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Better Know a Pharmacist
October 19, 2006
I’ve recently been intrigued with all of the new gadgets and advancements available for treating diabetes, but there seems to be a little something that’s been left out. Now we’ve got needles, pumps, pills, prickers, inhalers, and the like, but is there anything we’re missing? Why, yes, I think so. Last week, I went to the pharmacist to renew my prescription of insulin glargine (brand name Lantus) and this time, instead of stating the norm, I decided to spice it up and requested my insulin in “rock” form.
You should have seen the look on his face. “Rock form?”
“Yes,” I said. “You haven’t heard about the latest developments in insulin therapy. Patients are tired of the day-in and day-out monotony of sticking themselves, reloading cartridges, and inhaling. It’s time to let us smoke up rather than shoot up. Let us addicts finally look like addicts!” I said, and then held up my own little custom glass pipe.
The beauty of it all was that for a moment—and I mean only a moment—the possibility seemed to exist. The look on the pharmacist’s face suggested that there was a chance that this pharmacy was behind the times and not getting on board with the latest diabetes advancements. Was there a smokable insulin rock that they didn’t know about? Were they supposed to provide the pipe as well?
That moment in itself leads me to my next question. How well do you know your pharmacist? Obviously, I do not know mine very well, and it seems like every time I’m at the pharmacy a new person refills my prescription. It’s always a very professional interaction. I use my formal name, “Warren,” and there’s usually a line of folks in front of and behind me. I guess this is the norm for folks in a heavy populated area, but making the interaction personal something I’d like to be better at and for pharmacies to be better at, because there’s no doubt that I’m going to be a regular customer.
There have been times that I’ve been in the pharmacy and ordered some new needles or insulin only to be told my prescription had run out. Thankfully, those weren’t emergencies because I try to stay ahead with my supplies, but I always wonder, “What if?” I did have a moment once where I was away for work and I dropped a bottle of Lantus and had to get the prescription filled in a different city. While it was a bit of a hassle, it only took a couple of hours. But I’ve also had problems getting needle prescriptions transferred from one branch to another within the same pharmacy chain. Even if it was in their records, if a needle prescription was not called in to that specific pharmacy, they would not refill it. Which, once again, cost me a couple of hours.
Where’s Wilford Brimley when I need him to tell me to get my supplies by mail? Does anyone out there do that? I’d love to know the efficiency of and the requirements for mail-order supplies. It seems like it would be a lot easier to not have to deal with the pharmacists if I could avoid it. Unless, of course, I get to know them or they get to know me.
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