the new grads out there with their huge debt and bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, school-implanted ideas about this profession. I wish the best of luck to them, but I just don’t think it’s going to be nearly as bright a future as they thought getting into it. I really hope they can find a way to make a living doing medication therapy management.

The heyday of retail pharmacy is ending soon along with the pharmacist shortage and I’m cashing in my chips. I just don’t care enough anymore to fight the cutbacks, neither reimbursement nor corporational (tech hours).

For those about to smock, I salute you (goodbye) !!!!!

Comment by AndIThoughtIWasAngry on 2010-07-23 09:58:18 -0700 #

I’ve been a doc for over 20 yrs, so I hear your pain. I really do. And, I totally agree with the concept that free stuff is worth to the recipient as much as he paid for it.

We need coinsurance. Pt’s will start asking how much stuff costs, if they really need it and if there’s a cheaper option.

I don’t believe people don’t care about their health because they think they can just get fixed for free. People are stupid, but most aren’t that stupid. Some of it is that people, especially those pre-middle age, think they’re invinsible. You can tell them their obesity, DM, cigs, etc is going to kill them in 20 years. 20 years is too far away. Until they actually start feeling/suffering some consequences, it can be hard to change behavior.

There are studies that show (yes, there are, and no, I’m not looking them up for you) poor areas have lower access to healthy food and more access to cheap, fast food. I think everyone would benefit by making crap food more expensive. I’m not a liberal, or a democrat, but I would like to see taxes on junk food, soda, etc. Increasing taxes on cigs did make use go down (another study I’m not looking up). Add another tax for salt levels above a certain point/percentage and just watch packaged food and fast food companies lower the salt content of what they sell to avoid their consumers forgoing it altogether because it now costs more.

There are always going to be lost causes, people who really don’t give a damn and want everyone else to pay for their mistakes. With taxes and coinsurance, at least the rest of us won’t be paying for them quite as much.

Comment by PillPharmer on 2010-07-23 10:14:35 -0700 #

It’s interesting that instead of legalizing drugs like pot, coke, etc that people could take without straining the healthcare system (i.e. no MD needed if they could be readily attained legally) we make it easy for welfare idiots to take “legal” drugs (i.e. Lortab, Percocet, Oxycontin) if not get them for free and then turn around and sell them for profit. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in a serious way in our country and what do we do about it… keep fueling the fire by getting P/A’s for brand name drugs etc. When these druggies can’t see their MD since it’s a weekend or whatever they go to the ER looking for a quick high. Wouldn’t it be soo much easier for them to just run down the road to the gas station and buy a pack of joints. Just a thought.

Comment by niterph-pacingmyselfsargeant on 2010-07-23 12:56:57 -0700 #

Why help them indeed. Nobody gives a crap about what we do, or what their health condition is, period. After 25 years in pharmacy, I have yet to see ONE patient actually care about/adjust lifestyle/take responsibility for their disease state. I can’t deal with these morons, and I realized it many years ago. The less DNA i see on any given night, the better the night. And as usual, the 2 biggest and pressing inquiries they have about their meds is: how much, and how long until it’s ready?
So I am just “doing time”, being a pharmacist, until my bad house payments are done. I don’t know WHAT I’d do if “miller time” didn’t exist when I got home!

Comment by absinthe on 2010-07-23 15:32:21 -0700 #

AndIThoughtIWasAngry makes a good point. Personal behavior is a hard thing to change without feeling some amount of pain to push you there. I work as a pharmacist in LTC, and see plenty of young people in there d/t DM (mostly), who are still non-compliant, even though they have a nurse administering insulin, etc. To those people I say, hell with ’em. They obviously haven’t suffered enough yet.
But there are still people who need the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and all those who help we ‘professionals’ get our jobs done (a big huzzah to them!); and we still need to be there to give a crap. Every once in a while (I know it’s rare), I still find something that might have made a difference. Think how high school teachers feel. They’ll only know they made a difference 20 years later in 1 kid out of 1000, maybe. Was that 1 kid worth it? Is that 1 in 1000 patient worth it? It’s disheartening trying to help, or try to make a difference, but I still try (no, I’m not just out of school. Been jaded a long time).

Our culture needs to change as a whole. Tax all the crap that’s advertised on kids programming, soda, candy….That might help pay for some of this, but more; it may shift people’s ideas of what is/isn’t food.

