Wednesday, August 11

ok, i'm going to try to explain something.

when a new drug comes out onto the market, the manufacturers of said drug have a certain right to it.. they get to be the only makers of that particular blend of chemicals for a certain amount of time. that's why we have brand name drugs. i believe that right now, it's set at 7 years. when that expires, then other manufacturers can start marketing the same drug, and they can manufacture it under the generic name. which is the chemical compound name for that drug. it's the same damn thing, but it costs less, because it's not the brand. when drugs first come onto the market, some insurance companies don't trust them for a while, or they give customers extra hell for being put on that medication. this is a bitch to deal with. people end up paying more for a drug that they need (sometimes, one they need to survive), just because it's new. and we, as pharmacy technicians, have to go through hell, because none of the customers really realize the steps we have to take to make sure it's being done correctly, and that they're not paying too much.

the RPh we had working in our store before i came to join the "team" (before i came and we made an entirely new team, that is) had everyone re-organize the shelves of prescription medication.

the normal way (that most pharmacies use) is to alphabetize the drugs by the brand names. in that system, the brand name drugs get added in when they come out, and the generic equivilents are filed next to them. this makes sense, oddly enough. but if someone is looking for a generic drug by name, it makes it a little more difficult, as they have to know the brand name, in order to find the medication. this isn't the way he had them organize things.

our pharmacy is organized in the opposite manner. the generic drugs are filed alphabetically, with the brand names filed next to the generic. this makes a little bit of sense, but it presents the same problem as the above system, and none of the temp RPh's we have coming in can seem to understand it. not to mention those of us who are trying to find the meds, and re-file them after we're done with them. it ends up being a big ol'mess. there's even more of a glitch. are you ready? we have 8 different sections of medications.

section 1: OTC. over the counter medications that we keep back there, either because it's possible to abuse them, or because there are special directions, or because they just are more convenient to keep back there. they include diabetes testing supplies, some vitamin supplements, some suppositories, and some cold medicine.

section 2: ointments and creams. for god knows why.

section 3: eyedrops and some (but not all!) of our eardrops and nose sprays.

section 4: suppositories (the ones that are prescription).

section 5: birthcontrol, and for some reason, some of our menapausal medications.

section 6: pills. and some of our nasal sprays, and some injections.

section 7: inhalers and asthma medication (nebulizer stuff).

section 8: antibiotics (the re-constitution-requiring ones).

you can see how it's a little difficult to get the hang of where to find things in there, and why it's such a relief that we're going to re-organize (why i was there today!), starting out by at least going through section 6, and organizing by Alphabet. none of this "by brand" or "by generic" bullshit.

wow, long and boring. i hope someone learned something.

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