So on the podcast this week, I have called the three letter pharmacy experiment, and I will give you the results.



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What you will learn

  • My experience getting a prescription filled at  3  letter pharmacy
  • My frustration getting a refill at 3 letter pharmacy
  • 3 letter pharmacy- epic fail for me
  • How do they fail our patients!

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This is Michelle Sherman, president of Misha RX pharmacist consulting services, and the host for the conscious pharmacist podcast. Our conscious pharmacist podcast is a proud member of the pharmacy podcast network. And of course the us, for me, the us for me, has mobilized to take care of patients across the country, during COVID and all other, you know, our patients with all other chronic conditions and everything. So we are us for me, a shout out to Todd URI and the pharmacy podcast network. We’re so happy to be part of that network. So on the podcast this week, I have called the three letter pharmacy experiment, and I will give you the results. So I needed a prescription filled. Recently I needed to get sick. It’s a chronic med and, you know, easy peasy, just, you know, 30 pills once a month, what, you know, every one pill every day and take it for a month.

So I, I live in Dana point, California, and they really know independent pharmacies around, but there’s a store with three letters in its name on just about every corner. Well, not every corner, that’s an exaggeration. Probably within a two mile radius of my house. There are three of them. So I had gone into one of them like months ago, just to get established because you know, they obviously, they took my insurance. They take like all insurance, right? So they took my insurance, provided everything, provided all my details signed up for automatic refills. When I get a prescription signed up for text messaging, like when a prescription is called in any technological tweak or whatever that they had, I signed up for. So about two months ago, my doctor called the prescription. You know, I had to prescribe something for me and I told her to call the prescription in.

So I decided, come on, just give them the benefit of the doubt. I know how overworked overburdened the pharmacist or working with no help. No, not enough staff, whatever people are doing. COVID testing flu shots. And I need my prescription. So I waited several days. Well, I didn’t get a phone call or a text that must prescription was really, they had all my details, my insurance, everything. So what was to come next? So I just went by the pharmacy, probably like three weeks of the the doctor called the prescription in. I went inside, the pharmacy, stood in line, got help. Somebody helped me at the counter. What’s the deal, pull up my, that thing. Okay. They find it. I said, well, is it really? No, it’s not ready. Okay. I, I can wait. So I said, okay, it’ll be about 30 minutes. So there was one pharmacist there working with the technician and obviously the cloaks upfront.

So wait, I said, that’s fine. So I stood waiting and everything waited probably like 20 minutes or so. And then the technician came out to ask me which brand I wanted because there were two options, two brains. So I told her I wanted the brand name. So she said, okay, it’ll be like five or 10 more minutes. I said, okay, she’ll go change it. She goes to the back. And the next thing she walks out and just leaves for her break the pharmacist. In the meantime, you know, I felt bad. He, I wanted to actually cry for him. He was on the phone. He like never got off the phone. He was talking on the phone and eventually like after about 45 minutes, our Austin, you know, is my prescription ready? And he got it ready. They called me up. I didn’t disclose that I was a pharmacist and nobody offered to come and give me a consultation or do anything like that on the prescription. Just sign there, paid my money and left. I did asked the clerk before I left. I said, I want to, I want to get automatic refills. Can, can you please notify me when my prescriptions ready and refilled? Oh, sure. No problem. Or whatever 30 days go by.

And on one day I did get a text or I logged into my online account and saw that it was ready on January 7th. All right. So waited a few days and then I thought, you know, I was going to go through the drive-through, but I decided I am just going to call and see if it’s ready. So, first thing, Monday morning, I call and see if my prescription was ready and it was not ready. I don’t know what happened from it being documented on my account that it was ready to now it’s not ready. This went on for about 45 minutes. The pharmacist came on the line. The technician said it’s not covered by my insurance, or they couldn’t get it through, on my insurance. This just went on and on and on. So then they said they can fill it. It’ll be ready in two hours.

So just as I was going to be, you know, waited the whole day, the next day, I called to see if I can come and pick it up. It wasn’t even ready. So I had had it, the experience was traumatic and I contacted my doctor and she sent it to an independent pharmacy in you know, here in South orange County, one, two, three, the prescription was filled. I picked it up and the whole deal took less than like 30 minutes from her sending it in to me, driving there, to picking it up and having the prescription in my hand. Now ask you this. I went through this trauma, expecting what I expected. But then I thought to myself, what do patients go through? What do our patients go through when they deal with this pharmacy? The people are overworked. They can’t take care of their patients.

They don’t talk to their patients. No wonder the care that our patients receives. Absolutely sucks. I mean, I don’t know what else, what other words do you use it? I mean, it was a traumatic experience and people just stand in line and they don’t know that they could go to an independent pharmacy who could take care of them, like right away. So this was my experiment with the three-letter pharmacy and the results was an Epic fail. So I kind of wanted to share this on this podcast because I went through this on purpose, expected, something received the same level of service and people need to know, we need to encourage our patients, that they’re all pharmacies out there who actually do provide service and the level of care that our patients deserve. So that’s, today’s podcast Epic fail on my three letter pharmacy experiment until next time. Be the change.