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How to Fire your Pharmacist!

Updated on November 17, 2008

 Not all pharmacists were created equal.  As with every other profession, there are good ones and bad ones.  I have a lot of sympathy for pharmacists.  I am one, and I know the stress and pressure involved in safely filling hundreds of prescriptions every day, battling with insurance companies, catching mistakes, counseling patients, running and managing the business, coordinating and training staff….it is an overwhelming responsibility.  In spite of all this, there are some really good pharmacists out there, and if you have one consider yourself blessed.

                   But maybe you don’t.  Maybe your pharmacist has the personality of a fiber pill, and is about as pleasant as a planter’s wart.  You have needed help with this or that, and all you get is grief.  You have had enough!  It is time to fire your pharmacist!  Not literally, but you don’t need to put up with this any more.  But what can you do?  You don’t have a choice do you?  Usually you do, and I’ll tell you what you need to do. 


First, maybe there is just one really bad egg pharmacist in the store. You can usually avoid him or her without too much difficulty. Most pharmacists work 10-12 hour days. This means that they only work 3-4 days per week. Maybe you really like “Jill” the pharmacist, but can’t stand dealing with “Joe”. Check their schedule. It is probably pretty consistent. Just ask “Jill” the next time you see her if she always works “Tuesday” or “Thursday” or whatever. Then simply arrange to do your business with the pharmacy on those days.


 But maybe avoidance isn’t an option.  You want out!  You don’t want even the slightest chance of having to deal with that incompetent capsule counter in a white coat.  First, you could see if your insurance plan offers a mail order pharmacy option.  Call the 800 number on the back of your card.  There should be one for pharmacy services.  Follow the prompts to speak to a representative.  Ask if your plan has a mail order option, and how you can use it.  Often it will save you money, in addition to allowing you to avoid Mr. so-and-so at the drugstore.  Sure, you may have the occasional new prescription that you need right away, but in those cases you can simply ask your doctor to call it into a different participating pharmacy.



Another option is simply to have all your prescriptions transferred to a different local pharmacy.  First, call your insurance plan and find out which pharmacies you can use in your area.  Another way to do this is to simply call the local pharmacy and ask them if they take “X” insurance.  They will usually know.  Next, pick your new pharmacy.  I recommend testing a few pharmacists out first.  Go undercover.  Just bop into any of these pharmacies and ask the pharmacist for a recommendation for something for a “headache” or a “runny nose” or anything you like.  See how they respond.  Do they seem annoyed?  Do they ask you a few questions?  Or do they just point to aisle 15 and say “go that way”.  After a few visits you should be able to spot a good pharmacist.  Otherwise, you can always ask your friends or family who they use and why.  Once you have chosen your new pharmacy, move on to step 4.


 The next step is to transfer your prescriptions to your new pharmacy.  This is easy!  There is no need to fill out any complicated paperwork, hire a lawyer, or engage in any uncomfortable conversations with your former pharmacist.  You don’t need to write that “Dear John” letter and tell them you are moving on.  You don’t need to notify your insurance company, town hall, or the local newspapers.  Simply bring your medication bottles in as you need them filled to your new pharmacy and say “I would like to transfer my prescription to your pharmacy please”.  That is it!  They may ask you some basic questions to create a profile for you in their system, and they will probably need to see your insurance card.  Give them a day to arrange for the transfer of your remaining refills.  If you have no refills, simply call your doctor and ask them to call your prescription in to your new pharmacy and provide them with the phone number.  That is all there is to it.  Continue the same process with each of your prescriptions as you need them filled until they are all at your new pharmacy. 

Okay, you have done it! You have fired that disagreeable druggist! Don’t you feel better now? No more sleepless nights worrying about another painful and unproductive visit to your old pharmacy. Enjoy your new freedom! And as for your new pharmacist: give them a smile, give them a hug, and don’t forget to occasionally tell them you appreciate them. I guarantee you it will be the highlight of their day!  For more helpful pharmacy posts, check out How to Save Thousands on your Prescriptions!


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    • profile image

      disappointed member of the healthcare community 

      6 years ago

      i just had dealings with a pharmacist in Centerreach and if his manner got any worse his clothes would catch on fire. Nastiness on a heat index 2 billion. With all the obstacles we have to encounter on a daily basis you would think that on a human level one would try to make one's day a little tolerable. I mean to call people names,he must have skipped the class on professionalism or I guess business owners get the priviledge to treat anyone the way they want because its their own business.

      This article has been very helpful and will be e-mailed to the appropriate people. Thank you and have a great day!

    • pharmacist profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Poquette 

      10 years ago from Whitinsville, MA

      Thanks Rochelle for your kind words! I'll play around with the supplement idea...thanks for suggesting it!!

      Bob, I couldn't agree more! I remember when all our prescription claims were sent by hand bills to each insurance company! More paper...but less headaches. Thanks for the comments!

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      10 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      It's too bad there are bad apples in every barrel.  

      It was much better before the insurance companies took over.  I'm old enough to remember that time.

      Pharmacists used to have a life.

      Bob Diamond R.Ph

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 years ago from California Gold Country

      I appreciate this. If you hadn't been a pharmacist, you could have been a writer.

      Well, i guess you prove they aren't mutually exclusive.

      I'd really like to hear your take on various herbal nutritional supplements which (oh so subtlely) claim medical benefits.


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