Scary Pharmacy Stories That Will Keep You Up This Halloween


Stuck at work this Halloween? Gather your coworkers for some truly horrifying pharmacy pet peeves that are sure to keep you up at night.

The Halloween season is a time of trick-or-treating with family members, re-watching classic movies, and reveling in our favorite pastimes. But for those in pharmacy, Halloween isn’t the only time of year that’s scary.

Curated from the Pharmacy Times’ Pet Peeve series, here are some scary pharmacy stories that’ll keep you up on Halloween night.

10. The Frightening “Fill Everything” Call

You know the feeling—the pit in your stomach when a patient calls in “everything.” No specific drug list, no directions. Even after you fill their prescriptions, you’re always looking over your shoulder, waiting for a patient to return a $100 drug through the drive thru window, because “it’s the wrong one…”

9. Howling out an Insurance Coverage Problem

You tell a patient that their insurance does not cover a certain medication, and the patient persistently asks you why. While it should be a question for their insurance company, it seems that a pharmacist is the one who must look into their magical fortune-telling ball to understand this patient’s insurance coverage.

8. Always Feel Like… Somebody’s Watching You

You’re filling a patient’s prescription when you get the feeling that you’re being watched. You look over to find that a patient staring at you, waiting for you to finish. Not speaking, not coming up to pay. Just staring at you.

7. A Tale as Old (and Long) as Time

A patient gives you their entire story only to end with a simple request such as “so can you refill my prescription and I’ll pick it up tomorrow?” Of course, they can but it would have been easier if they gave their name, date of birth, and medication name instead of an unrelated story.

6. The “No Refills” Reflex

A patient has no refills on their medications they need. You fax their physician twice and send an electronic request, but no reply. So, bracing yourself, you ask them to call their physician to request a refill. *Shudders*

5. The Mummified Coupon

There’s nothing worse than when patients get angry at their pharmacist or pharmacy tech for not accepting a coupon that is months past its expiration date. I’m sorry, sir/ma’am. There’s no bringing that coupon back to life.

4. At the Strike of…Whenever

When you ask a patient when they would like to pick up their prescription, they reply that they’ll come back “whenever it’s ready.” You double-check with them to make sure that there is no specific time they would like to come back. An hour later, they’re back, yelling at you that you don’t have the prescription filled.

3. The “Cell Phone” Trance

When a patient is on their cell phone it is not only rude, but also lengthens the time they spend in the pharmacy. Even worse is when a line begins to form behind them because they’re not paying attention to your interaction. Is it too much to ask for a little eye contact?

2. The Bubbling Cauldron of the Employee Refrigerator

No one wants to think about the employee food refrigerator full of half-full cartons of spoiled milk, salad dressings well beyond their expiration date, and Tupperware containers full of mold. Nevertheless, it sits there becoming an unsettling mess of unopened concoctions.

1. The Case of the Missing Prescription

When a patient insists, they are picking up for someone. You search the entire queue, the outgoing bins, the voicemail, etc. The situation escalates, only to finally get to the conclusion that yes, they are at the wrong pharmacy (most often confusing Walgreens and Walmart).


  • Halloween Costumes for Every Pharmacy Professional
  • This Halloween, Discuss Potential Dangers of Costume Contacts
  • Tech Retires From Pharmacy in a Prehistoric Way
  • Pet Peeves (October 2018)

Related Videos
Pharmacist handing a patient their prescription
Portrait of a happy African American pharmacist writing prescription at workplace in modern pharmacy | Image Credit: sofiko14 -
Female Pharmacist Holding Tablet PC - Image credit: Tyler Olson |
Credit: Karanov images -
Credit: auremar -
Senior Male Research Scientist is Using a Tablet Computer in a Modern High-Tech Laboratory. Genetics and Pharmaceutical Studies and Researches | Image Credit: Gorodenkoff -
Portrait of a smiling female pharmacist, male colleague working with drugs in the background. | Image Credit: bnenin -
Smiling Asian female pharmacist working in chemist shop or pharmacy | Image Credit: Atstock Productions -
sofiko14 /
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.