Not Getting A Good Drug Deal

, , | Healthy | December 21, 2017

(I am working as a receptionist in a GP surgery. As part of my job, I have to take orders for and print out repeat prescriptions, as well as note down any special requests to pass on to the doctors. Patients are aware of this and will often try to bypass the 48-hour wait time between ordering and collection by asking me to “just print it,” apparently unaware that I need a doctor to sign it first. On this day, a late-30ish man approaches my desk:)

Patient: “Hi, I need a prescription for [opiate].”

Me: “You usually need a doctor’s appointment for that; do you want me to book you in in two day’s time?”

Patient: “No, I’ve run out. It should be on as a repeat prescription.”

(I’m suspicious, because this drug rarely if ever is put on repeat. Nevertheless, I check his file. Not only is it not down on his repeats, but there is a pop-up note saying DO NOT SUPPLY THIS PATIENT WITH [OPIATE] DUE TO HISTORY OF ABUSE.)

Me: *trying to be tactful* “Well, sir, it looks like the doctor has taken you off of this medication. If you like, I can give you a phone appointment this afternoon?

Patient: *suddenly aggressive* “DO YOU WANT ME TO SUFFER? IS THAT IT?”

Me: “No, sir. I simply can’t give you the prescription without a doctor’s approval.”

Patient: “PRINT IT OUT!”

Me: *refusing to show that I’m feeling intimidated* “I can’t. And even if I could, I’d need a doctor to sign it for me, and they’re all in with patients.”

Patient: “Well, you’d better f****** interrupt one, shouldn’t you, you stupid little b****?”

Me: “No doctor is going to sign this prescription right now. I’m asking you once to stop using abusive language and allow me to try to help, or I will have to ask you to leave.”

Patient: “Well then, you f****** sign it!”

Me: “I’m not a doctor.”

Patient: “Just sign it!”

Me: “You’re asking me to break the law and put my signature to your prescription.”

Patient: “Yes.”

Me: “You want me to put my name to a prescription which, if caught, will land me in jail, cause legal trouble to the doctors here, and probably not even get you the medicine you want?”

Patient: “I NEED MY [OPIATE]!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that. Either take one of the appointments I’ve offered you, or leave.”

Patient: “WELL, MAYBE I’LL F****** MAKE YOU DO IT!”

(Thankful for the plastic barrier between us, I pressed the security button, and he was escorted from the building by two of my other coworkers, cursing the whole time.)

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