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(CNN)   Walgreens is paying signing bonuses up to $75,000 to pharmacists. So if you like selling drugs and counting money, this might be the job for you   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Time, Employment, pharmacy chain, The Wall Street Journal, signing bonuses, news underscores, lucrative bonuses, News of the signing bonuses  
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472 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Aug 2022 at 1:05 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-12 12:14:48 PM  
Do they pay more if you fill orders without reference to your personal bigotry?
 
2022-08-12 12:39:42 PM  
Aye, those bonuses are so you look away from their corporate f*ckery.

F*ck Walgreens.
 
2022-08-12 12:51:54 PM  
Downside is you have to work forever understaffed at Walgreens.
 
2022-08-12 12:54:37 PM  

koder: Downside is you have to work forever understaffed at Walgreens.


Understaffed? Or is it like the Walgreens I visited where I saw workers actively walking away from people seeking help?
 
2022-08-12 12:56:09 PM  
There is a war on for pharmacists in retail when just a few years ago they were firing them because there were "too many"...

Everyone is fleeing to Hospitals and Research... Because, as we all know, retail sucks.

You'd better take that $75k, put it in TLRY and hope it hits $100 so you can flee Walgreens with what little sanity you'll have left.

Better yet? Work a Mexican Donkey Show 3 times a day. You'll respect yourself more at the end of the day.
 
2022-08-12 1:08:48 PM  
The "down to" number might be kinda key here...
 
2022-08-12 1:14:39 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-12 1:17:57 PM  
if i were a pharmacist i'd work in like a central fill facility. no customers and same pay ( i assume ).
 
2022-08-12 1:18:17 PM  

educated: F*ck Walgreens.


Fark them in the arse sideways with a rusty razor blade. They're horrible in the last decade or so.

I worked retail there, part time, right about the time they decided their staffing model of 1 store manager and 4-6 assistant managers was too much. The transitioned to 1 manager, 1 assistant manager, and they created the position of "team lead" where you were just a cashier being paid $1 more per hour to carry a set of keys and do assistant manager work.

My sister is extremely luck to have worked for WAG long enough ago that she started without a high school diploma. She was working for WAG as part of the "work program" at school, where you worked part of your day and magically just got credits for going to work. She didn't finish high school and they apparently never asked about a diploma to keep her employed. She later transitioned to assistant manager on the experience of her work there, and a few years ago is now a store manager. So far, no one has ever asked or noticed that she didn't graduate high school - she's just stayed inside WAG to work her way up to steady money.
 
2022-08-12 1:22:36 PM  

chasd00: if i were a pharmacist i'd work in like a central fill facility. no customers and same pay ( i assume ).


One pharmacist I know jumped to working as a pharmacist for a nursing home and assisted living facility. It's a nice on-site pharmacist gig. It's about an hour away from home but he gets:
1. Good salary and benefits
2. Steady, Monday-Friday schedule that's basically banker's hours

The one downside he told me is he is on call for emergencies and they rarely come up. So, maybe once every 2 months he gets a call about some medication that needs to be filled ASAP and about 75% of the time he can orally approve it over the phone for someone on site with a pharmacy tech license to fill it temporarily. The other time it might be a controlled substance (locked up where he has keys) and he has to drive over and fill the script if they can't get it from the local hospital on an emergency basis.
 
2022-08-12 1:30:45 PM  
My parents tried to push me into pharmacy and I said it was too boring.  Now I just go to meetings and don't get $75,000 signing bonuses.
 
2022-08-12 1:39:19 PM  
The inability to staff the pharmacy is going to make me change pharmacies where I'll probably pay more, but won't have to check what their available hours are any given week.  Insurance has some rules I need to check, but I need this to happen.
 
2022-08-12 1:43:26 PM  
And hey if you're in a red state you don't even have to fill prescriptions anymore if they "conflict" with your religious beliefs.  Win-win!
 
2022-08-12 1:46:34 PM  

Rapmaster2000: My parents tried to push me into pharmacy and I said it was too boring.  Now I just go to meetings and don't get $75,000 signing bonuses.


Boring usually equals more money.  Likewise, exciting usually equals less money.

Best example of this is in computer programming.  You make a lot more money for a lot fewer hours a week writing accounting software than writing video games, because accounting software is boring and video games are "fun".
 
