*** At the Pharmacy***
Pharmacist: Do you have any allergies?
Me: I have severe allergies to Gluten, Dairy, & Soy. I will go unconscious if contaminated.
Pharm: Oh! Our Pharmacy Manager has Celiac Disease. We know all about it. She knows about that kind of stuff.
***30 min later while reading ingredients in my medicine, at home***
Me: WTF! This is dairy AND gluten in it! (go back to store)
Me: This has dairy in it and corn starch that has contaminated with gluten.
Pharm: How do you know that?
Me: I read the ingredients list. Do you have other brands of this?
Pharm: I don't know. Let me check.
Me: Great. I have a list of the ones that are gluten free but I need the ingredients lists to check for dairy. Can I read the ingredients lists?
Pharm: Where do you find those?
Me: On the slips that come with the medications.
Pharm: Oh. We throw those away.
Me: You throw them away?!?!? How do you normally check for allergies for your customers!?!? Dairy is not an uncommon allergy!
Pharm: I don't know. *After a couple moments pause* Have you taken this before? Perhaps you should go to your other pharmacist and get the barcode number of the specific brand that is safe for you and bring it back to us.
Me:*confused look* Uhhh.... By law you are required to keep the slips with the ingredients list. I'm sure that I am not the only customer with allergies. How do you normally cross-reference allergens? I need this medication.
Pharm: *blank face* You could....
Me: This is your responsibility to cross-reference the drugs for allergens. Not mine. By law, it is YOUR responsibility.
Pharm: *blank face* ok. but .... do they even make tablets without lactose?
Me: Yea. (I'm losing my patience by now) I've taken this before. I can take my business elsewhere if you cant figure this out. I need my Prescription from my doctor back.
Pharm: ok....... let me try. But I don't know how to get the ingredients list.
Me: *sigh* Every brand name is required to list the ingredients online on their website. You can also call the manufacturer. It's really quite easy.
Pharm: ok.... let me see if I can find the ingredients lists that we threw away.
Oh my fucking God. Sad thing is.... this was the most productive conversation I've had with my local pharmacists about gluten and dairy. This is just a typical pharmacy visit. Usually its along the lines of.... "I read the allergen statement and it didn't say anything about gluten". Uhhh.... yea, remember how I caused a big scene when I dropped my prescription off about how gluten is not a required posted allergen by the FDA and you have to CALL THE MANUFACTURER to verify the gluten free status? OR.... "I read the allergen statement and read the ingredients list. It has XYZ but most people don't react to that when they have a dairy or soy allergy". Yea.... but I DO! I can't take this medication. "But, most people are fine. Are you sure?" YES I'M FUCKING SURE THAT I GET VERY VERY SICK WHEN I INGEST ANYTHING WITH THAT INGREDIENT!
My two favorites are when they don't believe me that the FDA requires allergens to be tracked on drugs and food. The other is when they have never heard of gluten or celiac disease and think i'm referring to glucose and might be diabetic. ummmm...... up to 1/3 of all humans are intolerant of gluten, which is a PROTEIN in GRAINS! Celiac Disease is more common than Autism. AND HOW DID YOU GRADUATE FROM PHARMACOLOGY SCHOOL WITHOUT KNOWING ANY OF THIS!?!?