Comment by NYIntern on 2010-07-23 20:09:53 -0700 #

AMEN. These people come in all the friggin time: Gold earrings up the ears, coach purses, bluetooth headsets. But they are “poor” on paper. It’s sickening. And they can be the worst complainers too. If their medication won’t be in until tomorrow, it’s going to be “free” anyway!!! Wait and shut the fcuk up!! Oh and while their at it…. wave the $1.00 copay CVS to make matters worse.

Comment by Sibyl on 2010-07-24 00:26:10 -0700 #

You must work in an area with a ton of Medicaid patients or a lot of forgetful old people. 🙂

I’m sure it’s occurred to you before, but people are not especially wonderful about doing things that prevent issues in the distant future like taking their cholesterol medicine. Pain, however, happens immediately after running out of Vicodin. It is a really serious and immediate motivator.

As a previous commenter says, there should be some cost for using taxpayer-funded medical services. It doesn’t have to put people in the poorhouse, but it should cause them to wonder if $25 for an ambulance is really worth it, or if they couldn’t just call a friend and take their kid with the broken finger to the ER themselves. A few bucks for an office visit or a prescription might suddenly make those take on a sense of value. Even the “socialized” countries generally expect a person to make some token contribution to the cost of their own care. Such contributions reduce the rate of abuse rather well, I hear.

Comment by Ariella on 2010-07-24 08:55:18 -0700 #

I am on Medicaid and I take my meds like clockwork because I know I need them to live. And none of them are narcotics (Risperdal, Lamictal, Cogentin, Wellbuterin, trazodone, Klonopin) Because of my husbands job, we pay full price on a studio apartment. I buy our clothes at Value Village where I pick up designer threads for 5 bucks a piece. After years on SSDI, I found a balance of meds that make me feel so much better that I can work, and I am so glad, because I love work! I found a good gig recently, pays 10 an hour with an insurance plan that I can afford. I start Monday, so not all of us are deadbeats.

Comment by niterph-pacingmyselfsargeant on 2010-07-24 12:08:15 -0700 #

On second thought, maybe we (healthcare “professionals”) aren’t doing enough for these people that just don’t take the responsibility to give a crap about their health. Maybe free health care isn’t enough. Maybe short pharmacy wait times aren’t enough. Maybe getting prior authorizations aren’t enough… But wait! Let’s add drive-thru lanes for their convenience, free delivery, 24-hr stores … Nope, still not enough. I know…how about ALL prescriptions should have mandatory delivery (free), accompanied by us getting them a glass of water to swallow their meds, cooking or delivering them a healthy meal, wiping their asses, drawing their bath, tucking them in at night, setting their alarm for the morning . . . . certainly, there is more we can do . . isn’t there, isn’t there?
Just think outside the box, people. I’m sure these additional tasks would increase comp-LIE-ance. They wouldn’t? Oh yeah, you’re right . . they wouldn’t. Oh well, another day, another miller time.

Comment by Hueydoc on 2010-07-26 08:40:36 -0700 #

This is no answer to this madness until the entire system collapses and is rebuilt from scratch. Which is what the government is working damn hard to do. The last 20 years has created a general feeling of entitlement and “McDonald’s drive thru” mentality towards medicine. Ask any doctor who does missionary work why they do it and the answer usually is ” These people not only need my help but actually appreciate it.”
The best thing that happened to me lately was an obnoxious patient who told us that we were gonna be sorry when Obamacare took over and we would have to work for free. I asked him if he had insurance and he said “No. It’s all gonna be free soon”. I then explained to him that under Obamacare, he will be FINED for not purchasing health insurance. The look on his face was truely priceless.

Comment by K-Man on 2010-07-26 16:35:15 -0700 #

To address this situation, one start would be to make it illegal to prescribe inhalers and nebulizers/nebulizer solutions to those who continue to smoke. I can’t tell you how often I see smokers who carry inhalers or must use nebulizers. It should also be made illegal for smokers to possess or use them. Only with harsh measures like this would we make a dent in the problem that TAP discusses here.

Comment by Hope on 2010-07-26 21:21:37 -0700 #

I am a liberal, and a democrat, and I agree with you. Other countries do not have this obsession with not dying that we do, it seems. Just heard how the last two months of life are the costliest, too – we go to ridiculous lengths to save a life that’s nearly over for another 20 days. 20 days of no quality, to boot.