2022-08-12 1:48:15 PM  

Myk-House of El: The inability to staff the pharmacy is going to make me change pharmacies where I'll probably pay more, but won't have to check what their available hours are any given week.  Insurance has some rules I need to check, but I need this to happen.


Geez, I thought it was bad around here, where none of their pharmacy counters are open on weekends. That's at least predictable, if highly inconvenient for surprise weekend ER visits.
 
2022-08-12 1:49:17 PM  

Lochaber_Axe: And hey if you're in a red state you don't even have to fill prescriptions anymore if they "conflict" with your religious beliefs.  Win-win!


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-12 1:50:26 PM  
Throw in all the pills I can eat and you got a deal.

(look, I know what you got in there, don't be stingy)
 
2022-08-12 2:11:36 PM  

runs with mutts: Myk-House of El: The inability to staff the pharmacy is going to make me change pharmacies where I'll probably pay more, but won't have to check what their available hours are any given week.  Insurance has some rules I need to check, but I need this to happen.

Geez, I thought it was bad around here, where none of their pharmacy counters are open on weekends. That's at least predictable, if highly inconvenient for surprise weekend ER visits.


To their credit, one location I'd been dealing with is trying to accommodate customers schedules.  So open one day on the weekend and two evenings past 6.  They move it around to try and better serve.  I know they are trying, but it's just damn annoying.  But another location is strictly 9-5 M-F which means with my 8:30-5:30 schedule, they are of no use to me.  And I didn't find that out until AFTER I'd requested a refill from that location.
 
2022-08-12 2:11:39 PM  
One of my college friends became a pharmacist. Even 15 years ago I remember it paying quite well, especially if you were willing to work in an undesirable location/city, and the hours were good.

The work it self sounded incredibly boring and it seemed like she overstated just how much she was working with doctors to determine the right medication amounts, as well as providing care to people at the pharmacy. I mean, it sounded like she really wanted to be a PCP because she liked helping people, and she didn't want to admit that she went the pharmacist route because it was easier and paid better.
 
2022-08-12 2:38:37 PM  
Pretty clear indication of just how suckitty the job is going to be if they have to offer that much of a bonus.
 
2022-08-12 2:53:35 PM  

educated: Aye, those bonuses are so you look away from their corporate f*ckery.

F*ck Walgreens.


I should tell. Kaiser is now offering 50k to optometrists
 
2022-08-12 3:03:54 PM  
I've told a couple aimless younger family members that they should really consider becoming a pharmacy technician.  The course work is not long, does not require the genius level of skills that the pharmacists I work with have, not expensive compared to some other career tracks, and at least in the midwest, you can make 50k to start.

Theres all sorts of different ways of upward mobility in that career.
 
2022-08-12 3:20:30 PM  
Walgreens found out that understaffing its pharmacies has had consequences:

https://www.ktvu.com/news/judge-walgreens-contributed-to-san-francisco-opioid-crisis
 
2022-08-12 3:47:57 PM  
I spent my high school years working in a retail pharmacy with the idea that I'd eventually move on to pharmacy school. It only took about two months to realize that consistently having to deal with insurance companies wasn't worth the effort or debt. The customers who'd get pissy with you over their insurance problems was just the icing on the sh*t cake.

Then while in college I went to work on the clinical side and realized how much more of an impact you could have, but I still decided I wanted nothing to do with a six-figure debt.
 
2022-08-12 4:59:51 PM  
WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.
 
2022-08-12 5:25:03 PM  
And yet their pharmacists are still half-trained morons who can't do their jobs in a competent manner. I just stopped using Walgreens because their pharmacist tried to refuse to fill a double-dose critical prescription for my child (he was going to camp and would run out before coming home, otherwise) despite it being signed off on by two doctors and my insurance, all under a claim that it was a controlled substance and he wasn't allowed to fill it. Which was flat-out incorrect as confirmed to me by two actual MDs, several insurance people up to and including their state compliance manager, and a high-level administrator at the FDA who I know personally from my years of working in pharmaceutical research and approval.

There is absolutely zero reason for "Walgreens pharmacist" to exist as a white collar profession with credential requirements and dispensing discretion. The entire job can be performed better by a pill-dispensing machine and a simple computer program that checks for contraindications against an electronic record.
 
