One of the worst pharmacy experiences of my life happened just this week. My daughter is an avid and active hockey player, so it really came as a surprise when this week the doctor said she had pneumonia. I’m guessing all the playing, getting heated up, then chilled, over and over got to her lungs. Any way, off to the pharmacy we go. Before I left the doctor’s office, I asked them to phone in the prescriptions, as this pharmacy is notoriously slow. We arrived to pick these things up about 20 minutes later, to which the very misguided tech behind the counter replies, “These will be ready later this evening, can you come back?” What? I looked at him squarely in the eye and said, “She has PNEUMONIA.” He knew right away I was not leaving. He assured me they’d be ready in 15 minutes. There was no one even here, why should this take another 15 minutes, when 20 had already passed when the doctor’s office called them in?
Having been a pharmacy tech during college, I know the meds routine- verify if insurance covers and at what level, pull, check, label, dispense. Most of this is even computerized now, so the actual pulling of the meds off the shelf is the hardest part. None of her prescriptions required any counting of pills or mixing (all scripts here were blister packages and an inhaler, plus a bottle of syrup that you pour into a bottle that is clearly marked!) I would love to say it’s rocket science, but it’s not, but these folks surely want to make it seem so. Things must be watched carefully to be sure, but if you have a competent pharmacist overseeing everything, this process can be quick and accurate. Not so with this place.
We waited and waited and waited and more patrons piled into the store. We ended up being there one and one half hours while this drama unfolded. There was incompetence at every turn – I witnessed a strung out Oxycodone abuser who was trying to get a refill on a drug they dispensed just a day or so before, I watched elderly people go nearly ignored while waiting for refills they were told over the phone were ready for pick up, the “drive through” lane had people dinging for service repeatedly. It was a truly pathetic experience.
I gleaned this from the experience: if you ail, make reservations for your prescriptions, otherwise you might be waiting a long time to get them. How this large pharmacy chain stays in business with this atrocious level of service is a mystery to me.