Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Credibility and professionalism

How to increase professionalism?
A person will judge another person by its appearance. How true is it? For me, i think it is almost 100% true. As a professionals, appearance of cleanliness is very important. Especially in a place where medicines are kept.

Most of the time, the public always have the perception that young people are inexperienced. Some of them lack of confidence in our words or advice even when our words are supported my evidence eg, clinical evidence. Maybe by displaying my collections of certificates, degrees will help. Ha ha...

From this (only required by the laws)

Into THIS!!!This is my collections of certificates from attending various type of continuous pharmacy educations. I am still thinking is this sufficient, as i got some more. Let me see how the public response first.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tough day out there

In big towns, most people know what a pharmacy is and the role of pharmacists, i.e. they can't buy medicine if the pharmacist is not around thanks to the strict regulations followed by certain pharmacies.
In small town, ??? Have you actually came across some people who totally believe in doctors, nurses, staffs in blood test centers, traditional healer, bomoh, sales person either direct selling or indirect, speakers from unknown places, friends and anybody around except pharmacist?
Not everyone but there is a small group of people that would make your day feel like hell if you can't ignore the harsh and hurting words they said to you.

Case 1
Irritating words: Got discount somemore or not? I always buy this from XXX pharmacy. The boss is my best friend, you know. He always give me special discount, not like you. I can get this for 30 sen cheaper.
My reply: Sorry, this is the lowest we can offer.
Irritating words: I know your shop sell things expensive. But i live nearby, so i come to your place. It is very hard to find parking in that place, got to pay somemore. Give somemore discountlah.....

Case 2
Irritating words: You got this medicine or not? (Showing few types of generic medicine without labels, indications, or marks on the tablets.)
My reply: What are you taking this for? We need to know the indication because there is no labels.
Irritating words: You don't know is it? Aiyoh.... you sleep in class or what? How am i supposed to know medicine? You suppose to tell me what it is.

Irritating words: Do you have this XXX (direct selling product or some unkown products)
My reply: Sorry we don't keep this. We have subsitute for this.
Irritating words: What? The pharmacy XXX keeps this. Your shop is incomplete. Everything also don't have.
My reply: (Mmmm...he/she must be a fortune teller) If you want, we can order for you. If i order now, you can get it in the evening.
Irritating words: I want it now. Haiyah, so much trouble you give me. Now i have to go to town to get it.

刀 (pisau) on the top of the word patience and 心 (heart, i got to use english here because i don't know whether to call it hati or jantung) below the word, means we got to be patience even there is a feeling like a "pisau" cutting through your heart. I still remember my malay friends used to tell me " Sabar adalah separuh daripada iman" (i can't remember exactly).

Pharmacist = drug expert?? Are we (the pharmacists) the only people to believe this as a fact? I hope not. What do the public think? How many of them actually respect us for what we are?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Body Fat Mass Percentage

My new weighing machine which also calculates body fat mass and body water percentage has finally arrive. What a machine!! Try it on for free here only in Pharma Logik.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

10-hydroxy decenoic acid fever

Everybody in my town seems to be talking about it, 10-hydroxy decenoic acid…But what is it exactly? It seems to me that all retail pharmacy has been stormed by these groups of people to buy this specific ingredient. Right after I opened my pharmacy at 9.00 am on last Saturday, people already are waiting to get this specific product. I was caught by surprise how information can really spread throughout the town so fast.

My typical conversations:

Customer: Do you have this? .(Showing me that piece of paper written 10-hydroxy decenoic acid)

Me: Where do you get the name of this chemical product?

Customer: From the talk by a guy from Taiwan. He is a Traditional Chinese medicine doctor. So many people attended the talk. More than 1 thousand people has attended the talk.

Me: (Traditional Chinese Medicine Dr???, Then, why is he mentioning about some sort of chemical name??) Oh, 10-HDA is some sort of active ingredient that is available in royal jelly.

Customer: What is it used for? He says it is very good for the brain, cholesterol, blood pressure. By taking this, I even can stop taking other supplements and even medicine. He ask me to search for it in the pharmacy.

Me: What? No, Royal Jelly might lower cholesterol levels and seems to decrease some symptoms of PMS, (post menopausal symptoms) including irritability, weight increases and edema. But Royal Jelly is supplements and supplements will never replace medicine. Supplements suppose to help to strengthen the body, does not work alone if someone has the disease. Of course, if he wants to sell you his product, he can say anything. We don't even know who exactly he is. He is not a local person.

Customer: Don't you worry about that. He is not selling anything. He is just sharing with us some precious information on this 10-HDA which he himself has been consuming. Even doctors and you all pharmacists can't talk like him. He is the expert. His brother is a specialist in SJMC!

Pharma Logik have two products containing 10-HDA. 21st Century Royal Propollen and also Kordel’s Royal Jelly.

And the rest is history… All my products containing Royal Jelly sold out in that specific morning.

I personally do not believe that speaker is not selling anything. My theory is proven the next Monday as i heard from my customers that he is selling it, claiming his products is much superior comparing to ours.

Thinking back, the speaker spoke on Saturday and then ask the listener to get it from Pharmacy. With these sudden influx of customers wanting the same things, i am sure many pharmacy was caught by surprise. Demands is much higher than the stocks!!! And the pharmacy would not able to order it in time because it is SATURDAY!! Most pharmacies can only place an order on monday, and most of the time stocks will arrive in the evening. And the speaker starts selling it on Monday morning. Think again ...

My new stocks arrive on Monday evening, as i estimated. But until now i have not sell any single one of them. Luckily i did not order a lot to meet the demands.

But why is it so many people asking for it on Saturday and suddenly it has become so quiet on Monday and Tuesday? Is it has something to do with the action of my customers who brought our Royal Jelly to shows it to the speaker and the speaker has start to sells his products?
I don't know. What do you think?

In people with a history of atopy or asthma, royal jelly appears to cause a high rate of allergic symptoms including pruritus, urticaria, eczema, eyelid and facial edema, conjunctivitis, rhinorrhea, dyspnea, and asthma. In severe cases, royal jelly can cause status asthmaticus, anaphylaxis and death.

Please bear in mind Pharmacist has to follow certain Code and Conducts when we practice in community pharmacy. We do not simply quote anything which is not true and does not have clinical report to support its effectiveness.

Is the speaker bound to regulations like this? I don't think so. That is why you see Doctors and Pharmacists do not make unproven allegations about a product, where a lot of Professor and Phd holders taking this opportunity to claim otherwise.