I am not yet 50, I am relatively healthy, and I am DNR. If I choose to take care of my health, cool. If not, it’s MY choice and should not be someone else’s burden.

Comment by Ozzie West on 2010-07-27 06:29:33 -0700 #


The same is true of all Nana State sponsored freebies. Soon, the number of people who are skamming the system is going to exceed the number of people who are willing to work. At some point, us worker bees are going to say, “screw this” and just go fishing, or sailing or for a long bike ride or something and consequently quit paying the exhorbitent taxes that prop up the Nana State house of cards that allow Nancy, George, Barry O, Newt, whoever to play World God/Santy Claus at our expense. There is going to be a spot of trouble when all of us Atlas/Worker Bee types decide that the weight of the world/weight of freeloaders is just too much to bother carrying around and just shrug it off.

What I make with MY LABOR is MINE. These people are just stealing it by force of arms (just because they can elect Nancy) to finance their Santy Claus and other hare brained projects.

The time is coming soon to shrug.


Comment by SDPharmer on 2010-07-27 15:44:59 -0700 #

I think TAP’s point is that the government gravytrain eventually runs out. Look at Greece, look at our OWN government-run healthcare: IHS – they run out of money 5 to 6 months in to the year then rely on the state/medicaid to shoulder the rest of the burden.

Comment by Chris on 2010-07-27 17:46:18 -0700 #

Who cares? They’re all a bunch of scumbags. I could give a shit if any of them take their medications whatsoever. Actually, take the whole Goddamn bottle at once. I LOVE seeing a customer’s obituary in the paper when I read it over breakfast before going to work. One less whiny asshole. Count pills, collect paycheck, go home, spend time with family, drink beer. Repeat.

Comment by GoingDental on 2010-07-28 11:06:52 -0700 #

“Who cares? They’re all a bunch of scumbags. I could give a shit if any of them take their medications whatsoever. Actually, take the whole Goddamn bottle at once. I LOVE seeing a customer’s obituary in the paper when I read it over breakfast before going to work. One less whiny asshole.”

This made me lol. Not much of a contribution on my part because welfare abuse and people not giving a shit because the ER is “free” is not news to me…some people (the ones who insist that welfare abuse is in the minority) need to spend time working in lower income areas.

Keep on preaching TAP. I have yet to disagree with you. On a side note: A rant dedicated to dentists would make my week. I have been working with them for over 10 years and I can’t stand the arrogant pricks.

Comment by Hueydoc on 2010-07-28 19:07:46 -0700 #

At least (yet) Pharmacists don’t have the friggin’ Press-Gainey scores to keep with yet. In the ER, we have government mandated satisfaction surveys handed to all the patients, including crackheads, “fibromyalgia” patients from out of town, Toothaches, “I lost my Vicodin/xanax and soma” crapheads and every welfare quenn and their snotty nosed kid. If we don’t keep our satisfaction scores up, we get fired ! How do you keep a medicaid narcotic seeker happy ? Not me, so I get low scores because I will not give in. Besdies, it’s illegal for a doctor to prescribe narcotics to a known or suspected abuser. It’s illegal for patients to try to obtain narcotics under false pretenses too, but nobody gives a crap about that and the cops won’t do anything- nor will the spineless hospital administrators.
So just think what it’s gonna be like when the government forces you to be nice to these scumbags !

Comment by poTid on 2010-07-29 00:23:45 -0700 #

Yeah ok… shush. Calm down. Put down the pitchforks. Seriously. Would you listen to yourselves? “these people…” Nothing makes you feel taller than stepping on some1’s head. I get it. I do it too and quite often, to be honest. That doesn’t make it right.

You see, it’s the whole “personal responsibility” and “taking care of yourself” bit, people somehow assume it’s the easiest thing to do, like a primitive body function or something. Yeah right. How many of you, good parents, skilled professionals, law-abiding citizens, etc., etc., – how many of you choose to spend your weekend running errands, cleaning your homes, doing yard work, dealing with annoying relatives and so on – instead of taking a break, – time after time, getting stressed out, hating your jobs, feeling miserable while accommodating everyone else’s needs? Now, instead of patting themselves on the back, ask yourselves WHY you are doing it. responsible, mature, yeah yeah, blah blah, my ass. The answer is simple – we’re more than ready to put our needs aside and our hearts on our sleeves because IT’S EASIER.