2022-08-12 6:00:53 PM  
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-12 6:32:30 PM  

sleze: Lochaber_Axe: And hey if you're in a red state you don't even have to fill prescriptions anymore if they "conflict" with your religious beliefs.  Win-win!

[Fark user image 751x561]


Came here for The Onion. Leaving satisfied.

/Scientology would have also worked.
 
2022-08-12 6:33:07 PM  

OhioUGrad: This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.


That's, uh...that's certainly a...statement. I'm not really sure what else to say.
 
2022-08-12 6:35:01 PM  

thornhill: One of my college friends became a pharmacist. Even 15 years ago I remember it paying quite well, especially if you were willing to work in an undesirable location/city, and the hours were good.

The work it self sounded incredibly boring and it seemed like she overstated just how much she was working with doctors to determine the right medication amounts, as well as providing care to people at the pharmacy. I mean, it sounded like she really wanted to be a PCP because she liked helping people, and she didn't want to admit that she went the pharmacist route because it was easier and paid better.


Do they email/text the prescriptions?  Because traditionally, the pharmacist could have a lot of leeway in deciphering hand written prescriptions.  Probably had to change that as reselling drugs became a big business, although that long pre-dated email.
 
2022-08-12 7:02:48 PM  
Can I refuse to fill Dick Pill scripts cause of my "beliefs"?
 
2022-08-12 7:05:05 PM  
and you could refuse to give out any subscriptions based on your "Firmly held religious beliefs" and still get paid to do nothing
 
2022-08-12 7:05:12 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: thornhill: One of my college friends became a pharmacist. Even 15 years ago I remember it paying quite well, especially if you were willing to work in an undesirable location/city, and the hours were good.

The work it self sounded incredibly boring and it seemed like she overstated just how much she was working with doctors to determine the right medication amounts, as well as providing care to people at the pharmacy. I mean, it sounded like she really wanted to be a PCP because she liked helping people, and she didn't want to admit that she went the pharmacist route because it was easier and paid better.

Do they email/text the prescriptions?  Because traditionally, the pharmacist could have a lot of leeway in deciphering hand written prescriptions.  Probably had to change that as reselling drugs became a big business, although that long pre-dated email.


Almost all prescriptions are sent electronically now. EMR (electronic medical records [systems]) penetration is essentially as close to 100% as it can be and getting higher as really old doctors die off or retire, and every EMR system in existence sends the Rx securely to the pharmacy -- digitally if the pharmacy accepts it (almost all do,) or via automated fax if the pharmacy doesn't. And it's been this way since at least Obama.

I genuinely can't remember the last time I saw a prescription pad used for a pharmaceutical prescription. The only time I can recall getting a script in the last decade is for physical therapy.
 
2022-08-12 7:07:18 PM  

OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.


And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.
 
2022-08-12 7:40:34 PM  

The Headless Horseman's Headless Horse: OhioUGrad: This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

That's, uh...that's certainly a...statement. I'm not really sure what else to say.


It would be in consultation with an MD, not like you'd just go to the pharmacy and ask for a drug. You have no idea how many times we had someone fill an Rx only to be told "that's not what this drug is for" and they'd have to call to have something changed.

kittyhas1000legs: And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers. Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.


Drug interactions are in the computer as well (including interactions with OTC), as is the information to tell a patient about a drug, a college student could give a shot, and transfers can be done electronically. You seem to be doing a lot of apologizing for a stupid outdated profession, where did you get your PharmD?
 
2022-08-12 7:45:13 PM  
Pharmacists count their money in quantities of 30.
 
2022-08-12 8:04:12 PM  

kittyhas1000legs: OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone


All done electronically now. They don't memorize the full pharmacology publication history. Their computer throws up a little warning, provided that the patient gets all of their medication from the same pharmacy.

and counsel patients (a tech can't do that)

Lol, on what? The weekly cosmetics 2 for 1? There is nothing pharmacists are qualified to counsel on that a tech couldn't do. All that Orgo and Pharmacology you learn in a PharmD is mostly useless in a pharmacy setting.

and give shots

Which Should really be done by nurses -- people with an ACTUAL clinical education. Not chemists who couldn't get a job at Pfizer.

and do transfers

...
Really? Something that takes one click is a major benefit now?

Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Yes, instead, let's hand that job out to people that didn't get accepted into med school and took the consolation prize.
 
2022-08-12 9:03:00 PM  

kittyhas1000legs: OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.


a retail pharmacy filling scripts is VASTLY different than a pharmacist at a hospital reviewing and tailoring to ensure the right form, dose, and interactions, even if they have the same clinical title.

The chemo IV room pharmD's I work with, as well as the EMR analysts who are also current pharmD's, are vast swaths of knowledge.  They're not just looking up drugs in lexicomp and following alerts in Epic;  They can immediately discuss huge quantities of drugs in their specialties and are aware of everything from proper weight based dosing to interactions that the EMR doesnt catch.  And what they don't know, they research intently until they do.

I've been an EMR analyst across inpatient, outpatient, oncology and now pharmacy systems for the last 13 years, and out of all sorts of medical providers, the pharmacists consistently are the brightest people I ever work with; I consider them physicians without the ego.    They know what they want and expect out of the computer system and for the most part, are our biggest partners in bringing ideas for system changes that make tangible benefit to the whole hospital from a safety perspective.

Maybe i'm just lucky that i have a great group to work with who treat me like a peer, where historically in other specialties the physicians treated us like a nuisance.

TL/DR, i'm sure.  but basically i just wanted to note that the pharmacists are the ones that catch the physician errors, fix them, and ensure you don't get the wrong thing before you even get to the retail setting.  The idea that their field would somehow go the way of the dodo via robotics or the metaverse or whatever, is absurd.
 
2022-08-12 9:08:23 PM  

OhioUGrad: It would be in consultation with an MD, not like you'd just go to the pharmacy and ask for a drug. You have no idea how many times we had someone fill an Rx only to be told "that's not what this drug is for" and they'd have to call to have something changed.


Alright, before I wander down this path, let's clarify something: when you say "it's a dying profession", are you referring to retail specifically? Or are you including all clinical capacities that someone with a Pharm.D could choose to work?

If it's the former, I'd still have a few problems but I could let them slide; if it's the latter, I would have a problem picking a place to even begin.
 
2022-08-12 9:44:08 PM  

Lusiphur: kittyhas1000legs: OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone

All done electronically now. They don't memorize the full pharmacology publication history. Their computer throws up a little warning, provided that the patient gets all of their medication from the same pharmacy.

and counsel patients (a tech can't do that)

Lol, on what? The weekly cosmetics 2 for 1? There is nothing pharmacists are qualified to counsel on that a tech couldn't do. All that Orgo and Pharmacology you learn in a PharmD is mostly useless in a pharmacy setting.

and give shots

Which Should really be done by nurses -- people with an ACTUAL clinical education. Not chemists who couldn't get a job at Pfizer.

and do transfers

...Really? Something that takes one click is a major benefit now?

Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Yes, instead, let's hand that job out to people that didn't get accepted into med school and took the consolation prize.


Sounds like you've never worked in a pharmacy. Did a pharmacist piss in your cheerios? You seem to have a lot of pent up rage. Yes, Walgreens is a shiat company. So is CVS for its own reasons.

As a tech, I know absolute jack shiat about drugs other than what I've learned on the job. It's not not my job to know if tamsulosin has a sulfa component, or to know which drugs affect your INR. I bill insurance, call insurances when there are issues, make the 50+ required phone calls for late to refill/pickup, help fill 700 scripts per day, receive orders, do vendor returns, send out salvage claims, and all the other minor stuff. The pharmacist makes sure techs do their jobs, call prescribers when they fark up prescriptions, catch interactions or health problems exacerbated by drugs (not always caught by the computer), and yes they legally do all transfers that are from another pharmacy. It's only a "click" between Walgreens and only for non-controls. Clarify a doctor's bad handwriting? Pharmacist calls. Refuse to fill Norco because someone is doctor shopping? Pharmacist. Staying on top of the CDC's ever changing guidelines during covid? Pharmacist. State board audit or DEA visit? Pharmacist. Fishing info from a confused old lady who may have just taken 5 of the wrong pill? Pharmacist, who can then make the determination as to whether she should go to the ER.

I just get to smile at assholes like you across the counter and tell them to have a nice day.
 
