Sunday, September 23, 2007


I grew some hot effin peppers!

This year I tested my green thumb by growing some hot peppers. And, due to my usual procrastination and typical laziness, I waited until the garden centres were just about to shut their doors to buy my start up plants. Thus, my peppers are just now maturing... with a few more plants still in bloom, I know, sad.

Anywho, the jalopenos have taken off the best and have produced a few spicy little beauties for me in all shades of green and red, like the devil's Christmas tree. Tonight, we made a salad for supper, cause I'm all health conscious and shit, and since we had this pile of hot peppers sitting on the window sill, like all of my produce, we added them into the salad.

Lets just say that a tossed salad should be tossed a little better when jalapenos are involved. I think I ate two whole peppers out of the bottom of my bowl.

I dread tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Seniors Drug Plan Sucks

"Under the Seniors' Drug Plan, all Saskatchewan residents 65 years of age and older are eligible. Seniors will be automatically covered based on Health Registration Card information; no application is required. The program will go into effect on July 1, 2007.
Low-income seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Saskatchewan Income Plan or Special Support coverage who currently pay less than $15 per prescription will continue to do so. Palliative care patients and those covered by Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living (SAIL) will continue to receive Saskatchewan Formulary drugs at no cost."

-from the Government of Saskatchewan website

The Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan will cost Saskatchewan taxpayers $262,485,000 this year, up from $201,936,000 last year (from:,1,Documents&MediaID=973&Filename=07-08-Finance-BudgetEstimates-En.pdf). Although I couldn't find a breakdown of how much this $15 plan will cost the taxpayers, as a pharmacist, let me tell you thats it a lot.

Now, I don't have a problem with paying for necessary medications, in fact I'm all for ensuring that people have quick and affordable access to necessary drugs. So whats my problem with this new drug plan aimed at those over 65? They already had a system set up for lower income families who needed the subsidy. No one in Saskatchewan should want for medications... there has been a formula for years that compares how much you make to your drug expenditures and ensures that you get access to those medications. So if these seniors actually needed a medication to live but couldn't afford it, the government paid for it already. This new drug plan isn't really helping anyone and its costing us millions of dollars that could go to other causes, such as helping those with mental illness, community healthcare and education about preventing disease.

Many seniors have a large bank account to begin with, they don't need the government's help to pay for their Lipitor or Pariet. Of course they appreciate it, which shows that this is simply a vote buying tactic. Schizophrenic people don't vote in numbers like the penny pinching seniors, now do they, so why would we spend money on them?

As far as the launch of this program goes, the government effed it up too. Watching ads on this plan and reading articles, one would expect that if you're over 65 all you will have to pay is 15 bucks for anything. Most people don't understand what the formulary is or care to learn about it. So they get pissed when certain medications, Viagra, for instance, aren't covered by this new plan. They get pissed that they have to pay $15 for each medication, not just their total for the month, and they don't understand why the pharmacist is ripping them off.

Yes, we, the pharmacists who are helping you get your medications are ripping you off. Maybe the government should have explained that the formulary is a list of drugs that they will pay for. Drugs that are not listed in the formulary will not be covered. There is a seperate list called EDS drugs for which you need to be approved by Sask Health before you can receive these medications for $15. Where was that in the ads? Common medicines for the elderly such as alendronate, the PPI's, etc are generally listed as EDS drugs. Why were the public not informed of all the intricacies of the plan before it was rolled out? Why did the government not back up the pharmacists who were out there administering this plan? We're stuck looking like the bad guys, as if we're in charge of what they have to pay.

Also, people are now using more medications. Instead of trying cheaper alternatives, now they're all the same price, so lets take them all! Instead of preventing heart disease through lifestyle management, now you can treat it for the low low price of $15 per month! More money for another Big Mac, eh?

In summary, I think this is a stupid way to spend money. This program doesn't benefit the people who need it the most, it only benefits those who will vote NDP. I hope they scrap it soon, because right now we're cashing tomorrow's cheque to pay for the past. Stupid.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Where's the 'Profen?

You know what makes me laugh? Jokes... but also this... people who argue with the pharmacist about medications that they've just made up.

A lady did that obnoxious shaking of the box in front of our glass cage thing yesterday and asked "Where's the 'profen?". After she quit rattling the box at me I could clearly see that she was indeed holding up a box of generic ibuprofen.

"That is the ibuprofen, its our store brand Advil." I replied, somewhat annoyed... well, in my general tone.

"Yes, I know that, but I want just regular profen, not ibuprofen."

Before I burst out laughing in this poor woman's face another pharmacist went out to help her. Probably a good thing too, that store pushed my sanity to the edge.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

City Life

We were enjoying our leisurely Sunday afternoon this past week at a downtown coffee shop on a busy street having a good time. The crowd was bustling by and the patio of the coffee shop was pretty busy, when "Get out of my way, pedophile" could be heard over the din.

We swiveled around and saw a somewhat greasy looking woman with a backpack and sunglasses on, looking like an overgrown child, walking fairly quickly down the street. She was looking at the ground and completely by herself, yelling for this 'pedophile' to leave her alone. "I'm going to call the police, pedophile, leave me alone, pedophile!"

My first reaction was to watch what she was going to do and kind of chuckle about the situation, it was pretty funny. The other patrons were nervously laughing and one chick was relaying the sitch over the phone to her friend. Then it dawned on me that she, as someone was obviously mentally ill, or an actor, whatever, really believed that a pedophile was chasing her. That was kind of scary.

I can't imagine how this woman must get through life on a daily basis, filled with fear and seeing and hearing things that aren't real. No one to help her, but just laugh as she passes by. It made me sad that there wasn't a place for her to go, people to look after her.
Granted, I know damn well that there are services out there, but if there's one part of healthcare that is underfunded, in my opinion, its mental health services. Fuck the senior's discount, that money should go to help this lady get away from her demons.

Maybe I do have a soul, weird.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Working yesterday at one of the little pharmacies I work at I had an interesting question.

"How much bleach is too much to drink?" asked the woman, who was a little hesitant in her question. I assumed her demeanor was due to the ridiculous nature of the question.

Not quite sure how to respond, I asked her "How much did you drink?"

"Well, to be honest, not a lot. I had a glass on my nightstand and took a drink, I thought it was water but spit it out as soon as I realized it wasn't." she replied.

"Well, I don't think you've done too much damage if you didn't swallow any, I'd say you should probably drink lots of water today though, just to dilute anything that may have gone down." I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about but hoped that I sounded confident enough to not scare her into going to poison control.

She left with a sheepish look on her face and we were both kind of laughing at the situation. It was pretty funny... no one was hurt, right? Lets hope.

Moral of the story: If you're going to leave a glass of bleach just lying around, maybe slap a label on it. Or... sniff whatever you're about to drink before you drink it.