Unfiltered Story #119557

| Unfiltered | September 6, 2018

Background: I work as a pharmacy technician for a well-known chain. When we have sick children (specifically, 10 years and younger) we put antibiotics in a powdered form, and then reconstitute them (add water) when they’re picked up. The pharmacist will usually write “mix” directly on the label, so that the prescriptions are put next to the sink we use for reconstituting. This particular incident happened with a mother picking up her child’s medicine in the drive-thru, and was handled by a co-worker, not myself.

Co-worker: Hi, welcome to [company], how can I help?

Customer (hands her an empty prescription bag with label): Hi, I came to pick up my daughter’s prescription earler, and I didn’t receive it in here

(Note: Mixes can only done by the pharmacist, so to speed up the process, a tech might ring out the sale, and have the customer wait for the mix to the side. Occasionally, a customer will leave without the mix, so we usually store them in the fridge until they come back to pick them up)

Co-worker: I do apologize ma’am, what is your daughter’s name and DOB?

(The customer gives this to her, and she checks the fridge. There’s no mixes, so she double checks the computer to make sure that it was done.)

Co-worker: Ma’am, it says that you picked up this prescription yesterday. Did you maybe misplace it at home?

Customer: no, I didn’t misplace it, I couldn’t mix it.

Co-worker (confused): couldn’t mix it?

Customer: yeah, there wasn’t any mix in the prescription, just the liquid in the bottles, so I threw them out.

(at this point, I’m face palming off to the side where the customer can’t see, and my co-worker is doing everything possible not to herself)

Co-worker: Ma’am, the note “mix” is for the PHARMACIST to mix the medication, not you. You’re only supposed to measure out the liquid and give it to her

Customer (annoyed): well how was I supposed to know that? It said “MIX” right on the label!

(Note: The directions are printed clearly on both the label, AND on each individual bottle, so she would have to ignore at least 2 sets of instructions and only reading a penciled in writing without any specific instructions)

Co-worker: I’m sorry ma’am for the confusion

Customer: Can’t you just give me another bottle of medicine? She’s very sick.

Co-worker: Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The insurance company has already paid for one set of medication this month, they won’t be able to cover another one done so soon after the first.

(The customer at this point is irate, and demands to speak to the pharmacist. The pharmacist re-explains everything my co-worker just told her, but suggests she gets an exception for a lost medication from the insurance company to avoid having to pay out-of-pocket. This takes about 2 hours, the pharmacist this time does not write “mix” anywhere on the prescription, and we put a note in her daughter’s profile NOT to write “mix” on any reconstitutions. As far as I know, this hasn’t happened since)