2022-08-12 9:50:09 PM  
They're about 20 years too late to the party. Walmart has been buying up pharmacists for years knowing they can drive all the local stores (grocery, goods, and drug stores) out if they're the only game in town. There's nothing Walgreens sells that Walmart doesn't sell cheaper and better. It's probably too late for Walgreens to start reacting now.
 
2022-08-12 9:57:07 PM  

phedex: I've been an EMR analyst across inpatient, outpatient, oncology and now pharmacy systems for the last 13 years, and out of all sorts of medical providers, the pharmacists consistently are the brightest people I ever work with; I consider them physicians without the ego.    They know what they want and expect out of the computer system and for the most part, are our biggest partners in bringing ideas for system changes that make tangible benefit to the whole hospital from a safety perspective.


I've been working on the Willow side of things for 15 years now. You nailed it.
 
2022-08-12 9:57:29 PM  

cefm: They're about 20 years too late to the party. Walmart has been buying up pharmacists for years knowing they can drive all the local stores (grocery, goods, and drug stores) out if they're the only game in town. There's nothing Walgreens sells that Walmart doesn't sell cheaper and better. It's probably too late for Walgreens to start reacting now.


The retail side has always been terribly overpriced. They're hoping you buy stuff for convenience while getting your scripts or photo orders. I never had a reason to go to a Walgreens before they were cutting my paycheck, and I won't have a reason to once they stop.
 
2022-08-12 10:26:44 PM  
" up to 75K "

Wonder what Jesus miracles you have to preform for the whole 75K
 
2022-08-12 10:32:00 PM  

stevenvictx: " up to 75K "

Wonder what Jesus miracles you have to preform for the whole 75K


Agree to stay for a few years, and that probably includes moving to either a miserably busy store or somewhere in the middle of nowhere like Craig, CO. For the max, probably be a pharmacy manager so you can take all the blame for stuff that's out of your control.
 
2022-08-13 12:29:33 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: Lusiphur: kittyhas1000legs: OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone

All done electronically now. They don't memorize the full pharmacology publication history. Their computer throws up a little warning, provided that the patient gets all of their medication from the same pharmacy.

and counsel patients (a tech can't do that)

Lol, on what? The weekly cosmetics 2 for 1? There is nothing pharmacists are qualified to counsel on that a tech couldn't do. All that Orgo and Pharmacology you learn in a PharmD is mostly useless in a pharmacy setting.

and give shots

Which Should really be done by nurses -- people with an ACTUAL clinical education. Not chemists who couldn't get a job at Pfizer.

and do transfers

...Really? Something that takes one click is a major benefit now?

Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Yes, instead, let's hand that job out to people that didn't get accepted into med school and took the consolation prize.

Sounds like you've never worked in a pharmacy. Did a pharmacist piss in your cheerios? You seem to have a lot of pent up rage. Yes, Walgreens is a shiat company. So is CVS for its own reasons.

As a tech, I know absolute jack shiat about drugs other than what I've learned on the job. It's not not my job to know if tamsulosin has a sulfa component, or to know which drugs affect your INR. I bill insurance, call insurances when there are issues, make the 50+ required phone calls for late to refill/pickup, help fill 700 scripts per day, receive orders, do vendor returns, send out salvage claims, and all the other minor stuff. The pharmacist makes sure techs do their jobs, call prescribers when they fark up prescriptions, catch interactions or health problems exacerbated by drugs (not always caught by the computer), and yes they legally do all transfers that are from another pharmacy. It's only a "click" between Walgreens and only for non-controls. Clarify a doctor's bad handwriting? Pharmacist calls. Refuse to fill Norco because someone is doctor shopping? Pharmacist. Staying on top of the CDC's ever changing guidelines during covid? Pharmacist. State board audit or DEA visit? Pharmacist. Fishing info from a confused old lady who may have just taken 5 of the wrong pill? Pharmacist, who can then make the determination as to whether she should go to the ER.

I just get to smile at assholes like you across the counter and tell them to have a nice day.


A pharmacist did piss in my Cheerios, which is when I realized that retail pharmacists are basically just slightly more well-educated assistant mangers. Not all pharmacists, mind you -- I had the pleasure of working with a lot of brilliant pharmacists doing real pharmacy work running clinical trials.

Refuse to fill Norco because someone is doctor shopping? Pharmacist.

