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Monday, October 25, 2010


  My last post was about my getting robbed at my store. Apparently, Opana ER is the new Oxycontin out on the streets. I thought I was up-to-date on that stuff but this one slipped by me. I guess because I refuse to stock Oxycontin, I was unaware of the change over to a new marking on the tablets that make them not as valuable on the streets. Its just too bad that Opana has to have such a unique shape. There are times when I wish all drugs were "round, white pills". Other times I don't. Like when patients don't know the names of their drugs or why they take them.
  Anyway, you would not believe the grief I'm getting for how I handled the robbery. Everyone has an opinion about what I should have done. It ranges from knocking the guy over the head with something to refusing to hand over the goods to telling him that I didn't have what he was asking for. I had one person say that the pharmacists are the problem and that if we didn't give up the drugs so easily there wouldn't be so much junk on the streets. All I have to say to that person is that the next time someone robs me I'll give the robber their address and tell him they have plenty of what he wants! I'm really! Why in God's name would I risk my life for an inanimate object? I hope I'm worth more to this world alive than the drug is with me dead. And what exactly was I supposed to hit this guy over the head with? My spatula perhaps? Telling a lie about what I have in stock isn't real brilliant either considering the doors to my "safe" are glass and all the guy had to do is look for himself.
  Luckily, my company says I handled it by the book. In fact they say I could write a training program on how to handle robberies. So, for once they're on my side.


pharmacy chick said...

there is nothing...NOTHING in your store that is worth dying over, so refusing to hand it over, trying to bop him over the head or lying isnt worth it. one day all pharmacies, not just uber urban ones will be like banks, behind bullet proof glass and not so "available

Anonymous said...

First and FOREMOST, I am glad your okay and that you were able to get the knife/shooter out of the store with nobody being injured; great work.

However, I am taken back about the fact that you refuse to stock certain medication. If all Pharmacists took that attitude, how would people that really the RX obtain their medication.

This may come out sounding naive but how is refusing to stock/fill oxycontin any different than refusing to stock/fill BC? I know it's illegal not to dispense/sell BC, right? Please explain.

I am so tired of hearing/reading about people complaining about the drug seekers, and early refills, and this and that. I am a patient that is in need of pain medication and to be judged ALL.THE.TIME by people who are supposed to "care" gets old. If I was as judgemental as so many RPH's in my former profession (too ill too work now) I certainly would not have a job.

Why doesn't anyone stick up for the people who play by the rules? It's always the bad and the negative?

All I know is I am so thankful that the ONLY pharmacy I use has the BEST RPH's around; caring, efficient, and kind. They are amazing. Maybe that's because I don't cause them aggravation? Maybe they treat everyone kindly?

Again, I am glad you were not injured.

Good luck,

Just another patient!

lovinmyjob said...

First of all, I have a responsibility to the patients and staff of my pharmacy. No, it is not illegal to refuse to stock a medication or to refuse to dispense a medication. Where did that idea come from? We, as the license holder, always have a choice whether or not to fill an rx. Its the same reason we can refuse to fill a narcotic early. Our professional judgement may be that it is too dangerous to stock a medication. That is the situation I am facing. My store is located in a very vulnerable area, therefore I have to make choices that can affect the safety of my people. I always know where the patient can go to receive the medication that they need. For example, our other store in town is less vulnerable and they are able to stock the Oxycontin. I am not judging anyone! I am myself a chronic pain patient so I think I know what its like to be judged! In fact, I do believe that Anonymous was judging me in the comment left. We need to remember that as pharmacists we are not robots. We can make choices and as I said in my last post: WE ARE IN CONTROL! Its not a power thing, its a professional thing. Thank you pharmacy chick for the words of encouragment. The funny thing is that I live in a very small town and still have to make these kinds of decisions.

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

I think the dilemma that we face as pharmacy staff members is the fact that we want to be open and accessible and available to patients and customers for their questions and needs but at the same time that accessibility makes us personally vulerable to become targets and even victims of crime and violence.
We live in a world that is becoming more dangerous and more violent. People are also increasingly desperate durring these tough economic times. And we also have a seemingly endless war on drugs creating generations of addicted individuals who don't want or plan to be violent or even commit crimes but who find themselves so desperate to feed their addiction they put themselves into those situations.
I've talked about safety issues on my blog several times because it does hit home with me personally. I worked at a store years ago that was robbed at gunpoint just before closing and let me tell you that having a gun pointed at you when you are unarmed is not a fun feeling.
I think as a profession we must collectively take a hard and honest look at workplace safety and ask ourselves the very difficult question of whether or not we are doing everything we can to protect employees and customers from harm at the average retail pharmacy. But there is only so much you can do with an open pharmacy and money and drugs there to entice the bad guys!
If not carrying certain target drugs is an answer then I think any individual pharmacy should have the right to make that choice. And any pharmacist or manager should have the right to make any choice they deem appropriate to ensure the safety of themselves and their coworkers. And conventional wisdom will tell you that the drugs are insured for loss like robbery so just give the criminals what they want and don't risk your own life to safe merchandise no matter how valuable it might be!