Viewpoint: Welcome to the world of retail pharmacy

June 18, 2007

What's community pharmacy like? Here's a poem that gives a slice of life













How long will it take?
How long will it take?

Just slap on a label and pour in some pills.
How long could that take for a simple refill?
How long will it be? How long will it be?
The phones won't quit ringing ... we're busy you see....

Do you know which insurance you want us to bill
When the doctor calls back to OK your refill?
Pardon us while we ring up a patient or two,
Counsel on analgesics and treatments for the flu.

There's a doctor on hold! Where's the Rx pad?
Someone needs help finding the toothpaste that's in Sunday's ad!
The insurance is down; the order is late.
It's a typical morning, just one big headache!

Yes, you've been on the same stuff year after year.
And we'll call back the doctor and remind him you're here,
After we redo the order for the man before you
He wants one month, not three, or did he say two?

The printer needs paper; the fax won't feed right.
The orders are mounting; there's no end in sight.
Now, you want a tax statement, we'll work that right in,
While checking out someone with pseudoephedrine!

You lean on the counter, shooting the breeze,
But we're trying to count and need quiet please!
Personnel wants a schedule; the tech went on break
Somehow your order is ready, make no mistake!

Could you call ahead in the future to give us some time?
Now we're ready to wait on the next guy in line.
He has five prescriptions and would like to wait,
He just wants to know ... How long will it take?

THE AUTHOR practices community pharmacy in St. Louis, Mo. In her spare time, she likes to write poems about life in pharmacy.