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THhe bitter pill!!!


Ideally most pharmacists would prefer to work in a community pharmacy. It provides

a conducive environment for pharmacists to utilize their profound knowledge of medicines for the betterment of the society. Aside professional benefits, there’s also the financial reward and the overwhelming feeling of being independent and an employer. Truth be told, it’s every pharmacist’s dream to own a premises. But working in a community pharmacy isn’t all rosy; there are moments when you wish you could have your life back. From that annoying weekend duty, to the unruly customer, to the boss screaming in your ears so loud that you could feel your tympanic membrane vibrate, to short annoying words like “I know you’re not a doctor but…”, such moments mar what would be the best branch of pharmacy. To be honest I’ve adapted to situations like that and whenever I’m confronted with such temptations, I just sidestep it and move on. At least that’s what I did until September 27th, 2013. On that evening a patient came in with a shabby looking prescription that contained a controlled substance. I told him I will dispense other drugs except his diazepam tablets and I explained my reasons. Immediately his countenance changed, he looked like a kid who got told that he couldn’t have any more chocolate, but I wasn’t keen on budging.  Like I mentioned earlier, the prescription was badly written. The doctor didn’t include the duration of the other drugs and so I asked him if the doctor might have told him how long he was meant to use it for. “why ask me, you’re the one with the prescription, everything you need to know is staring at you. Just read”.  I was pissed! He said those words so much arrogance but I knew he was doing it on purpose and so I was able to get a grip of myself. I tried to bolster my argument by pointing out the doctor’s errors on the prescription and before I knew it he snatched it from my hand and said “Please someone else should attend to me, I don’t have time to deal with this nonsense”.  That was the final straw that broke the camel’s back! This man looked mid 40’s, Six feet and could overpower me on a good day but that didn’t deter me from “addressing him” and putting him in line. Unbelievably he was numb and so was everyone else. He embarrassingly uttered some words even the next person to him struggled to hear. He felt defeated and came to understand his actions were unnecessary. I went from being called ‘Mr kool’ to being labelled ‘Aggressive’ lol.  I went into the consulting room and a lot of things started going through my head but I didn’t give a hoot about the consequences because I believed I did the right thing. Such reckless words aren’t made towards doctors, yet many people find it easier to serve us, the people in charge of giving them their right medicines, with very caustic words that could fry your brain. May be I over reacted,  May be my actions were ignoble, but it was a bitter pill to swallow and at that time it felt like the best thing I had done all week….
Anonymous wrote in from south west Nigeria


  1. nice one.. Pls did u remember to give the person a good slap?

  2. !st rule about service delivery is that you are there for the patient/customer as the case might be, so it is not nice to talk down to them no matter how much you are provoked.
    For God sake when are we going to stop this comparison with doctors???? we are pharmacists!!! and let us be proud to be one and not be bothered about people treating other health care professional with more respect than us. The onus lies on us to educate them about our importance and most importantly respect is reciprocal

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