it’s easier to tend to everyone else except ourselves because other people can be identified with the problem we are trying to help them with. Loved one = problem, neat and simple. Need to PROVIDE for my wife, e.g. “wife = expense”. Need to FEED the children, “children=hunger”. Need to take care of a sick friend/relative – person=illness/pain/suffering. We close on on the “target” and perform our duties. Basically we’re just “following orders”, the only difference is those orders are not being shouted out by some clown in a nazi uniform, but coming from our own inner nazi that we call “conscience” – for our convenience. We dread being faced with our own shit, cua let’s be honest, most of the time our life looks like a grandma’s knitting bin after a bunch of cats had themselves a party. We are complex creatures, human beings, full of quirks and flaws and curiosities and confusion, and sometimes it’s just too frustrating to try and differentiate, to prioritize, to stick our heads into this mess. There’s no “default” setting, not even our own health. Would you really care about your stomachache when your mom has cancer? Will you lay down and take your blood pressure pill when the baby is crying and the older kids will be home from school really soon? Will you make a doctor’s appointment, get a bunch of tests, then fill all your scripts just because your cough just won’t go away? Shit no. There’re more important things to do!

you see, I chose the “responsible adult” theme on purpose. Of course it’s different for those who just don’t give a shit, but we all have to start somewhere. My point being – yes, it’s bad to be an irresponsible ass. You have a duty to take care of yourself. And those who “sacrifice” their health, both emotional and physical, have the same problem as those who think they’re invincible. Just for a different reason. it’s not about that. I just wanted to point out that personal responsibility is not as simple as we think it is.

Comment by theangrypharmacist on 2010-07-29 08:30:07 -0700 #

Wow, defending those without personal responsibility; defending those who wield excuses that pass the blame off of themselves with… more excuses to say that its not their fault!

You are mighty brave indeed posting stuff like that here in the rabid den of pharmacy. I would pray for your soul but i’m sure I can give you some excuses why I cant.

Comment by helping hands rph on 2010-07-29 16:19:06 -0700 #

now thats the type of attitude i like

Comment by helping hands rph on 2010-07-29 16:27:16 -0700 #

there ia a difference in being a angry pharmacist and spreading pure hatred toward fellow man. just a friendly reminder we all must meet our maker one day

Comment by helping hands rph on 2010-07-29 16:31:15 -0700 #


Comment by JustAsAngryTech on 2010-07-30 17:08:07 -0700 #

poTID, you can’t be serious…..

Comment by Hueydoc on 2010-07-31 07:46:05 -0700 #

Wow ! Tell me your name so I can send all these lowlife’s to your pharmacy. I really try to treat all people nicely, but too many of them just push and push….

Comment by niterph-pacingmyselfsargeant on 2010-07-31 09:25:30 -0700 #

Wow indeed. Incredible. Make up as many EXCUSES as you want, but personal responsibility IS as easy as you want it to be. What a crock or crap! It would probably take me something on the order of, oh, 30 seconds in a day to take a pill tid. Would I take something for my stomach ache if my mom had cancer – YES. Would I take my blood pressure pill when the baby is crying – YES. I guess I am not as complex as potid. I am but a simple, yet responsible ADULT, that can weigh the pros and cons of situations, and act accordingly to the benefit of ALL people involved. I would seriously suggest miller time for potid, at least qd, for it is my perfect default setting. Cheers. Clinky-clinky.

Comment by KatyKat on 2010-07-31 11:09:29 -0700 #

You are one of the few and far between, and I commend you on picking up the pieces and continuing to be productive. You make humanity actually feel like there is some kind of hope. I have no problem with people being on assistance when it is truly needed. It sounds as if you have struggled to get to a point where you can work again and that is the point of the system. Please understand that we are not bashing on people like you who have applied themselves to getting back in the game, so to speak. It is the 20-somethings with 5 kids by different men, collect a check for each child, puts them all on Concerta and Vyanese just to get paid that are pissing us off. They drive nicer cars than I do, dress better than I, and are simply playing the system. Once again, congratulations on the time and effort you have put into yourself. You have given me faith in humanity once again. Keep it up!!

Comment by Hueydoc on 2010-08-01 05:00:25 -0700 #

I would hand them a funeral home brochure and tell them to fill it out and go by and pick out a plot and coffin. And make sure their spouse knew which of their close friends was to come by and “comfort” the surviving spouse. Usually worked.

