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What is the biggest issue you face when dealing with pharmacies?
Is there anything you would like to know more about?
Please leave your responses in the comments below, contact me here or email me at [email protected].
As someone who has been on both sides of the pharmacy counter, I know how frustrating it can be both as a patient and as an employee. I’ve seen a lot of misunderstandings from the patient perspective, but I have also seen a lack of communication from the pharmacy side. I’d like to explore the subject further and gather some more thoughts. This will hopefully start a constructive conversation on the matter while providing some perspective on dealing with pharmacies.
I’d really like to start bringing my professional background into my posts more. I feel a tad specialized and uniquely qualified when it comes to chronic pain and illnesses. For reference, my background is in forensic biotechnology, genetic research, pharmacy, and health insurance (specifically drug products).
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Thanks for taking the time and please share this so that I can get as many responses as possible.
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April 12, 2021 at 10:54 am
It’s great to hear your perspective having been on both sides of the counter. In the US the biggest problem is that pharmacists now have more power than doctors. They can ignore any medication you’re prescribed just because they’re “uncomfortable” filling it. Is this an issue in Canada?
April 10, 2021 at 8:23 am
This is a great idea! I think you’re very well placed on this one to bring in your professional experiences as you say, because you’ve been on both sides of the pharmacy counter. My mum used to work in a pharmacy when she was younger as an assistant actually. With all the things I’ve learned over the years with chronic illness, I know far more about different medications and products now than ever before and I do quite like the idea of training to become a Pharmacist, even though my health wouldn’t make it through those years of training.
In the UK, we’re told to use pharmacists to ask questions. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that it’s been rather pointless. Questions specific to prescriptions and medications, great. Questions over health issues and they just advise you see the doctor. It would be good if there were greater communications between the two, or a clearer divide perhaps. It’s different the world over though.
I’ve had one lovely lady at my local pharmacy. Then I’ve had a really mean older woman, and the other staff in there noticed she was being rude to me every time I went in so they ended up having a word to her. I’ve only ever been polite so I’m not sure why she’s like that, but perhaps it’s just her. I suppose my question would be around what to do if you’re not happy with the service in a pharmacy. I had this meanie woman shout across the shop: “your stoma things are here! Why are they here? We have, let’s see, stoma bags and stoma pants, we don’t usually get them delivered here”. I was so, so humiliated. The delivery people had made a mistake and apologised to me, but the chemist should have refused the order. The assistant in the chemist had no filter – there’s no privacy or anything with her, and I get quite shy sometimes so I stood there mortified, then left and had a little cry on the way home! I felt like I’d been told off for something that was nothing to do with me, and then everyone else in there suddenly knows my business.
I don’t imagine this applies to chemist staff (which is a shame in this case!), but do pharmacists have bodies that hold them accountable, so that a member of the public could complain to them if they’ve had poor treatment, noticed dangerous incidents or have some other kinds of safety concerns?