The pharmacist really did say that. Through the magic of the internets, let's go to the entirely appropriately named town of Surprise, Arizona to get the whole story:
Sparling received a call from Walgreens to inform her that she was given the wrong medicine for one of her prescriptions. She was given blood pressure medication instead of the pills to treat her hives. "She goes, 'Well, we probably couldn't read the doctor's handwriting.' Then I said, 'Well, I know that that's not possible because the prescription was printed out,” Sparling recounted. “She kind of paused and said, 'Well, you know, they both begin with H.’"
Did you know that pharmacies used to file old prescriptions in big steel boxes? Seriously. I just bought a boatload of pharmacy antiques to decorate my store and the prescription file boxes that came probably could withstand a nuclear explosion. That's how seriously we used to take the responsibility of being trusted with the chemicals people needed to live. Now we just wrap a slightly thicker piece of paper around a bundle of a hundred prescriptions and throw them in a drawer. Some stores I've seen didn't even do that. And evidently still others feel getting the first letter of a drug name right counts as a good enough effort.
But that's not what bothers me most about this. Don't get me wrong, that was a dumbass thing to say and it bothers me, but not as much as this:
Phil Caruso, Walgreens spokesperson, issued a statement to KPHO that reads, "We're sorry this occurred and we apologized to the patient. We have a multistep prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error.
And I'm supposed to feel better about this now? Let me explain something to you Mr. Walgrrens hack, if you do indeed have a "multistep prescription filling process with numerous safety checks" you now look even STUPIDER. Because, and follow me here, a GOOD process with FUNCTIONAL safety checks would PREVENT someone only concerned about the first letter of a drug's name from getting prescriptions out the door.
Got me? I'll go over that again. The object of a safety check is to make a mistake less likely to happen. So, you see, when a boneheaded move like this manages to get through your "multistep process" that's maybe a sign your process sucks. Trying to impress us with the fact you have a process will not work, because the whole thing the process is designed to prevent JUST HAPPENED.
Or you know what? Maybe it will work. Because people used to expect more from their drug store back in the age of the indestructible prescription file. I'm starting to get a feeling this night...that they probably expected more from corporate spokespeople as well.