That’ll be 240 ‘blue roxys’ please
The man in front of me was every pharmacist’s nightmare—or at least the type of pain in the neck we’d much rather do without. He had evidently had driven over 300 miles to fill a prescription for 240 tablets of oxycodone 30mg tablets.
I would like to think he had travelled from so far away because I had developed a reputation as one of the best pharmacists in California, and that it was his welcome involvement in his own treatment plan that led him to ask specifically for the “blue roxys.” But everyone reading this article knows better. The man who had been prescribed a medication appropriate for a terminal cancer patient looked physically fit enough to be a contestant in the next Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. It was obvious what was happening here. I was expected to be the “wholesaler” for this man’s drug dealing business.
One emotion ran through my mind as a looked at the prescription. Gratitude.
As I looked at the paper in front of me I was reminded of one of my most unpleasant experiences working for chain pharmacy. It involved a customer irate over being unable to refill a benzodiazepine 23 days early and a District Manager pressuring us to do just that.
The other pharmacist in our store was dependent on our employer for her visa to stay in this country, so it was I who stood up to look a firing in the face. The clash went on for days until I finally called the customer myself to diffuse the situation.
“She was much more reasonable about this than you were,” I told our District Manager after that phone call. The District Manager really . . . really, did not like hearing that.