Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I Can't Make This Shit Up

Yesterday at the clinic, our head nurse (OK, so she is our only nurse) called a prescription into the local Wal-Mart pharmacy. It was at this time she got the advance news: It seems that Wal-Mart, in an effort to show solidarity with those poor tragic souls suffering with The Flu (of which there are approximately 15,708 in Freeport (pop 25,600)), is giving away Free Amoxicillin! For the flu! The nice pharmacist then faxed over a copy of the ad that is appearing in the local paper today and, indeed, that is what the ad says.

When our lovely and highly competent nurse told me about this, I sat flabbergasted with my mouth open. She shared in my soundless flapping of the lips for about a half a minute, then we both burst out laughing, as there really is no other reasonable response and we in the medical profession attempt to do the reasonable thing at all times. Amoxicillin. For the flu. An infection with influenza virus. For which there is absolutely no role for amoxicillin. Had they decided to celebrate sinus infection season or bacterial bronchitis season with the handing out of free antibiotics, well then, OK. For 20 years we have been trying to whack back the misconception and practice of prescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses, which is one of the leading reasons for the development of resistance of bacteria to current antibiotics. Why amoxicillin works less and less well. In the not too distant future it may be no better than placebo for things like bacterial sinus infections and bacterial bronchitis.

So maybe Wal-Mart is just a bit ahead of it's time.

Our illustrious and radiant nurse (whose wicked sense of humor is appreciated and reciprocated by me) and I then proceeded to be amazed by the marketing coup of those wacky Wal-Mart folks. I mean, it is real brilliance, something her 7 year old son would come up with if asked. First, get the sick people to go in to their physician with flu symptoms and ask for amoxicillin, knowing full well that a number of physicians will cave and prescribe it (tsk, tsk) as it is faster to whip out the prescription pad than to spend 20 minutes explaining why there is no reason to do so and many reasons not to do so. Then, said suffering soul heads to Wal-Mart, spewing flu virus, to get his 2 cents worth of amoxicillin (this stuff is truly that cheap, including the cost of the plastic container). Meanwhile, he waits in the store, spreading his illness everywhere, buying anything he thinks will make him feel better (over-the-counter remedies, chocolate, new socks). As a side bonus, he may make Wal-Mart his new pharmacy, as well, transferring his other, expensive prescriptions there. He then goes home, leaving virus behind him, infecting other store patrons, who then get the flu and stagger off to their own doctors.

It's jaw dropping brilliant!

My only question is if this revolutionary marketing scheme is confined to Freeport or if it is occurring across the country.

Personally, I am holding out for the free Percocet. At least a strong narcotic paired with Tylenol would do wonders for those flu symptoms of muscle and joint pains, fevers, cough and headaches. Plus, if you are high on downers, who cares if snot is running down your face?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great observation, Holmes. However, Wal-Mart was misspelled in your Piffle. That is a "-3" for a 70%. (Come on, this is how I made my living.)

Piffle On!!!


1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think of how much safter the world would be without all the marketing geniuses; no free useless prescriptions, no sex marketed to children, no cars driving too fast by "sexy?" males, no need to have a new outfit weekly to wear to work etc. etc. etc. Ah well, when we rule the world .....

Keep the piffles coming - they are great!


4:18 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pick on the spelling impared. I actually realized my error as I passed a Wal-Mart on the way home and hoped to slink in the correction before someone read it but have not been able to access the damn blog for the last many days. So now it is fixed.

Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart.

2:26 PM  
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12:48 PM  
Anonymous Percocet Prescription Medication said...

My name is Laura Clos and i would like to show you my personal experience with Percocet.

I am 43 years old. Have been on Percocet for 1 week now. It does kill the pain, but I found that I get itchy with this drug like I do w/ morphine.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Itchiness and bizarre dreams about zombies.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Laura Clos

1:36 PM  

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