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July 25, 2021
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Online Prescriptions and the Pharmacy Loitering Pastime

Much of what goes into getting a prescription filled has changed since the industry went online. Ordering online is easy and convenient. You can have your prescriptions delivered directly to your door. Online ordering has even eliminated the pastime of pharmacy loitering. That could be both good and bad, depending on your perspective.

Pharmacy loitering is a pastime for many and a science for some. It only exists as a thing because it is nearly impossible for pharmacies to fill new prescriptions in a matter of minutes. Customers looking to have their prescriptions filled in person only have a limited number of choices for spending the time it takes to complete the order.

Wait or Come Back

The days before online pharmacies were also the days when doctors wrote prescriptions by hand. You would see the doctor, get your prescription, and then head down to the pharmacy to have it filled. Prescriptions were not even called in back then. Everything was done in person and face-to-face.

Now, imagine showing up at the pharmacy and finding two or three customers ahead of you. While the pharmacy tech is waiting on them, the pharmacist already has two or three prescriptions in the queue. Yours could be the sixth or seventh in line at that point. What do you do now?

You essentially have two choices: wait or leave your prescription and come back later. Those who choose to wait must now occupy their time. That is where pharmacy loitering comes in. You have to kill the time somehow, so you wander up and down the aisles acting as though you are truly interested in everything on the shelves. In reality, you couldn’t care less.

A Suspicious Looking Shopper

Pharmacy loitering is generally not a problem unless you manage to enter the store without the cashier seeing you come in. Perhaps they are busy with other customers and doesn’t notice your grand entrance. Perhaps you have five or ten minutes of wandering the sales floor before they have a chance to notice you. Now you have a problem.

They could potentially see you as a suspicious shopper. You keep wandering up and down the same aisles without actually buying anything. You might take a product off the shelf, glance at it, and put it back. All the while you keep eyeing the pharmacy counter to see if there has been any progress. To the unsuspecting cashier, it could appear as though you are looking around to see if anyone is watching you.

Before you know it, pharmacy security has you tagged. You are being discreetly followed around the store by a plain clothes security officer who looks just as suspicious as you. If you enjoy this sort of thing, you now have a sport on your hands. You are prey being hunted by a predator who doesn’t even realise you are not food.

Efficient but Not Much Fun

Online pharmacies, like CanadaPharmacy.com for example, eliminate the whole pharmacy loitering sport. No doubt that filling prescriptions online is a lot more efficient. It is also easier. But it’s not nearly as much fun. It’s far too benign for the experienced pharmacy loiterer.

Where’s the sport in visiting a website and clicking a few buttons? How challenging is it to send an electronic copy of your prescription and follow up with a snail mail copy?

Unfortunately, the pastime of loitering at the pharmacy is fading fast. Fewer people enjoy it thanks to the death of handwritten prescriptions and in-person delivery. That’s too bad. Pharmacy loitering was a good way to kill time when you had nothing better to do.

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