Monday, March 12, 2007

Drugs are bad, mkay?

As well as having the most convenient opening hours, it just so happens that my local pharmacy has the most suspicious staff in the entire galaxy as well.

I mean, I completely understand the need to take due care in handing over medication without a prescription. No one wants to go home with the wrong flavour cough medicine – a horrible tragedy just waiting to happen if it weren’t for the diligence of pharmacists.

That’s fine. But the behaviour of some pharmacists would make you think that society is barely holding back the tidal wave of a non-prescription drug addiction epidemic (“Police today warned teenagers against the terrifying side-effects of laxative abuse” etc, etc).

Another victim of hayfever medication abuse prepares for the tortuous months of rehab which lie ahead of her

As an example, I’ve previously attempted to purchase some higher-end over the counter pain medication for ‘me gammy back’ (as recommended by my GP). I’m only exaggerating the teensiest bit when I tell you this resulted in a bright light in the face, a sly assessment of the redness of my eyes and an onslaught of wickedly ingenious questioning designed to trap unwary drug addicts disguised as middle-of-the-road public servants with lumbago.

The questions started off fairly innocuously, along the lines of “do you have any allergies?” and “are you on any other medication”, and were clearly designed to lull me into a false sense of security and then BANG! In with the trick question - “which is better, a metal or ceramic crack pipe?” obviously seeking to catch me off guard with an unintentionally honest answer of “Uh, ceramic – oh no! The charade is over! I am addicted to naprogesic and you have sprung me! Sob!”

Despite this history of Guantanamo Bay style interrogation, I honestly thought I’d be able to get some simple, run of the mill cold medication relatively easily. I mean, I’ve bought and used this stuff a zillion times before with no questions asked. Plus, I thought the dripping nose, red eyes and general foggy aura would lend an air of genuineness to my quest for paracetamol-based relief.


Me: “Hi, I’d like a 12-pack of codrals please”

ColumboPharmacist: “No. That is not allowed. The only ones that come in 12s are the prescription only super-strength ones and I can’t sell those to you as you don’t have a prescription and they are a restricted medicine.”

Me: “Uh. Ok. Then I’ll take the 24-pack of the medication I asked for.”

Pharmacist: “Ok, but you do realise that you are not allowed to buy the version that has pseudoephedrine in them?”

Me: “That’s fine. Can I buy these codrals?” *shaking the packet*

Pharmacist: “You can, but you can’t buy the ones with pseudoephedrine in them because you don’t have a prescription.”

Me: “I don’t want the ones with pseudoephedrine in them. I want these ones I’m holding.” *shaking the packet again*

Pharmacist: “That’s fine. But in future you’ll need a prescription for the pseudoephedrine ones.”

Me: “Can I buy these codrals now?”

Pharmacist: “Yes, you can. For now. Now, are these for you or someone else?”

Me: “Me.”

Pharmacist: “Do you have any allergies, respiratory problems or heart complaints?”

Me: “No.”

Pharmacist: “Are you on anti-depressants?”

Me: “No.” But I might want some soon if this keeps up.

Pharmacist: “How is your thyroid?”

Me: “My what?

Pharmacist: “How is your thyroid?”

Me: “Um. I don’t know. It seems fine to me but how could I know for sure?”

Pharmacist: “Well if you do have thyroid problems talk to your doctor because this medication can affect some kinds of older thyroid medication in a small number of cases when taken in high dosages.”

Me: “Can I have the codrals please?”

Pharmacist: “Ok. Now, do you want the day/night formula?”

Me: “No, just the regular ones please. These ones I am holding.”

Pharmacist: “Ooo. Hmmm. I guess. But you do know these can affect your sleep patterns which can affect your chances of a speedy recovery…”

Me: “Can I please just have this 24-pack of plain, regular codrals?”

Pharmacist: “Fine.”

Fools. I’m going to sell them on the street to kids. I'm going to make a fortune.


grundnorm said...

I too have faced a grilling at that chemist.
Me: "Can I please have a box of Panamax?"
Chemist: "Have you used this before?"
Me (incredulously): "It's only *paracetamol*..."

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you used the word pharmacist! Thank you! I'm a chemist (ie a scientist) and I can't stand it when people call the pharmacist a chemist.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Is your pharmacist that creepy guy that has those ads on TV???

I've had one encounter with him and it was truly terrifying.

TimT said...

“How is your thyroid?”

Sounds like they were coming on to you...

Devil's Advocate said...

Just for future reference...

A glass crack pipe is better...

Or so I've heard.

P.S: Congratulations...your cynical view of the stupid people in society has earned you a permanent link on my blog.

Invig said...

I used to get these sleeping tablets that are banned now and the 'senior' chemist chick (I would have to wait for her) would give me this big lecture.

And here's me coming down, not having slept in 2 nights, and shes crapping on about 'now make sure you don't have more than 2 in a 24 hour period'

and i'm like...yeah...sure i won't. I don't want to sleep or anything...

and now they're banned :(

(you're story was funny btw :)

JahTeh said...

I used to take Sinutabs but the meth cookers have made that disappear and now I'm offered Sudafed PE but it doesn't work and the bastard Pharma companies in America know it doesn't work but they're still pushing it anyway.
Get your doc to prescribe 'Periactin' for allergies but one will knock you out for about 6 hours which is fine by me if I'm suffering sinus headaches.

Anonymous said...

restraint - even though i am drunk.

following a link i would say that someone does - if you read a very small sample of their blog - especially the music - look deceptively younger than they actually are -

so i would guess an 18 yo with the music tastes of a 13 yo - and who the fuck has time to note individual song titles - although perhaps there is some deep analysis and reflection going on - so perhaps i should just shut up already

yeah yeah yeah

farmer Cs eh - one day their little cartel is going to come crashing down

and the people will praise the lord jesus - and stop paying extortionate prices

i'll get my coat

Zoe said...

I want some of those ones the last commentor had, thanks.

My husbang has had the same problem. It's infuriating when you're crook and you want your bloody sinus tablets and they ponce about. He managed to get some over the counter ones with pseudoephidrine in them somehow.

Also, this is god smiting you for making fun of "pseudo watch" a while ago.

sexy said...