See, this is the issue. A pharmacist has absolutely no business countermanding a physician's order. My issue wasn't Narco, it was my child's Concerta -- a medication which is functionally impossible to abuse (per the best available literature.) This after the regular prescriber (who has been prescribing it for months) called in to confirm an override, the practice partner called in to confirm the override, my insurance called in to confirm, the regional compliance manager from the insurance called in to confirm the override, and I provided a full travel itinerary per Walgreens official policy for medication timeline overrides.

And his exact stated reason was "if the DEA has a problem, it's going to be my job and I'm not risking that." It's the only job in the world, besides cop, where you can refuse to do your job for no reason and we're all cool with it because of a lot of bullshiat that pharmacists have essentially made up to justify their existence.

Clarify a doctor's bad handwriting? Pharmacist calls.

First, where in the Appalachian back country are you that doctors are still writing scripts by hand? Second, you do realize that this is something that can be handled by a pimply- faced teen, right? Along with everything else you mentioned, except the urban legend about a pharmacist recognizing an interaction the system didn't catch -- in multiple independent tests, pharmacists routinely failed to catch common interactions. Which is why EHR/EMR regulations got updated requirements to do a better job catching potential interactions. In fact, I can't find a single study -- informal or published -- that shows pharmacists in a positive light regarding their ability to spot interactions OR mitigate addiction issues.

So I took it personally when a guy with a degree from a fourth-tier regional college wasted hours over my time over a week.
 
2022-08-13 12:31:36 AM  

yet_another_wumpus: thornhill: One of my college friends became a pharmacist. Even 15 years ago I remember it paying quite well, especially if you were willing to work in an undesirable location/city, and the hours were good.

The work it self sounded incredibly boring and it seemed like she overstated just how much she was working with doctors to determine the right medication amounts, as well as providing care to people at the pharmacy. I mean, it sounded like she really wanted to be a PCP because she liked helping people, and she didn't want to admit that she went the pharmacist route because it was easier and paid better.

Do they email/text the prescriptions?  Because traditionally, the pharmacist could have a lot of leeway in deciphering hand written prescriptions.  Probably had to change that as reselling drugs became a big business, although that long pre-dated email.


I can't remember the last time a prescription wasn't electronically sent to the pharmacy. Maybe 20 years ago?
 
2022-08-13 1:20:19 AM  

Lusiphur: kittyhas1000legs: Lusiphur: kittyhas1000legs: OhioUGrad: WTF?

Yes, they go to Pharmacy school and get a PharmD, but christ I was a pharm tech in retail during college in the 2000s, and ALL they did was stand in front of a computer and verify the pill in the bottle filled by the techs matched the picture of the pill on the screen, and take calls from doctor's offices to transcribe an Rx.

This is a dying profession unless laws change that allow pharmacists to write prescriptions since they actually know the chemistry of medication and aren't throwing things at the wall like some GPs seem to do.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone, and counsel patients (a tech can't do that), and give shots, and do transfers.  Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Walgreens is known for shiat pay compared to other pharmacies. Maybe they realized, too late, that all the good pharmacists are jumping ship.

And make sure the drug combinations don't kill anyone

All done electronically now. They don't memorize the full pharmacology publication history. Their computer throws up a little warning, provided that the patient gets all of their medication from the same pharmacy.

and counsel patients (a tech can't do that)

Lol, on what? The weekly cosmetics 2 for 1? There is nothing pharmacists are qualified to counsel on that a tech couldn't do. All that Orgo and Pharmacology you learn in a PharmD is mostly useless in a pharmacy setting.

and give shots

Which Should really be done by nurses -- people with an ACTUAL clinical education. Not chemists who couldn't get a job at Pfizer.

and do transfers

...Really? Something that takes one click is a major benefit now?

Counseling and clarifying scripts because doctors are idiots is a big part of the job.

Yes, instead, let's hand that job out to people that didn't get accepted into med school and took the consolation prize.

Sounds like you've never worked in a pharmacy. Did a pharmacist piss in your cheerios? You seem to have a lot of pent up rage. Yes, Walgreens is a shiat company. So is CVS for its own reasons.

