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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tamiflu (You can too!)

This week has been bonkers. I was working in the children's clinic pharmacy and I have never run around like that in my life. I spent about 3 of the 4 hours I worked on Monday doing one thing: compounding Tamiflu for oral suspension. I opened around 8 or 9 boxes of Tamiflu capsules just to make all the suspension we needed. The worst part about working in the only children's pharmacy in town is that every other pharmacy in town just assumes we have the Tamiflu suspension.

Newsflash people: there's a shortage everywhere, and our pharmacy is no different. To be fair though, my pharmacy probably stocks more solution than yours does. However, does anyone consider that our pharmacy goes through more Tamiflu solution in 3 hours than most will go through in 3 days. Luckily, we got in 72 bottles of the solution on Tuesday from our state's emergency stash. We ran out early Wednesday morning.

This is absolutely crazy, and on Tuesday night, I finally snapped. We filled 60 prescriptions in 3 hours. While you may think that's not too bad, remember that it's just me and the pharmacist at the pharmacy. That's an average of 1 prescription every 3 minutes, and we have to enter those, fill those, and then counsel them. Oh, and put them through the cash register. A 3 minute average under these circumstances is insane. We were working at break neck speed, all while being completely accurate and making zero mistakes.

At the end of the big rush, we had a father come in with 2 prescriptions, one for Tamiflu suspension (surprise!) and one for a cough medication (I don't remember what one, as I had never filled it before). Well, turns out Medicaid didn't cover it, so this is the conversation that ensued:

"Sir, I tried to bill the cough medication, but the insurance won't cover it."

"Cough medication?" the father asked, confused. "What's that for?"

"Probably for the cough," I replied. I immediately realized that that wasn't the most polite way to go about things, but after 3 hours I wasn't in the mood to be polite.

I thought I was going to be reprimanded for the my comment, the pharmacist later told me she was trying her hardest not to laugh when I had said that, which just goes to show I work with one of the most awesome pharmacist ever.

As a result of all this compounding and crazy days at the pharmacy, I've been drinking heavily, and I think it shows in the lack of continuity in this post...

I think all-in-all though, this just goes to show that I'm probably not going to be a good pharmacist. I really can't hold back my sarcasm when I'm stressed out, seeing as it's the only way I know how to deal with the stress. Oh well, I'm already on the path, and I'll finish up my education, and become a jaded pharmacist. Awesome.

I'm already looking forward to it.


  1. Have you seen the notice from the NABP saying that the FDA is authorizing the dispensing of expired lots of Tamiflu that were stockpiled? There are 26 lots that are approved for use as of 10/2/09. Some of the expiration dates go as far back as January and May of 2005. May 2005? I was at senior prom.

  2. Oh, and this might pique your interest, considering your blogspot profile pic :)


    if you love the profession, you'll love this video. it's awesome.