Comment by Hueydoc on 2010-08-01 05:04:13 -0700 #

“Frustration is the inability to slap the crap outta someone who seriously needs it”

Comment by alisha on 2010-08-01 05:28:03 -0700 #

we have tons of pts at our office who have knee and hip problems or injuries that they try to attribute to work. even though they sit at a desk all day. oh and they weigh in excess of 300-400 lbs. ever think its ur bodies way of telling u no more twinkies. god forbid u mention that they may need to shed a few lbs for surgery, b/c the next comment is “i’m gonna get that gastric bypass” which drives up the cost of health insurance, b/c they couldnt stop themselves at the all u can eat buffet. Tired of the excuses and NEVER any personal responsibility.

Comment by Guzzo on 2010-08-02 16:12:33 -0700 #

I’m not seeing a successful lawsuit as long as there’s documented intervention beforehand. You can’t “make” someone care about their own health.

What I see is opportunity for pharmacist MTM. I’d suggest we do what Eric, RPh says, and lobby the legislators to push for reimbursement “pharmacist only” MTM services.

Comment by Ambien Addict No More on 2010-08-07 18:11:25 -0700 #

i’ll give all of you some motivation with this story…

I took Ambien FOR YEARS (10+)… had on my calendar that magical 22.5 days that insurance would let me get my next refill… then one day… some fucking cunt called me out… said she looked at my profile and saw that they were giving me a refill every 23 days or so (and that they shouldn’t with a controlled substance)… Now faced with 10+ days with no Ambien, I swore I’d get that bitch… she completely busted me! How dare she… I am smarter than everyone else… after all I have a masters degree in bioengineering (and hopefully soon a PhD.)…

but after calming down, some inner reflection, and reading posts on sites like this… this fucking cunt was no longer… well… a cunt… she IS AN ANGEL…

No longer am I a “slave” to the calendar and making sure I have enough Ambien… no longer do I have anxiety when I run out… this pharmacist is my savior… I only wish I saw her again to tell her as much… granted Ambien isn’t as much of a problem as the narcotic drugs, but it sure felt like I couldn’t live without it…

So please… hold your ground… act on your feelings and say “NO”… I’m so grateful for the individual that saved me… and for the posts here (and elsewhere) that helped me realize that…

carry on!

Comment by Houndog1 on 2010-08-09 10:46:17 -0700 #

You think this crap is bad??? After dealing with this for 33 years
retail those SOB chain pharmacies won’t hire me. I was fired over an honest timeclock error and now can’t find a job in retail because of age discrimination. They’d rather hire newly-licensed kids over my 33 years of experience (not to mention 500 hrs of continuing ed).

Comment by MVP on 2010-08-10 08:46:15 -0700 #

Or the Medicaid guy at my pharmacy who comes in for his insulin and picks up 3 of the GIANT Snickers bars at the same time. Just brilliant…

Comment by Shannon on 2010-08-21 06:47:41 -0700 #

I’ve always said that people, (or at least the ones on Medicaid) should have to pass an IQ test if they want to avoid mandatory sterilization. Can you imagine how many problems that would solve!?

Comment by TheSuitsCanSuckIt on 2010-08-27 20:26:51 -0700 #

I work in a big retail chain and I really do think people ARE that stupid. In fact I am amazed on a daily basis how people so stupid can even put on their shoes. Though sometimes they don’t even do that. We have a LARGE amount of “patients” on state. They know NOTHING , can barely spell , or remember their own birthday, but they do know one thing..”I don’t pay” or “I get everything for free”. The entitlement issues of these people are fascinating. They think everyone they come across is part of the big machine that makes it easy for them to be lazy, uneducated, foul smelling, drug addicted, mind numbingly ignorant leeches on society. I am not sure how the whole “system” works or how they decide who is eligible for state/governnment assistance, but I am quite sure it helps alot of you are completely useless, smell like a port-potty filled with gin, have track marks on your neck, 8 bastard children and just act like a complete douchenozzle. Oh yeah and if you deal drugs “under the table” that really gets you to the top of the list. Yeah, so maybe some will think I am mean, but I don’t care and anyone who does not have to deal with these assholes on a daily basis has ZERO room to talk. If you are one of these assholes..GET A FUCKING JOB or off yourself, you are not needed on this planet.
See what working in a pharmacy has done to me….I used to be nice and like human beings…LOL

