Today, I made a formal, written complaint to The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about a pharmacist. I’ve copied a shortened version of the complaint here, minus names::
My daughter has severe brain damage. She suffers from epileptic episodes. My daughter took the hospital’s suspension with ease, but when I acquired it at my local pharmacy she refused to swallow it. Clearly, the taste was an issue, and I spent days trying to locate a pharmacy that stocked the hospital’s suspension.
Finally, I called the manufacturer myself. They gave me a list of pharmacies that had used them before. The nearest one was R– Pharmacy.
Initially, the pharmacist gave me a hard time. He said it would take a long time to get. He told me the manufacturer would not supply him and to find someone else. When I arrived with the prescription, he repeated that he didn’t think they would supply him. I asked him if he would call them to ask, but he refused as he said it was too late.
About a week and a half later, he left a message for me to call him. The following day I did. He was very rude to me about not calling him the previous day. I explained that I was at the hospital all day with my daughter. His response was surly and unsympathetic: “I left a message for you to call me. You did not phone.”
He informed me that the medication had an expiry date a month later so he thought it would not be suitable. As I only asked for enough medication to last two weeks, it was clear that this would be okay. I asked him to order it. He again said it would take a long time.
I asked, “If they have it in stock, why it should take so long?”
He very gruffly remarked that he is not the manufacturer and it was out of his hands.
I asked, “Did you call them to say that it is for a newborn baby with severe brain damage who suffers from life-threatening seizures?”
He said, “I faxed the prescription to them. They know what it is for.”
On Monday, I called him again to check the progress of the medication. He yelled at me down the phone several times: “Look I have done my work. I have clearly specified to you. I faxed them after 10 days. You can see the time is spent. I phoned. You didn’t call me back. I phoned you again. When it comes I’ll phone.”
Again, I explained that we had been at the hospital. He said, “This is none of my concern.”
I asked, “Have you told them how urgent this is?”
He said, “It is beyond my control. I have prescriptions to file. Why do you call me?”
Then, he hung up on me.
As I was desperate for the prescription, I called him back and explained that I had spent days trying to track down this specific brand.
He said, “Why do you come to me then? Why not try another pharmacy? I’ve never used this supplier.”
I explained to him that he had used them. That, in fact, the supplier had not only given me his name and pharmacy from their records, but also his address and phone number.
He hung up on me again.
About a week later, he called to say that he would not be getting the prescription in. He called twice and the second time he said he would not be calling me again. He did not explain why the supplier, who he earlier said had the prescription, no longer did. This call came almost three weeks after I initially gave him the prescription.
There is no reasonable excuse for the time between giving in the prescription and him calling to say that it was unavailable, especially when the medicine is a controlled substance, must be special ordered and the life of a newborn baby is at stake.
His actions were not only negligent, but also go against the basic principles of your society:
1. Make the care of your patients your first concern
3. Show respect for others
7. Take responsibility for your working practices
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