Dealing with Indonesian drug dealers

One reason for going to a lot of drug stores is to do cross-comparison of the reactions you get when you present your scrip. Another reason is because, for some reason, most drugs stores will only have a fraction of the things the doctor has scrawled out for you.

Here’s what you need to somehow find out despite language barriers:

1. What’s the common name for the stuff on the scrip?

2. How much does each item cost?

3. How much of the stuff is optional?

4. Any overlap between optional and expensive items?

5. Does the pharmacy have enough of the things on your little shopping list to make it pulling out your wallet and waiting around for half an hour or so? If not, give ’em a big smile and take off.

Next, here’s how to second guess the pharmacist and his/her staff:

  • Do they seem to need more information? Did the doc maybe get it wrong? In which case you have to assure them that whatever they have is exactly what he meant.
  • Are they totally negative from the get-go? In that case, maybe the doc is prescribing stuff that’s just not on the market. Often the person him/herself doesn’t really know the deal, but you can often read between the lines. They won’t tell you when something has been discontinued. But if they’re kind of chuckling or else totally uninterested, –there could be a little problem. Sometimes they come across as forceful– “We don’t have it” — to make you think they never have it. Why? They just get tired of turning people down and don’t want to get asked anymore for a while.
  • Did they totally blow you off? Could be they actually have it but for some reason can’t give it to you (saving it? problem with the scrip? ) They don’t like to lie.  So they’ll use other language to communicate their “no joy” message.
  • Are they taking any shortcuts? Like not telling you what it is they’re about to sell you? Like not giving you a new prescription with the remaining things they weren’t able to provide you? Like not itemizing prices so you know what’s what?
  • Do they have something in mind they want to sell you and are only asking information so as to get that to come up faster? The vitamin girls are supposed to do that, of course. No matter what you’re looking for, they’ve got vitamins for you. But the pharmacist shouldn’t be involved at all.

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