I Can't Make This Shit Up
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?