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  1. #1
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    Default Random Question... Why does it take so long to fill a prescription?

    I've been waiting in a pretty much empty chemist for 20 minutes for a script. Am I missing something?

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    Shouldn't take that long?

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    Dh got a prescription from a full chemist a couple of weeks ago. Took no longer than 10mins.

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    We get medication compounded for my daughter and that takes a while..

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    Only thing I can think of is the pharmacist is busy. Even though there are staff the pharmacist might not be one of them and they have to double check scripts before they get handed over.

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    Just because there appears to be noone waiting doesn't mean there isn't! Many leave their scripts and run errands, shopping etc and go back later, the pharmacist could be in the middle of webster packs (so time consuming) could be doing a bulk of scripts for a nursing home etc

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    If often wonder why it takes any time at all, isn't it just finding the medication on the prescription and printing a label? The dr works out the dosage!

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    Pharmacists also work out drug interactions and dosage. The amount of doctors that write the wrong dosage out is amazing. Some drugs need to be registered for use and others need checking with the PBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR03 View Post
    If often wonder why it takes any time at all, isn't it just finding the medication on the prescription and printing a label? The dr works out the dosage!
    You don't think a Pharmacist just grabs a pack of a shelf and whacks a label on it, do you? Pharmacy is a science. Pharmacists sometimes need to compound the medication (ie making it from scratch), depending on the type of medication and the dosage you are required to take, it can take a while to mix it up.

    Even if they're not compounding, they have to be incredibly careful of what they are giving you, that the dosage in the bottle/pill/capsule is the right one for what has been prescribed to you and I imagine they would need to check and recheck to make sure there are no errors.

    Heading to a Pharmacist is not handing over your prescription and them handing you a packet with a label on it

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    Having worked in a pharmacy for 5 years (before nursing) I can answer your question with many scenarios.

    - there are multiple scripts waiting to be dispensed. Yes they try and do the ones for people who are waiting, but if they have 30 scripts to fill for people who will come back, they also need to prioritize which script gets filled first. There may have been a crazy busy period and they've been caught trying to fill the scripts.

    - the scripts for the person before you that they are currently filling may have multiple items on it. It's not uncommon for the oldies who are on multiple medications to get all their scripts filled together. Can easily be 10-15 items all up.

    - they may be filling Webster packs as a pp mentioned.

    - there may only be one pharmacist and they may be serving a customer. They aren't just there to fill prescriptions, but also to give advice to people who ask for it.

    - pharmacist may be on a break. They're entitled to one just as much as everyone else.

    - there is no stock of your medication so they are having to "borrow" one from another pharmacy nearby. This is common practice amongst pharmacies.

    - there is an issue with the script/info. The amount of times we would have to ring up medicare to get someone's medicare number/concession card number etc. We would get the customers permission first if they couldn't produce their cards so you would know if this was the issue. But you can be on hold for ages.

    Filling a script isn't just about putting a sticker on the box. They are checking your history to make sure the medication prescribed won't interact with any other medication you might be on. They are checking to make sure the dose prescribed is appropriate for the condition they're treating. They're also making sure that you're not allergic to any of the components in the medication (this is why they should always ask if you have any allergies). The doctors may write the scripts, but when it comes to the actual drugs themselves, the pharmacists know loads more than any GP would.

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