Comment by Larry on 2010-08-28 12:36:12 -0700 #

Hi all. I started working in retail as a cashier in a Genovese in 1986, my senior year in high school. After 5 years as a student/intern followed by the better part of the next 17 years as a retail pharmacist I WAS DONE!!!!! Could not take the people anymore. Either I had to get out or I was going to have a fucking heart attack. I work in long-term care now. I have a cubicle. I work 8 hour days. I eat lunch. I have other pharmacists working with me so I am not the be-all-end-all. Not an extremely clinical job, just processing a lot of orders for nursing home residents. Bottom line is that for the first time in my adult life I go to work like a human being. I also do consulting to nursing homes a few days a month as well. I have a BS, no PharmD or certifications. Remember, there are other options for a pharmacist other than being shit on by morons 12 hours a day.

Comment by KaraRN on 2010-09-15 22:20:29 -0700 #

As an inpatient nurse, I don’t get why any healthcare worker would get upset about these people. It could be much worse–you could BE one of them. I see these people ALL THE TIME, in the ICU, after they have a massive MI, CVA, LE amputations, renal failure, end-stage heart failure, you name it. Sometimes they get mad because we won’t “fix” them, which makes me laugh. Everybody warned you, dumba$$, in some cases for years. Too bad, so sad, you die now, in a crappy way and at a young age. As a HCW, I do what I can to reach these people, document it thoroughly, and then not worry about it. Why the hell would I endanger my OWN health freaking out about what other people do or don’t do?

Comment by obdurate on 2010-10-16 21:28:17 -0700 #

Perhaps the reason the poor have better access to fast food rather than healthy food is because that’s what they prefer to buy–say hello to the principle of supply and demand. I assure you that when people demand to buy healthy food, someone will step up to sell it to them.

Comment by GINA on 2010-10-17 08:06:04 -0700 #

I happen to work at a pharmacy helpdesk. I happen to know that 90% of pharmacists are brainless. They call and about the dumbest things. I had one call me about a $.42 copay. I told her to fork over the cash herself, and quit wasting my time. Idiots. Don’t even get me started on how many irate customers call in because the pharmacist can’t do “THEIR” JOBS. GET WITH IT. ALL YOU ARE IS A PILL DESPENSER! QUIT FEELING SO ENTITLED! YOU ARE USELESS.

Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 13:17:48 -0700 #

Ariella has an excellent point, you ALL have referred to Medicaid users as losers, who could give 2 shits about their health, bitch about co-pays, wear their 14k gold jewerly have nice new cars. I have heard so much of that from blogs such as yours TAP. I know keyword “Angry” I am sure most of it comes from the wonderful seekers, and people who expect you to have psychic abilities and who bitch about their copays. Ariella your lucky, in my state unless your severely disabled you don’t get shit. I think that’s the way it should be, ONLT KIDS should be allowed to be on medicaid!! But to my point not all people who have government benefits are drugie losers. Ariella congrats on your job!! I know from experience how good it feels to get offf govt assistance

Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 13:31:06 -0700 #

I don’t think it would make any dent in smoking or anything else, people will just die a lot quicker and earlier. How about people who’s lungs are damaged from 2nd hand smoke? OR how about smokers who claims their lungs are damaged from 2nd hand smoke. Isn’t that illegal to deny someone with a condition access to life saving meds? How about those with AIDS? How about taking their meds that save their lives away because they shared needles or screwed someone who had that disease (HIV) I am diabetic, at first I was non-compliant, I have changed alot I am now 100% compliant. Its one thing if they kill themselves because of non-complaince but murder if their denied life saving meds…. I doubt that it will ever be illegal to prescribe life saving meds to non-compliant people. Thats about the dumbest thing I have ever read, Boo if you want, but its true

Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 13:35:11 -0700 #


Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 13:49:00 -0700 #

Is that why you MD’s are so damn bitter and in some cases down right assholes? Let me give you an example of something that happened to someone recently. They have chronic migraines, they have a regular GP that cares for them and gives the meds and recently moved 700 miles from home where they had an established neuro and a diagnosis of a small clot in the brain that sometimes causes the severe acute migraines that can’t be gotten rid of no matter what they take.They go to the ER after suffering all day. Their triaged and truthful, they do take narcotics, and some strong ones for just this type of pain and those did not work. They don’t have any allergies except ibuprofin messes their stomach up bad and antinausents (w/e) make them extremely anxious if given IV. The nurses are wonderful and the doctor comes in fairly nice, gives the person regulan and benedryl and toradol. Doesn’t do a dam thing. Doc gets rude and with attitude says well what works? The person didn’t pull no punches, didn’t say “its that stuff that begins with a D” didn’t play dumb, but told him “Dilaudid”, this person said but I am not asking you for that just try something that will work!!! As she was trying to help the doc come up with different ideas he turns his back and walks out. She gets Dilaudid IV and discharged in 5 minutes. Did I mention she had neck stiffness and the doctor knew this but did no exam.
Is this what it has come to? Doctors thinking everyone is a seeker, I thought it was assumed you were really truely sick until they could find out otherwise. She was truthful, kind, tried to work with the doctors, never once asked for any narcs to go home and had no intentions too. Any explainations for this behavior? And yes she called and complained. Yes the doctor was “Diciplined” Now she is scared to get emergency help because of that one experience. How sad is that??????

Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 13:58:35 -0700 #

Just a question I know some insurances only cover a few a month (mine covered 8 per month) if your ins company busted you were u getting the entire 30 or were you getting a 22 per month limit, and the ins let it slide by?
You dont have to answer I am just curious

Comment by Mis on 2010-10-19 14:02:56 -0700 #

Regardless of whether or not they didn’t care for themselves, I see no humor in people not wanting to die, you need to get the hell out of healthcare!!!

Comment by Km on 2010-10-26 01:18:15 -0700 #

I am a fat woman. I eat lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains. I do not eat white flour of any kind, ever. I don’t eat processed sugar. (I use a natural sweetener called stevia, if I need it) I don’t EVER eat fast food. (When did you eat YOUR last cheeseburger?) I don’t eat fried food. I don’t eat anything that comes from a box or can. I cook healthy food at home, and eat appropriate portion sizes. I exercise daily. I have normal cholesterol, normal blood sugar levels, normal blood pressure, and a healthy heart. I work with children, and I can easily play and run with them for hours, and I often do. Nobody who looks at me would assume that I am this healthy, but I am. I’m not on any medication, because I did all the stuff my doctor told me to do, including quit smoking (3 years ago), eat better, and exercise. Not all fat people are on public assistance. Not all fat people are worthless slobs, who don’t take care of themselves. You are making some broad generalizations, and they are offensive to healthy fat people like me, and offensive to the people on public assistance who are working hard to get their lives back in order. I have a close friend who is on public assistance because she got very ill. She has spent all her time since then working to get better, and she is now actively job hunting, and going on interviews. I’m sorry that you are seeing people who clearly don’t care about themselves at work, but don’t base your assumptions about everyone on that small population.

Comment by Michael on 2010-10-27 00:56:24 -0700 #

When you’ve got to really cut the budget until it bleeds, food is one of the easiest expenses to control. I used to spend $250 a week on groceries to feed my family, and now I have a budget of $300 a month.

That $700 I no longer have was the money that was going to pay for good nutrition. We eat a lot of crap now, because it’s cheap. Really, really cheap.

Comment by NotSoAngryStudentPharmacist on 2010-11-03 21:14:05 -0700 #

Haha.. sorry guys, but I find you quite funny. The irony surrounding your complaining is thick. I can’t figure out why you’re ranting, because if you cared about the patients, you wouldn’t talk so bad about them, but if you didn’t care about the patients, well then you just wouldn’t care… so you wouldn’t rant about them. The only conclusion I can draw from your ranting is that you’re stuck somewhere between caring and not caring, and you don’t know which side to land on. Either that or these aren’t your true feelings coming out, and you’re only ranting because you feel you somehow stand something to gain from it.

At any rate, I am a firm believer that people only do things because they believe it’s the right thing to do. If they’re abusing the system, it’s because for one reason or another, they feel it’s the right thing to do. Maybe they don’t think they could make it through another day without that pill, or that money. Regardless of whether it’s really “right” or “wrong,” (and the definitions of right and wrong are, themselves, debatable) we’re still all just complex organisms trying to make it the best way we know how. Be thankful that the randomness of the universe blessed you with a strong and rational mind and not the mind of a crackhead or idiot (your words). I think that, in the end, as annoying as their lives may be to you, they’re getting the shittier end of the deal.


…are you fretting about lost causes? Just let them go — they’re called lost causes for a reason.

…are you fretting about wastes of time at work? You work the same amount of hours and get roughly the same pay either way. Maybe buy a headset for when you’re on hold.

