from Patrick McKenzie | by Patrick McKenzie

Patrick McKenzie


5 months ago

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“Pharmacies routinely lie to patients about the availability of medication, as a matter of policy” one of the things which most blew my mind last year.

(I will note that people I respect do not believe that “lie” is correct for an intentionally instituted policy which results in telling patients things which are untrue in an officially blessed channel which they would reasonably trust as authorative. I’m comfortable with it.)

(I have a magazine article coming out which goes into more detail but multiple national chains adopted chain-wide recordings saying “The pharmacist does not have additional information about the vaccine. Visit our website at…” when that was… just not correct. And obviously.)

The honest version: “The pharmacist is the only person in the world who knows the stock levels of the covid vaccine at this location today, but we at corporate would prefer you not push 4 to ask them about it. Their time is very valuable and needed to deliver healthcare.”

“We at corporate also do have access to a database which shows a slightly delayed understanding of what the pharmacist knows to be true. Databases can talk to phone systems, in principle. This one can’t, though, because fixing that was not a priority for us.”

(VaccinateCA had to specifically train callers and write code to remind them that the recording bar X Y and Z were lies and to ignore them in favor of talking to the pharmacist, who was much less likely to lie about the medical care they had on offer to the public.)

(Was that the most ducked up thing that happened last year? Not even in my top five.)

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