Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Accessibility at the Pharmacy (or Lack Thereof)

I picked up three prescriptions at CVS today. When I called for refills, I specifically asked for caps that were NOT child resistant and explained that it's very difficult for me to open child resistant caps due to arthritis in my hands.

I got home and opened the bag and only one of the three has a cap I can easily open. So I called back to complain.

The pharmacy tech explained that on the paper they look at to fill a script, there is tiny N that means non-child resistant cap and it's so tiny sometimes they don't see it. I suggested they make the N bigger, then, since it is important someone with a disability be able to actually open their medication. She said she can't make it bigger. 

I said I did not believe there was no possible way to improve the system to make sure customers get medication they can actually open. I don't know the best way to do it because I don't know what their current system is - but surely there is somewhat to put a  note on the script.  Or how about writing it on a big post it note and sticking it to the pharmacist's forehead, if necessary?  Come on, surely someone there can figure it out.

She suggested I drive back to the store - a 35 minute drive one way from where I live - and they would put the medication in other bottles for me. Um, yeah, that's not a good solution. 

They need to pay attention when they fill scripts. I do not believe there is no way that can be done. They just don't care about doing it.

And understand: This is what the pharmacy staff is thinking/saying when they don't care about making reasonable accommodations like this.

"Most of our customers are able to open bottles.  If a few of our customers are defective in some way and can't do simple tasks like that, well, that's not really our problem.  If it's convenient for us and if we think about it, we will do them a favor and put the special caps on for them.  But if it's too much trouble or we just forget, well, they should understand.  We are used to selling prescriptions to normal people that can open bottles.  And it's not like we have a lot of customers that can't open a normal bottle.  Their business isn't that important to us, anyway."

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