…are you fretting about angry patients? They only have as much power to affect you as you allow them to have… just stop giving them that power. Pretend they’re all being polite, because their attitudes don’t really matter in the end — your day still concludes with a lovely drive listening to lovely music in a lovely car on the way to a lovely house with a lovely spouse and a lovely pet mouse… or dog.

Does it not? If not… maybe that’s the problem.

Comment by Mike Prymowicz FUCKIN RPh on 2010-11-06 12:42:10 -0700 #

Right on brother! You can also get EXTRA online pay cash, but make up the diff when you sell ’em later.

Comment by MJ on 2010-11-10 16:29:54 -0800 #

Hate to break it down in such easy terms but, the greasier the food the better it is for me. I really don’t care about my kids or my own well being so keep paying for my housing, a/c, cozy 85 degree heat during the winter, my food, daycare so i can drop my kids off and go shopping, the disability check — cause oh did I tell you I fell at work cause I spilled—I mean there was water on the ground. Still waiting on that settlement. Until then thanks I live comfortably. Oh and thanks for taking care of my insurance bill.

Comment by MJ on 2010-11-10 16:36:26 -0800 #

What you’re missing is the point. They rant because they do care but really have no way to change the system. It effects them and their lovely drive home because they have to go back and deal with the same people day after day. They go home crack a can of beer and lament on the horrible things they hear and see. Does it make sense that they just paid you a dollar for a script and then go to the front to get a carton of cigarettes or beer and literally pay with a benji? Or pull to the drive thru in a vehicle much more cushy than the pharmacist’s? I wish you luck in whatever industry you choose but sooner or later I hope you take off your rosy colored glasses..cause actually its pretty bleak out here.

Comment by `Patti C on 2010-11-27 21:45:25 -0800 #

The ADA dropped its restriction on sugar in 1994. I assume you are a pharmacist, but you are not up to date on diabetes control? The peanuts in a Snickers provide protein.

Cane sugar does not raise blood sugar more than any other carbohydrate, and is actually a medium glycemic food. But Snickers bars also have other ingredients.

How do you know how long it takes him to eat a Snickers bar?

The Food Police can kiss my fat royal pale rump. I have to type a 2 word, horrid Captcha, just to get this posted.

Comment by Disgusted Pharmacist on 2010-12-02 22:36:56 -0800 #

Larry–get me a job where you work—-PLEASE!!!!

Comment by Disgusted Pharmacist on 2010-12-02 22:39:02 -0800 #

FUCK You–ASSHOLE–your the one who’s brainless!

Comment by ElkThuringer Pharm.D on 2011-01-20 15:06:52 -0800 #

Thats awesome, but why would we need to set an alarm for them. Its not like they have any obligations the next morning!

Comment by jennCPhT on 2011-01-28 20:03:15 -0800 #

Congratulations on getting a job at the helpdesk and actually knowing the english language. I doubt it’s the pharmacists calling you anyway. It’s the techs that have to call you and give you the exact same information that we had just finished punching into the phone just to reach you in the first place only for you to tell us that you can’t help us. Oh, and most of the time we have to call you about copays because the asshole on the other side of the counter refuses to pay it because they decided not to pay attention to their mail and didn’t know that their copays were going up. And while we’re trying to reach a qualified person to answer our question we are trying to type in another rx so that some other asshole doesn’t end up bitching because they’ve waited 21 minutes when the person at the drop off told them it would only be 20 and they need their VIKES now because their ride is waiting. Oh and the other 2 people standing there staring at you waiting for you to rebill their rx because they just know it’s supposed to be covered. So if you knew anything about working in pharmacy you’d be working in one and not sitting answering a phone following a flow chart to answer our “brainless” calls.

Comment by Labrat on 2012-04-12 20:50:58 -0700 #

TAP, I usually agree with your rants, but I detect you might be too critical about overweight patients. I don’t think that a patient’s being overweight is an intential disregard for their health, but a sad commentary about the new “normal” which is a sedentary lifestyle and preferred food choices that are tasty and cheap.

The Angry Pharmacist
The Angry Pharmacist
Started this site in 2005 out of frustration that pharmacy school does not prepare you for dealing with the ungrateful unwashed public. Was hugely popular until life called and I had to take a break. Now I try to provide low brow potty humor that applies to the pharmacy population at large. Except you clinical fucks, go play doctor with your white coats and snobby attitude.