Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Case of the Walking Condoms

Apparently businessmen are more horny than university students

I work in a CBD pharmacy and my clients are mainly suits and corporate people. Yesterday, I received an MPSO* from the medical centre next door for "variety of condoms." Feeling generous, I gave them a mixture of Durex Confidence and Durex Select (oh yes, NZ government fully funds flavoured condoms!).

It turns out, they just put them in the toilet and let patients help themselves. End result? Some wishful-thinking businessman took the whole 144 condoms before midday today. Seriously, I've seen free condoms last longer at student health when I was in varsity.

*Medical Practitioner Supply Order is essentially a prescription from a GP clinic that allows the pharmacy to provide the clinic with some basic essential drugs, flavoured condoms included.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Finishing your Antibiotics

Instead of *all* white pills, perhaps majority white + some blue pills is the way to go?

Most people are aware of the dangers of not finishing their course of antibiotics. These dangers, however, are not at all immediately felt nor does it pose any direct threat to the actual individual (in most cases). The lack of incentive is overwhelming and I know even I, did not finish my 5 day course of Amoxycillin (tsk tsk).

This issue popped into my head today as I inadvertently came across Rory Sutherland's video on human perspective. If you are on a quick lunch break and just want a gist of it then skip to 10:55 of the video although I highly recommend you to view the whole thing as it delivers a much more powerful message when viewed within context.

He basically proposed that instead of giving 24 white tablets, provide patients with 18 white tablets and 6 blue tablets instead. You then tell the patients to take the white tablets first and then the blue ones. His theory being that if there is a perceived "milestone" then people are more likely to reach the end.

I am quite fond of this suggestion, and had I been an authoritarian ruler, I'd make this happen tomorrow. Alas, we live in a democracy (some would argue quasi-democracy), where things grind along at the same pace as Lonesome George (the rare Galapagos tortoise). Perhaps, George's demise (which only just happened yesterday!) is a warning that we need to be approaching matters from a different perspective.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

I am a Homeopath

The most amusing interactions in pharmacies are ironic ones:

Customer: Hi! Can I get some Phenergan 25mg tablets please

Me: Sure, it's a pharmacist-only medicine so I'll just need to ask you a few questions.

Customer: You don't need to do that, I am a homeopath*

Me: Oh that's excellent! Let me just go dilute that for you so it conforms with your pseudo-scientific hocus pocus.

Disclaimer: Not all of the above interaction took place, but that goes without saying.

*Homeopaths believe that by diluting a substance to the point of it being just water, it will enhance the substance's effect. For example, a standard 30C homeopathic dilution is tantamount to putting 1ml (around 12 drops) of active substance in a sphere of water that has a diameter of about 131.1 light years in length.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Soliloquy of a Pill Counter

You came in on a busy Friday afternoon to hand in a prescription for Cialis. The way you handed over the prescription to the nice shop girl is akin to you chucking ten cents to the local beggar on Courtenay Place.

The first words out of your mouth weren't "Hi, how are you?" or "Is it possible to fill this script?". It was "I expect to only pay $25* a tablet and that's what I am paying". And with that, you have established that you are very good at blowing smoke up your own behind.

You reminded me of the middle-aged white man that went into a Chinese restaurant (coincidentally also on Courtenay Place) to order a heavily marinated meat dish. Like those annoying people who order quarter strength soy milk decafe at your local barista, he proceeded with the belligerent "don't you dare add any MSG." When the clerk tried to tell him that the meat are all pre-marinated (hinting that he should perhaps order another dish), the subtlety flew pass him like a fat guy bypassing the fruit & vege section in the supermarket. So he said "did you get my order? Yes? Then why are you still talking?"

We took in your prescription, and finished it in ten minutes. Interestingly, you managed to substitute "Thank you, here's my money" with "What took so long?". It took every ounce of me not to say "I do apologise for our droopy performances, I am sure you can understand". But that double entendre would fly past you just like the fact that there were already two people waiting in the shop before you came in hence explaining the non-instant service that you were accustomed to.

After you left, the little boy in the shop asked his dad: "Why didn't the pharmacist say anything back to that asshole?"

Dad: "Because he can't, he's a professional"

Boy: "But he was so nice to him, why can't he just give that guy a taste of his own medicine?"

Dad: "Because he's the hero that the people deserves, but not the one they need right now. So he'll continue to be professional, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian of our pills. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight."

*Equivalent of $20USD

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I never had any problems with my blood pressure

This guys comes in asking whether the meds he's taking is compatible with what he wants to take over the counter. I kid you not, this is the following exchange:

Me: "### might interfere with your blood pressure but given the fact......"

Him: "I never had any problems with my blood pressure. I am on Metoprolol and Cilazapril and had a stent in but I never had any problems with my blood pressure."