Tuesday, February 17, 2009

pharmacy blues

I've got to admit, before I came to NYC, I was military and therefore never really had to use a civilian pharmacy. In that "before life" I usually went to the pharmacy area and pushed a button for "in uniform" patients, which got my prescription to me faster than, say, the retirees.

So there was bound to be some adjustments.

We use Duane Reade for our pharmaceutical needs, but it's not because we particularly like Duane Reade for that purpose. In fact, our experiences with them have been...inconsistent and at times unpleasant.

For example: This weekend we got the prescriptions we needed for Thor, our cat who we just found out is a diabetic. (It was so cool that you can take a cat's prescription to the Duane Reade.) Since we were headed there any how, I called in my folic acid prescription. We made sure to show up well after when the folic acid would be ready.

I have rarely found a Duane Reade with a competent staff behind the pharmacy counter (the one near my office might be the exception). The lady at the register was dubious as to the cat's prescription, and couldn't find my folic acid refill. She told me to have a seat and it would be ready in 20 minutes. There was a long line, so when my name was called, I had to get into line and wait another fifteen minutes or so.

When I got to the counter, I told the lady at the register that I would need a One Touch monitor. I then had to play a "you're getting warmer" game to direct her to where the monitors where. She gave me Thor's prescriptions, but not mine. I asked her where mine was, and she called back to the pharmacist, who was busy behind the counter. The pharmacist said it wasn't there.
I looked at my dialed numbers and said, is this your number? and read the number I'd called. Yes, she said, but somehow the prescription had been filled at another Duane Reade (the one I use near work) and they're closed by now and we can't transfer it here because of insurance... she said all of this in a tone that implied that I had somehow failed in my end of the deal.

E made sure she changed that tone. I love how he can go from husband to lawyer in .5 seconds. She offered to give me a few pills until I could get to the other Duane Reade. At that point, I just wanted to go.

So now I have to make sure some time during the day I get to the Duane Reade by my office. I hope they actually do have the prescription. Plus,I have to get some test strip things cause the One Touch monitor I got for Thor didn't come with test strips (that was more my fault that the people at Duane Reade- I asked for the cheapest one, and that's what they gave me).

I wonder, is this...this...apathy, this incompetence something that all civilians have to put up with? Or is it a part of city life (these pharmasists have a greater number of people they're servicing, so maybe they're overwhelemed in ways suburbian pharmasists arent)?

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