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To the 'Floater' Pharmacist Who Took a Risk With My Prescription

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A few years ago, I was diagnosed with having two food allergies after having mind-blowing migraine headaches for four or more years. After finding out I had an allergy, I, like always, developed some sort of upper-respiratory/sinus infection. My normal staff pharmacist knew I had an allergy and usually picked a manufacturer she was sure did not contain wheat and gluten by-products, but she was on vacation. The conversation I had with a floater pharmacist that day blew my mind.

Dear Floater Pharmacist,

When I saw you checking my script, you looked much younger than me. Quite possibly a baby. But what a sweetheart you were. The tech offered to ring up the prescription, but you declined, saying you wanted to speak with me. Worried, I ambled over to the counter, expecting to find out that the script was not going to be covered by my insurance.

Instead, when you came over, you looked at me with a furrowed brow and asked if I had any food allergies. Surprised, I answered, stating yes, I have two food allergies: gluten and wheat. I was careful about the drugs I was prescribed, knowing that sometimes gluten by-products are used in the production of medication.

She looked at me, looked at the script and said the greatest words I had ever heard: “I thought so.” In your support, you told me how you noticed, when looking at my profile, that most of my medications were in tablet format instead of capsule. However, one of the medications I had been taking recently for an infection was known to contain trace amounts of gluten in the capsule. She proffered me the prescription and said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I exchanged out the drug we would normally dispense with the one I know is free of allergens. It may cost you a little bit more, but it will not cause you to develop any extra symptoms.”

Flustered, I smiled and could only utter out a thank you. I had never met someone, even my own doctor, who thought to look and see if the medication I was being prescribed contained those ingredients. You took initiative and a substantial risk, knowing I may have requested for it to be changed back. But you have no idea how much I truly appreciated it.

So, my baby-faced, rookie floater pharmacist, thank you. You truly show the knowledge of a veteran pharmacist. I wish you the best of luck in your career.


The woman with all the allergies

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Originally published: November 16, 2016
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