As a tech, I know absolute jack shiat about drugs other than what I've learned on the job. It's not not my job to know if tamsulosin has a sulfa component, or to know which drugs affect your INR. I bill insurance, call insurances when there are issues, make the 50+ required phone calls for late to refill/pickup, help fill 700 scripts per day, receive orders, do vendor returns, send out salvage claims, and all the other minor stuff. The pharmacist makes sure techs do their jobs, call prescribers when they fark up prescriptions, catch interactions or health problems exacerbated by drugs (not always caught by the computer), and yes they legally do all transfers that are from another pharmacy. It's only a "click" between Walgreens and only for non-controls. Clarify a doctor's bad handwriting? Pharmacist calls. Refuse to fill Norco because someone is doctor shopping? Pharmacist. Staying on top of the CDC's ever changing guidelines during covid? Pharmacist. State board audit or DEA visit? Pharmacist. Fishing info from a confused old lady who may have just taken 5 of the wrong pill? Pharmacist, who can then make the determination as to whether she should go to the ER.

I just get to smile at assholes like you across the counter and tell them to have a nice day.

A pharmacist did piss in my Cheerios, which is when I realized that retail pharmacists are basically just slightly more well-educated assistant mangers. Not all pharmacists, mind you -- I had the pleasure of working with a lot of brilliant pharmacists doing real pharmacy work running clinical trials.

Refuse to fill Norco because someone is doctor shopping? Pharmacist.

See, this is the issue. A pharmacist has absolutely no business countermanding a physician's order. My issue wasn't Narco, it was my child's Concerta -- a medication which is functionally impossible to abuse (per the best available literature.) This after the regular prescriber (who has been prescribing it for months) called in to confirm an override, the practice partner called in to confirm the override, my insurance called in to confirm, the regional compliance manager from the insurance called in to confirm the override, and I provided a full travel itinerary per Walgreens official policy for medication timeline overrides.

And his exact stated reason was "if the DEA has a problem, it's going to be my job and I'm not risking that." It's the only job in the world, besides cop, where you can refuse to do your job for no reason and we're all cool with it because of a lot of bullshiat that pharmacists have essentially made up to justify their existence.

Clarify a doctor's bad handwriting? Pharmacist calls.

First, where in the Appalachian back country are you that doctors are still writing scripts by hand? Second, you do realize that this is something that can be handled by a pimply- faced teen, right? Along with everything else you mentioned, except the urban legend about a pharmacist recognizing an interaction the system didn't catch -- in multiple independent tests, pharmacists routinely failed to catch common interactions. Which is why EHR/EMR regulations got updated requirements to do a better job catching potential interactions. In fact, I can't find a single study -- informal or published -- that shows pharmacists in a positive light regarding their ability to spot interactions OR mitigate addiction issues.

So I took it personally when a guy with a degree from a fourth-tier regional college wasted hours over my time over a week.


Sounds like he shat in your cheerios and threw it in your face. Still, it's their license on the line and if they're not comfortable filling it, that's their right, especially with a CII.

A pharmacist clarifying a prescription is the farking law. A pimply faced teenager cannot legally do it. A PTCB certified technician can't do it. And believe it or not, lots of dentists and veterinarians still have hand written or printed hard copies that they sign. It doesn't mean they know how to write a prescription. I see a few electronic scripts a day that are still not valid because the doctor, nurse, etc doesn't know how to write a script. "As needed" is not valid without a max daily dose. We see scripts with sigs that don't match the quantity written. Even if it's the computer that catches an interaction, the pharmacist is legally the one who can call to make a change to the script. I, as a tech, can only bring it to their attention.

Sorry that one pharmacist was a dick. It sounds like you and the prescriber went above and beyond everything you needed to do.  All I could recommend in that situation would be to go to another pharmacy, or bring a hard copy to wherever you were traveling (calling ahead to see if they honor out of state controls). Of course, there are shiatty pharmacists at CVS, Osco, Walmart, and every other chain as well.
 
2022-08-13 1:25:58 AM  

thornhill: I can't remember the last time a prescription wasn't electronically sent to the pharmacy. Maybe 20 years ago?


We get dozens every day. ER scripts, dentists, vets, and once in a while an office's erx system is down. There are also lots of holdouts who don't want to spend the money for whatever system/equipment they need to e-scribe controlled substances.
 
2022-08-13 2:40:05 AM  
My local cvs pharmacist has a tie that reads "I sell drugs". He's ok in my book.
 
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