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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Little Common Sense Goes A Long Way

As a science nerd, like I imagine most pharmacists and Pharm D students are, I have to admit, sometimes it's difficult for me to see the woods because the damn trees are in the way. I enjoy breaking things down into the smallest parts possible to see how they work, which is probably why I enjoy learning about drugs so much. However, like most intelligent people, I possess enough common sense to get me through the day, much like the pharmacist I'm about to introduce you to.

We'll call her Shayna. Shayna got her Pharm. D. a few years back, so she's pretty new to the profession, but a great pharmacist none-the-less (easy on the eyes too). She's a lot like me, she wants to know exactly how everything works in minute detail. When I have a question, I always ask her, because I know she'll give me a 5 minute speech on exactly why a certain drug does a certain thing, and why it's used instead of this other drug. I love it; I learn more from her about drugs than anyone else. But, she too can miss the woods because of those damn trees. An example:

Patient comes up to the counter to ask why one form of contact lens cleaner costs more than another. Both are from the same company, both look relatively alike with slightely different designs. I see the obvious answer right away, but Shayna is in Pharmacist Mode (I think I'll trademark that phrase) and I feel like getting a laugh later, so I let her take care of it. As a pharmacist, the first thing she looked at was the active ingredients. After pouring over the two boxes for around 3 minutes, comparing the ingredients in each cleanser and their strengths. She eventually gives up and explains that both are idenitical products and that the new box design must be the reason the price went up. At this point, I had to intervene, because the patient was about to get ripped off by buying the cheaper cleaner. Can any of you guess why one was more expensive?

The cheaper box had a 12 oz bottle, the more expensive one had a 16 oz bottle. The sizes of the bottles were clearly printed on the top part of each box. I admit, the company made it a little more difficult to determine what the problem was when they decided to use the same size box for two different sized bottles, but a quick glance at the top half of the box would solve it easily.

So I lean over and say, "I think it's because this bottle has 4 more ounces in it." I wanted to say "Perhaps it's because this bottle has 4 more ounces, I think companies tend to charge more money when you buy more of their product," but that would've been unnecessarily mean, dickish, actually.

Shayna replies "Oh, yeah, I didn't even notice that."

Sometimes those trees can be a bitch...

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